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Aboriginal Ochre

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

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Eco Oil Painting Tutorial Video

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!

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Leah Mebane Announces New Videos, Winter Studio Sale and Holiday Discount on Earth Paints!

 Leah Fanning Mebane

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

Leah Fanning Mebane
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

Leah Fanning Mebane

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!

For Discounts, Tips & Free Giveaways, Follow Us on Pinterest & Like Us on Facebook: Visit our listing at SOAR for links!

 

Happy Happy Holidays
Love, The Mebanes

20% OFF All Abstract Paintings – Site Wide!

Blue Throat, by Leah Fanning Mebane

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.

www. FanningArt.com

Eco & Non-toxic Gesso Recipe

Leah Fanning Mebane

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.)

Land a Magazine Feature Teleseminar Dec. 11th, Sign up HERE


VIDEO: Artist Leah Fanning Mebane

Earth Art & Paint Summer Newsletter

Earth Art & Paint
Summer Newsletter

Children’s Earth Paint,
not just for children!
Leah painting with Earth Paints
After teaching nature-inspired art classes over the past Summer, I’ve discovered that adults are having just as much fun with the water soluble Earth Paints as children! From making leaf print stationary and painting flower pots to decorating wooden frames and large garden rocks, the fun can be enjoyed by all ages.

Summer Art Project:
Sea Shell Collages
Painting seashells
Have you ever wondered what you’ll do with that bag of shells that you’ve been collecting at beaches for years? Here ya go…
1.
Paint shells with Earth Paints
2. Glue to a scrap piece of wood or stiff board in pretty patterns or in shape of animals, flowers, people, etc.
* Toddler Option: Instead of gluing them down, let your toddler sort, arrange, and put them in different containers. My 2 ½ year old was occupied with this hours!
* Older Child Option: use a tiny brush to add tiny details
20% off Commissioned Portraits
on orders placed between Aug. 15th- Oct. 1st
*Oil, Watercolor or Charcoal Drawings*
Click HERE for price list.

Exciting Earth Paints News!
I’m so grateful for the wonderful response we’ve gotten since starting Earth Paints in December. Here are a few highlights from the past few months..* We’ve Gone International! – Selling Earth Paints all over the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, UK, Alsaka, Canada, Scotland and Ireland.
* We were awarded the Gold Certification by Green America which is a very prestigious recognition for the most Green businesses in America.
* Earth Paints have been reviewed by dozens of blogs with all rave reviews.
* Featured in Green Child Magazine, Artists & Illustrators Magazine and an upcoming issue of The Mother Magazine.

Earth Oil Painting2
Earth Oil Painting4
Earth Oil Painting3
Earth Oil Painting5

I’ve just finished a series of mini 8″ x 8″ Earth Oil Paintings. They will all soon be on view at the Ashland Art Center and on my website.
$95 each.
Earth Oil Paint on Canvas

Upcoming Class
“Getting Your Art Published in Magazines”
Aug. 14th, 10 am-11:30 at Ashland Art Center (OR)
Learn how to get your art featured in magazines and blogs as the best form of free advertising!  $15
FREE Earth Paints Play Day!
at Growing Green Baby  260 N. 1st St Ashland, OR
On Aug. 18th, 1-3 pm, come on out and play with the children’s earth paints. All ages are welcome and snacks provided.

Interesting Blog Posts

Giveaways, Discounts
& Free Classes
Keep checking our Earth Paints Facebook Page for Free Nature Art Classes, Paint Kit Giveaways, Discounts on Kits and lots more!

Balancing Family and a Creative Business

I’ve just been interviewed by the great blog “Creative with Kids” with great questions including How do you balance family & business?  What inspired you to start this business? How do you balance your creative side with all the linear, fine-detail stuff that comes with running a business?  and more…..

Child painting with natural non toxic paints

How do you balance your creative side with all the linear, fine-detail stuff that comes with running a business?

It’s definitely a balancing act that I’m tweaking as I go along. Even though I’m an artist, I’ve always been interested in marketing and creative advertising.  After teaching “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” for many years, I can now watch myself switching over from the my

Left brain (analytical, verbal, computer work, bookkeeping, etc.) to my

Right brain (being present, experiencing the moment, creating art in the “zone”, being present with my two year old).

But it’s a very conscious choice to shift over and I have to decide, “Okay, I’ve spent two hours on marketing. Now I’m going to release all of this brain activity and spend an hour on this painting while listening to my breath and experiencing my brush pushing across the canvas. And I’m not going to check my email!”  READ MORE…..

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Natural Art Projects & Materials

The beautiful art that was created in my latest “Nature Art Class” was pretty amazing. Especially considering they used natural plant stalks as paint brushes and celery and potatoes as printing devices. See their creations below!

Make Earth Art with Potato Prints and Earth Paint

Pototo Print Eco Stationary

Make vegetable prints with Earth Paint

Celery Prints

nature art class

Celery Rainbow

Natural Art Materials

Natural Painting Class

Isaac paints a portrait with yucca stalks

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“Non-toxic Painting” Article in Artists and Illustrators Magazine

Click image to read my latest article in Artists & Illustrators Magazine’s May 2012 issue.

Non-toxic Painting – An Eco Oil Painting Guide

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