getting the hang of it

Well I've had a bunch of progress since I last posted. I've decided to go with homemade soymilk as a binder for my paints. It's what the japanese used to fix their pigments onto fabric and it's the easiest to work with so far and will work with more than just paper. I stretched part of an old cotton sheet on a frame to work with and tried it out- seems to work well! You need to let it cure for 2 weeks or more before washing it so I'll see how stable it is then. Here's a little sketch I made and pattern I was playing around with:

As for the pigments so far I have brown (dirt from my backyard), yellow (turmeric), orange-red (onion skin), sort of a red color (purple onion skin), green (nettles), and black (charcoal powder). The plant pigments I extracted like you would a dye- put the plant matter in hot water for a while, strain out the solids..but then evaporate the remaining water and you get solid color.  I'm not so sure how these will hold up to the sunlight. I think that any plant known to be a good dye for fabric will work just as well because that's essentially what I'm doing.

Eventually I'd like to  get some indigo, make some rice paste for a resist and try my hand at indigo dyeing. Since it's a fermentation process it's a bit more complicated but it should be fun!


latest work

And here's what I've been working on..

ink and charcoal

acrylic and colored pencils

Miksang photography

I recently heard about something called miksang photography. It's sort of a type of meditation. The idea is to observe your surroundings in their basic state without any judgments, thoughts, memories, color names, or labels going through your head. So when you look around and something stops you to look at it you identify the important elements, remove the clutter, then take your picture. It's a really neat way of looking at things and it's quite difficult to turn off all thoughts while taking a picture because the first thing you want to do is identify it like oh I'll take a picture of that green plant over there. These are photos from my first go but the process is more important than the result. which is good because my camera didn't really want to focus haha.


I went to the public gardens today and took lots of pictures. The flowers are so pretty! And the typical overcast day was a nice light diffuser :)

I tried coating watercolor paper with a couple layers of gesso and painting on that instead of board. It held up well but the first few colors came out rather flat. I'm not too sure what I think of this painting. It hurts my eyes to look at it haha and is definitely not pretty. But I don't have to like it...

acrylics, oil pastel

I got a lot done yesterday! I finished this painting, still need a title for it but that can come later.

Then I worked over an old painting I never likedI've been using gesso instead of white paint and I quite like the texture of it.

So I went with that texture and got this :) which is based on some childhood memories.

As much as I would like to work only with the paints with the natural pigments, giving up color and the quick prepare time would be difficult.

And just for fun, my flowers...