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“My concentration explores the potential of handmade and eco-friendly paints and materials for creating effective art. I wanted to investigate alternatives to environmentally-harming substances, like acrylic paint, and connect with the earth as a source of materials.

Throughout my sustained investigation I explore nature-derived paint options and experiment with their effectiveness in making art. I found that turmeric provides a bright yellow stain which I use to create light in image 4 and 14. Image 14 represents the healing light nature radiates; the lichen flame is the source, the earth; the hands are humanity. Image 5 and 6 explore contrast and depth using alder ink. My biggest challenge was finding a workable paint binder. Acrylic medium, which I used in image 1,  is durable but it does not meet the eco-friendly component of my investigation. The beeswax binder I use in pieces 12-15 holds pigment well, but cannot be used with brushes and never dries. Gum arabic worked well in making watercolours, seen in image 11. I would like to continue to explore the connection between my role as an artist and eco-enthusiast through experimentation with natural materials in my art processes”

-Sophia A.