ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
I wanted to give a final update on our Earth Paints fundraiser and search for a warehouse. After searching for the past month and not finding a single warehouse space even available in our small town, I was feeling pretty disheartened until I found the perfect space this afternoon! Very synchronistic as a friend’s friend decided to move out of their space and told me first. It’s the perfect size and location and available for us to move in on Jan. 1st (which is perfect timing so we don’t have to scoop thousands of natural dye baggies in our freezing, tiny shed all Winter)!
Our fundraiser has a few days left (ends Dec. 10th) and we’ve raised 22% of our goal to pay for the warehouse and hire 2 employees. By the way, this isn’t a kickstarter fundraiser, in which you have to raise the full amount to receive any funding, but a rocket hub fundraiser where you’re given everything that’s donated. Check it out, we have lots of great Earth Paints gifts and original oil paintings for everyone who donates and we would of course be forever grateful for any support. This is the only fundraiser we will ever do and will help to get us through this rocky patch and then I’m confident it will be smooth sailing as we keep developing more and more non-toxic art supplies so that eventually everyone on the planet can express themselves creatively without harming the earth or their health!
I have some super exciting news about my business, Natural Earth Paints! You probably remember 3 years ago when I started this business in my garage with just 2 natural paint kits. We’ve been slowly and steadily growing and have now filled 2 bedrooms, an outdoor workshop and our kitchen and have now created 15 products. We have lots of exciting things happening next year: our first trade shows, new international distributors wanting to take us on and six new eco-friendly art supplies in development! But we’ve reached a kind-of bottle-neck where we don’t have an inch of space left to grow in my home and also not enough income to rent a warehouse or hire employees or develop new products.
It’s so hard to ask for help sometimes but I’m so excited about the upcoming possibilities for Natural Earth Paints that I’ve decided to take the plunge and reach out! I’ve just launched a fundraiser which will last for one month. Check it out and also check out our JUST released new video by Oneal Latimore here….
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
“When I began this journey of completely non-toxic oil painting 5 years ago, with a little baby in my belly, the only missing link in my artistic process was a completely non-toxic paint thinner. Like most artists, I liked to start a painting with a thin wash of color, then an under-painting, and also lots of drips and splatters (which I always had accomplished using toxic solvents in the past). I searched and searched and found a few natural brush cleaner options but never a high quality paint thinner. So for several years, I resorted to using water soluble oil paints (which aren’t natural and the toxicity is questionable). UNTIL this year! I am personally so excited to offer this product to all artists to make your art process 100% Non-toxic, natural, archival, AND professional quality!” -Leah Mebane, Co-owner & Artist
Recent 40″ x 40″ Earth Oil Painting (using Eco-Solve) by Leah Mebane
We proudly present our non-toxic, all-natural Eco-Solve, the finest professional paint thinner on the market. Representing a major breakthrough in art material technology, Eco-Solve is a sterling example of Natural Earth Paint’s commitment to provide artists with earth-conscious, professional painting materials. When used with our Earth Oil Paints and walnut oil medium, Eco-Solve opens yet another door to completely non-toxic oil painting.
the Benefits of Eco-Solve: • 100% natural and non-toxic • Archival, non-yellowing, professional artist-quality • Subtle, fruity licorice scent • Does not irritate the skin • Does not emit harmful vapors. • Soy-based and vegan. Cruelty-free. • Superb for creating washes, under-paintings, glazes, drip effects, etc. • Excellent brush cleaner! Can be used to clean all oil painting tools, palettes, brushes, containers, and work surfaces • Does not pollute the soil or waterways
When it comes to crafts, I always like to go back to basics – simple and natural. That’s why I love making good, old-fashioned Potato Prints with Natural Earth Paint! This activity can be enjoyed by toddlers, older children, and even adults. Give your loved ones a beautiful, earthy Valentine, and enjoy their smiles.Step 1: Cut some potatoes in half (I like to use different sizes). Fingerlings are easy for a toddler to grip. Step 2: Cut in the heart shape with a sharp knife, and then slice away the edges to reveal the full shape.
Step 3: Mix up a few colors of Children’s Earth Paint (See 20% Off Discount Below). Either use a brush to apply paint to the potato shape, or simply dip it into paint. Stamp away!
Django, the resident craft tester!
To See a full blog version of this craft, click HERE.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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 uswith 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 Facebookand 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.
EcoFirstArt.com 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 Much Love, Leah and Family