Monday, October 15, 2007

A paintbrush and your spice cabinet

Blogging has brought me so many rewards already--inspiration and motivation, ideas, information...
but it has also brought people into my life whom I would not have met any other way.
The chance meetings and the resulting domino effects are just mind boggling.

There are a handful of women I email with on a regular basis--women I consider friends even though we have never met.
With Claudia, I feel some special connection, and even though she's way over in Germany instead of next door, we still are able to write long letters and get to know one another across the miles.

It's really an amazing thing, this internet age.

Claudia happened to see a photo of a sculpture that I posted to my blog a couple of years ago that she recognized.
That's what I mean by chance moments.

A chance seeing a post....taking the time to comment...becoming friends through written words...
it's just the coolest thing how life happens.

Anyway, Claudia just posted an amazing ATC that she made the other night, when she had an inspiration to paint with spices.


I just had to share this gorgeous art and this incredible idea.

She says, "I started with a sheet of paper from my sketch block. For some reason, I wanted to know if it where possible to paint with curry and dried paprika pepper powder, both being colorful and hard to remove if clothes are stained with it.
So I took some of the powder and mixed it with a drop or two of water and applied it to the paper with my forefinger, smearing and rubbing. This is what created the orange background. Nice colors, I wonder if they will fade...
Then, as you might have guessed, I took a TV programme and cut out the duck photos; the words were taken from a brochure my health insurance company sent me.
The text translates 'The brain sounds an alarm.'"

Read more here.

Not only would one obtain natural color from things like tumeric, but imagine the interesting fragrance--truly art of the senses!

I did a little googling, and found a few posts elsewhere about how people had experimented with spices in different ways.

One book excerpt says: "We remember with great fondness painting with spices when we were young. Each area of the paper was carefully prepared with glue and then a spice was dusted or pressed onto it. Since different spices have different colors and textures, the visual palette they offer is large, but the greatest pleasure is olfactory. Each spice painting is an experiment in fragarance. Not only can one recreate the artistic style typical of a particular culture, one can, by choosing to use its spices, recreate simultaneously a sense of its culinary traditions."

Some of the scents, however, aren't quite as pleasant.
The blogger Travel-Itch said: "I was going through a brief phase of encaustic-painting using spices as pigment within the wax: cinnamon - a warm brown, coffee - deep brown, paprika - lovely orange-red, turmeric - golden yellow. It limited my palette and was a challenge to discover absorption rates in the different spices. Even a session with powdered garlic produced a translucent yellow. But the smell was overwhelming and revolting, both in the studio and on the painting, so I never used it again."

And in the comments of another site, someone wrote: "I once created an abstact canvas painting using spices from the pantry 'cause i ran out of guache. I used cumin,paprika,mustard powder etc..mixed with flour for binding. A little stinky and difficult to manipulate,but cool to look at."

I think it's a fascinating idea, and I love the idea of using a natural pigment, just as I love the idea of dying items with things like red onion skins (and yes, I have done that).

And now, those domino effects just keep rolling, and I think I'll buy this book for a little girl for Christmas, after reading about this lesson plan.
It caught my attention, because it has the children creatively paint to learn. "It involves painting with spices, discussion, experimentation of colors, heighten sensories".

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Anonymous Felicia said...

The blogging world has certainly allowed me to form some awesome online friendships too.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely idea- I hadn't thought of using spices in that way. There was a recipe for tea staining calico with a doll pattern I bought, and I added some maple syrup essence to it as I didn't have vanilla. Even now the remnants I have left smell gorgeous when I open the drawer.

I came across an idea of a witch doll whose face was made from a peeled apple and allowed to dry in the window so it became deeply creased as it withered and gave off a gorgeous smell.

Something I do do though, is add a couple of drops of essential oil to my fabric conditioner when washing bed linen especially. I also dry my lavender in the airing cupboard, so it smells beautiful when I open the doors.

10:13 AM  

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