The Aboriginal Ochre Wars
There was a time when all of Australia was a network of trading posts. And good ochre was one of the most prized items to trade. “Wilga Mia” in Western Australia is one of the most sacred ochre mines on the continent. If
you want to collect any you have to ask permission from the traditional aboriginal owners and also from the sacred beings who live beneath it’s ancient chambers. It was still being mined and traded in the 1980’s, although by the end of the 20th century it was being collected in plastic buckets instead of bark dishes.
In the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, there’s another famous ochre deposit. For thousands of years Aboriginal expeditions (70-80 men) would walk for two months to travel the thousand- mile round trip to collect their red-gold ochre at a place called Parachilna. They would return with 20 kilos of ochre each in possum or kangaroo skin bags, and on their heads they’d carry huge grinding stones from a nearby stone quarry.
Then in 1860, guess what happened, you guessed it, the white guys arrived. Farmers arrived with land and sheep ownership claims and obviously didn’t want the Aboriginals to eat their sheep or walk across their land. But the natives continued to take sheep meat for their journey and walk across their land which soon became punishable by hanging. In 1863 there was an “ochre massacre” when scores of Aboriginals were killed by angry settlers. Then someone from the South Australian administration suggested a solution! They decided to “move the mine to the Aboriginals” so they wouldn’t have to make the journey. But they moved the wrong mine. They removed four tons of ochre from a mine owned by another tribe on the coast and spent weeks hauling it back. It was a completely wasted effort because the Aborigines wanted none of it.
The white settlers missed the point that it was a pilgrimage involving elaborate ceremonies in collecting the ochre and bringing it back. Also, the sacred ochre was essential for trading which happened when one item is seen as equal in value to another. But free ochre had no value. And lastly, the sacred ochre was used for painting ritual designs and this other ochre from the coast was not good enough or sacred enough and didn’t contain the hint of mercury that made it sparkle.
• From “Color” by Victoria Finlay
Some of these alien looking shapes are spores belonging to the sporangia of a fern. This painting happily sold during it’s first outing away from the studio.
Freedom is Letting Go
Spring 2013 Mandala Drawing Workshop
This one day workshop focuses attention on creating mandalas to facilitate letting go of anxious thoughts, false concepts, wants, and desires in order to experience more peace of mind and happiness. Participants will have the opportunity to examine
I’ve recently recorded an 8 minute video of me explaining how to eliminate all toxins from your oil painting practice. There will be tips and techniques and info on how to use only natural materials (nothing synthetic or petroleum based). Enjoy!
Winter Art & Paint Sale + New Videos
NEW Eco Oil Painting Tutorial Video
This video is about 8 minutes and describes non-toxic and natural painting techniques with demonstrations and resources on how to create high quality works of art with all natural materials and absolutely nothing toxic.
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NEW Children’s Earth Paint Video
This is a short video about the Children’s Earth Paints, what toxins you find in most commercial children’s paints, the history of Earth Painting and more.
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Perfect Gifts for Children, Artists and Crafters
15% OFF ALL Earth Paints & Materials – Site Wide
COUPON CODE: 15off
(Offer Expires Dec. 22, 2012)
Holiday Shipping: Packages are guaranteed to arrive before Dec. 25th if placed by Dec. 19th.
Crafting & Scrapbooking
We’ve been getting orders for the Children’s Paint Kits lately by Crafters and Scrapbookers. I never even thought of this but they are apparently working great as a water soluble and natural craft paint for many types of craft projects and decorating scrapbooks!
Happy Happy Holidays
Love, The Mebanes
20% OFF All Abstract Paintings – Site Wide!
Every two to three years I have a sale on my abstract work and this is it! This allows me to make room for new inspirations and ideas when my studio begins to clear out. This offer will expire in two weeks (Dec. 22nd) so don’t miss your chance to save up to $400 on each painting. There are many recent Earth Paintings and also older work from the Chakra Series and Medicine Wheel Series. I’ll also be offering 30% off my wild, 3 dimensional paintings in the Flight from the Box Series.
Eco & Non-toxic Gesso Recipe
I spent years looking for an alternative to so-called “non-toxic” acrylic gesso to prime my canvases and wood boards. After choking on the fumes that come out of these gesso bottles for years, I finally investigated what it was actually made of and officially decided to find a better option. I’ve always been stumped by the only “natural” alternative being rabbit skin glue. It turns out there is a vegan, animal-friendly option using methyl cellulose (which is made from plant fibers), whiting, and honey! Try out this recipe below…
Mix 1 part whiting (Plaster of Paris or chalk) with 1 part hot water. Add 1 part methyl cellulose glue to 10 parts whiting mixture. Add a few drops of honey. Voila! (To make the glue, mix 5 Tbsps. methylcellulose powder and 1 cup water. Then add enough cold water to make one quart of mixture. Let it sit overnight; then pour it into a jar.)
Eco Art, Green Crafts & Artist Retreats
Artist & Writer Retreats
Now that Winter is coming on, the idea of a Balinese Artist Retreat sounds amazing. These 2 great artist/writer/yoga retreats are incorporating Earth Paint
into their natural and holistic offerings.
- The Meditative Arts School has a Meditative Art & Yoga Retreat in Ireland that sounds incredible. They offer daily painting, creative movement, yoga, sculpting, writing, and meditation. They use only nature-based art supplies.
- The Wellness Immersion Retreats incorporate writing, painting, and yoga for their retreats in Bali, Tuscany, and Big Sur, CA.
Earth Paint 1 Year Anniversary!
This week marks the one year anniversary of Earth Paint! We can’t believe how much we’ve learned after diving in head first last November. We feel so incredibly grateful to all of the amazing people who have helped us in so many ways to get this small business off the ground. The generosity of our friends and community always astounds me. Watching this business grow and hearing how excited people are when they learn about us has been gratifying, too. So many artists tell us how they’ve been looking for years for a non-toxic alternative to professional (yet toxic) oil paints without losing any quality. And parents tell us how they’ve been searching for a natural kids’ paint that paints like “normal” paints – rich, opaque colors that radiate. Earth Paint has been tested and reviewed by over 40 blogs in the past year with 100% rave reviews. And three magazine articles have been published including our latest one in The Mother Magazine.
We’ll Plant Trees While You Paint
While we’ve done all we can to not harm the Earth with our business by using only locally made, biodegradable, post consumer recycled packaging and vegetable based ink printing, we want to go one step further. We want to give back to our Mother Earth and use this business as a vehicle for positive change. We’ve been brainstorming some ideas but would love to hear any ideas you may have or resources that may help us achieve this goal. Our first idea is to plant one native tree sapling for each order of Earth Paints placed on our website. As we work on this goal, please contact us
with any suggestions or thoughts you may have. Thank you!
Are you looking for the perfect gift for an aspiring artist, professional artist, hobby artist or anyone with toxicity sensitivities? The Earth Oil Paint Kit is perfect for these types of people…
• Painters who are sensitive to, or simply want to avoid exposure to solvents (mineral spirits, turpentine), heavy metal toxins, petroleum based pigments and toxic preservatives.
• Students and teachers in schools and colleges where the use of oil paint is prohibited because of the solvents and heavy metal toxins.
• Artists working in shared studio space or small home studio where the build up of solvent levels could lead to a harmful concentration of vapors and an unpleasant odor.
• For travelers, all Earth Paints can be easily transported on airplanes and come in convenient powder form packets that pack easily.
* Anyone wanting to paint without harming the earth.
* Artists who want more vibrancy and luminosity in their paintings without fillers and preservatives to dull the color.
* Artists wanting the most archival, UV resistant and long lasting paints available.
* Cost Conscious artists who want high quality paints for less money.
Offer expires Dec. 15thIn the Works!We’ve been working for the past 5 months on a Natural Egg Dye Kit using fruit and vegetable dyes. These will be available in early 2013! Stay Tuned…
DIY Gift Wrap
Instead of buying China-made, petroleum-based wrapping paper this year, make your own and add twice the value to your gift! Here’s some ideas!
- Go to a thrift store: you’ll find great vintage fabrics, cool wallpaper, sweaters to cut up; scarves make great bows
- Recycle an old map
- Use old brown grocery bags and decorate
- Wrap in newspaper
- Decorate your grocery bags & newspaper with Earth Paint prints (leaf prints, cut apple prints, bottle cap prints; the possibilities are endless)
- Wrap in your child’s drawings or paintings (if you have a million like me)
- Make leaf rubbings with a crayon on newsprint
Free Giveaways & Discounts
Like Us on Facebook
and you’ll recieve monthly Free Earth Paint Giveaways, Limited time Discounts, Eco Oil Painting Tips, Natural Craft Activities, and more.
Have you tried Pinterest yet?
If not, beware! It’s addictive but also a great way to organize your ideas and projects and create vision boards to bring what you desire into your life. By Following Earth Paint and Leah’s Earth Art, you’ll have access to all of my “pins” including Natural Home Ideas, Natural Wellness Recipes, Recycled Crafts for Kids, Nature Art Projects, DIY projects, Gardening Tips, Green Living Tips, Eco Art and more.
Art Marketing Teleconference on Dec. 11th
Mark your calendars for an upcoming teleconference that I’ll be giving on how to “Land a Magazine Feature by writing about your art or product”. This will be hosted by Alyson Stanfield, the author of “I’d Rather Be in the Studio” and the popular “Art Biz Coach”. Contact Me for more info on how to listen in.
is a new one-of-kind website that sells only eco-friendly art, hand made gifts, furniture, artistic clothing and more. All of the materials used in the art and other items are either natural, recycled, reclaimed or earth-friendly. My abstract, natural earth paintings are now featured on the site as well as the Earth Paint Kits. Check out this great site
Our individual children’s and oil paint packets make great stocking stuffers! Each packet makes 16 oz. paint. BUY 3 Colors and receive a FREE Earth Paint Booklet
(with nature based art projects, ancient history of Earth Paint, Eco Oil Painting Tips and more).
Offer Expires Dec. 31st
|Visit Us at|
www.NaturalEarthPaint.comfor Eco-friendly and USA Made Holiday Gifts
Have a Beautiful Winter Season
Leah and Family
IGNITE THE MIND, STIR THE SOUL, OPEN THE HEART- BOLDLY CREATE!
Teen Art Studios- Fall 2012
Ages 13-17 Taught by Brooke Nuckles Gentekos
Two session to choose from or sign- up for both! (Each session will be unique and suitable for teen artists of all skill levels.
Session 1: Tuesdays, 5-7 pm: Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9 Please Register Early! Each session: $70 members/$85 non- members
Session 2: Tuesdays, 5-7 pm: Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13
Beginners to experienced teen artists will draw, paint, sculpt and experiment with personal expression through art. Be inspired by contemporary art and artists and be bold as you create original works of art! Register for one or both sessions- each class will be a unique and fun experience specially designed for creative teens!
The Rogue Gallery & Art Center provides quality art education to inspire and build life-long interest in the arts. Classes are taught by experienced artist educators in our professional art studio and high-quality art materials are provided to youth to create their art.
Discounts and partial scholarships are available! Register online: www.roguegallery.org
Rogue Gallery & Art Center 40 S. Bartlett Street, Medford, OR 97501 (541)772-8118