Luiseño Red

Last week I had a magical experience in San Diego … It involved beautiful people, a red landscape, and ancient tools! It was a joy to meet up again with Dr. Norrie—she is an amazing combination of child-like enthusiasm and deep knowledge! Together we headed back up to the mountains around the La Jolla Reservation. Once again I was…

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Woad Blue Harvest

woad blue

The annual harvest of our woad patch is something I look forward to every year. While it seems that the weather rarely cooperates (at least it wasn’t snowing, like last year …) I find it magical every time that profoundly deep blue appears.

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Canada in Crayons

I doubt very much that when my children’s teachers required them to bring crayons to class that they expected what followed—the creation of the first set of crayons made from Canada’s soils, rocks and plants!

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Northern Ontario Greens

As I wrote about in my previous post, my family and I spent a couple of weeks exploring northern Ontario last month. While the residency at Pukaskwa National Park was a big part of that experience, we also took the opportunity to undertake a number of local colour pilgrimages along the way. What surprised me…

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AiR at Pukaskwa National Park

[fve][/fve] Earlier this month I was invited up to Pukaskwa National Park to be their Artist in Residence, and I was pretty excited by the opportunity. I’ve always loved the landscape of Northern Ontario and the Park was welcoming to my family. So, we packed up our van for the adventure and began what my…

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The Crow’s Speech

[fve][/fve] While I’ve been working this morning, there’s been quite a conversation happening outside my studio window. It interested me, so I thought I would share! I only wish I knew what they were talking about …

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UofS: Creating Paint from Soil

[fve][/fve] Last week I was up at Christopher Lake in Saskatchewan to teach about making paints from soil for a course at the University of Saskatchewan. Alongside my colleagues Ken Van Rees and Allyson Glenn, we taught about making pigments out of bones and soils (and even bugs!). Being an interdisciplinary course, students in both…

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Conestoga Pigment Hunt

It was a beautiful weekend here in Conestogo! And, what with the water being low and my family looking for an adventure, we spent a good part of the day down by the river. I was looking for some of the bright, eby ochre I’ve found in the past … but we also found clay,…

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Conestogo Map

Maps are taking shape! With my hope of publishing the Atlas of Canada’s Local Colours in time for 2015’s Year of Soil, I’ve been busy finalizing the layout and layering of my local colour maps. I’m continuing to develop in this work depicting the processes, time and colours resulting from my ‘placeful’ experiments in a…

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Wunderkammer Frame

Over the March Break I decided to take a break from my maps and icons and solve something that’s been bothering me for some time … Over the past decade I’ve collected local colours from the soils and rocks of a lot of different places, but most of these amazing pigments are hidden away in…

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