Though the resulting watercolor set was as lively as any painter could hope for, the restrained palette in my studio these days urged me to see what I could coax into being, firsthand.
Above: Surprising “chocolate rose” color from avocados, Below: Acorn tips + rust = a silvery grey ink
After several weeks of deep internet dives plus a plethora of ink, dye and foraging books, the good news was that much of what I needed could easily be found in our kitchen, backyard or surrounding neighborhood. The bad? Well, it hurts my head and heart to imagine how I could have missed the obvious inclination to craft my own inks and paints?
I created Batch as a portal for exploring other ecosystems and cultures in hopes of discovering some new and weird things about their connection to my own life / body / planet. And I am proud of the work that I’ve produced over these last couple years — especially after decades of a stagnating personal practice — and I can clearly see my trajectory ascending… There is much to be grateful for.
So what took so long?
Above: Copper + vinegar + salt + oxygen + time
As I commit to a life of intention, one that treads lightly upon the Earth and chooses not to harm any creatures in the process, I’ve begun pulling on the proverbial string that Muir so eloquently reminds us, is tied to everything else in the Universe.
Over the last couple years, I have repeatedly challenged myself by asking “What’s enough"?” and “Why not now?” This has brought a clarity into my practice, making it ever more apparent that I am engaged in a very ‘journey vs destination’ pursuit.
Crafting and curating my own materials — ink, paint, paper — is not only in service of the art but, in many ways, is the art. A proposition that shone so brightly, the very elegance of it’s simplicity was too bright to recognize.
With this newfound awareness, I quiet my mind. I am eternally reminded that Mother Nature said it first and said it best. Humble AF.
My job now is to listen, with diligence, and share, with generosity, all that I am learning…