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For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE! 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.
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New Website Coming!

Thanks to our loyal customers, we’re getting over one hundred orders per month, in addition to store orders. Our prehistoric website (two years old) has become cumbersome at this volume of sales, so we’re very excited to provide a much cleaner, easier interface for you. The new site will be responsive,  i.e. you’ll be able to view it on your smartphone or tablet. And I believe we’ll finally get the international glitches taken care of to streamline those orders to other countries. We’ll let you know when we launch!

FREE Natural Face Paints

Free Natural Face Paint


1. One FREE tin of Natural Face Paint with every order placed (during the month of October).

2. ONE WEEK ONLY... From October 18th-25th, FREE Mini Natural Face Paint Kit with any purchase of $20 or more. Simply type “Free Paint” in the “Order Notes” box on the Checkout Page.

natural face paint, non toxic face paint, burning man face paint, organic face paint, natural body paint

Free Natural Face Paint

Introducing our Natural Face & Body Paint Kit

Natural face and body paint


After learning last year that recent scientific testing revealed 10 out of 10 of the most popular face paints contained lead and toxic preservatives, we immediately set to work formulating a completely natural, non-toxic and high quality Face & Body Paint Kit.  Completely non-toxic, earth & mineral based and  we’re proud to introduce our new creation.


This clay and mineral-based face and body paint is similar to the original body paints first used by humans thousands of years ago. Not only are our paints safe, but you will nourish your skin with healthy skin conditioners such as organic shea butter and organic castor seed oil. 

Unlike other “non-toxic” face paints, we proudly list our Certified Organic and all-natural, mineral-based ingredients. Tested by professional toxicologists, our Face Paint is truly non-toxic, and it is free of heavy metals, parabens, animal products such as carmine, and formaldehyde.

natural face paint, non toxic face paint, burning man face paint, organic face paint, natural body paint

 Ingredients: Distilled water, Organic castor seed oil, natural clay & mineral pigments, ECOMulse (approved for Organic products), Organic Shea Nilotica (Fair-trade shea butter), and Leucidal SF (a natural probiotic preservative).

This package contains: 6 tins of natural face paint, 6 eco-friendly makeup applicators (with corn resin handles) and sponge in a recycled gift box.

Price: $17.95 or $2.95 per color.  Coming Soon: Mini Face Paint Kit – $9.95

Colors: Red, yellow, green, blue, black, and white

Directions: Use the makeup applicators in this kit to apply the face paint directly to the face or body. After use, remove with soap and warm water.

For Natural Face Painting Tips, Tricks and Step-by-Step tutorials, click HERE.

Our packaging contains 100% post-consumer fiber and vegetable based ink and local printing. Made in the USA.


Introducing our New "Eco & Vegan Gesso Kit"

Eco and Vegan Gesso

As a professional artist, I’ve always wished that someone would invent a non-toxic, natural, vegan and archival gesso to prime my canvases and wood panels, but last year I gave up waiting. We spent many months formulating, testing and researching different ingredients and are excited to now introduce our new, natural and professional quality gesso kit! $23.95

This Kit contains: 3 lb.s of premium artist grade powdered limestone in an organic cotton muslin bag; an 8 oz. glass jar of Methyl Cellulose Glue (a natural, plant-based glue) and instruction sheet for mixing these 2 ingredients.

*Full kit makes 64 fl. oz. – primes about 20 medium sized canvases or surfaces.

Mix as much as needed for each session. Once mixed, store in an airtight container at room temp and shelf-life will be 2-3 months.

Why is this gesso not pre-mixed and in liquid form?
Once these ingredients are mixed, they have a limited shelf life in a container and if sold in that liquid form would require a petroluem based, toxic preservative to extend the shelf life. By mixing it yourself you’re eliminating the need for any additional toxins or preservatives.

The History of Artist Primers
Historically, artists primed their painting surfaces with animal hide glues such as rabbit skin glue. These tend to be brittle and susceptible to cracking, not to mention costing the lives of animals. With the invention of plastics in the early 1900’s, petroleum-based, acrylic gesso became the most commonly used artist primer even though it contains ammonia and formadehyde as preservatives.

What is Methyl Cellulose?
Methyl Cellulose is derived from plant fibers and is a natural and vegan glue alternative to animal glues. It is naturally archival. It is also used in foods and cosmetics and is non-allergenic.



Earth Paints Moving Sale

We’re moving to Clay St. (how appropriate is that ?!) and trying to reduce inventory so there will be less to move!

We’re offering 30% OFF everything for one week only (May 16th- May24th).

Use Coupon Code: 30off

Backyard Science Discovery Box from Green Kid Crafts!


Green Kid Crafts has included Natural Earth Paint in their upcoming Nature Art Box – The Backyard Science Discovery Box! If you’ve never gotten one of these boxes, I discovered them last year and sent a Nature Art Box to each of my nieces and nephews and it was a huge hit! It’s a kit filled with several different nature-based, DIY crafts (they have lots of different topics to pick from) with all the materials included and it’s mailed directly to the child. This would have been my dream present as a child. Check it out!


“Resurgence” Earth Art Article

International, UK based, magazine Resurgence printed this article by myself and British artist, Cea Blythe. If you can’t read the text click HERE.




Collecting Earth Pigments

North Umpqua River Falls

My husband and I went up to the beautiful North Umpqua River this weekend to tour waterfalls but I discovered some great pigments along the way!

Some nice orange and yellows

and a beautiful soft green clay


Why is Earth Paint Sacred?

Well, it’s a well guarded secret by the Aborigines in Australia and it’s forbidden for anyone to talk about it, but there are many guesses. It was a general belief among Aboriginal cultures that the geographical features of the land were created by a mythical snake as it journeyed over it. The ochre seams were believed to be the “tracks” left by the snake through the earth, and therefore just one remove from touching that god-body.

There are probably as many dreamtime stories about red ochre as there are tribes, but most of them have the spilling of blood as the central theme. For example, one dreamtime story is about a handsome man named Kirkin who would stand on a high boulder at sunrise every morning and comb his golden hair, enjoying all the adulation and attention from others. Except one person, a healer named Wyju, who saw right through to his vanity. Kirkin hated him for this and plotted revenge. He tricked Wyju into leaping into a trap of spiked spears. Kirkin laughed while Wyju writhed bleeding into the earth. Ever since, the Aboriginals have gone to that specific valley for red ochre.

grinding pigment

Red ochre is an integral part of the initiation ceremony of young boys when they become men. In Arnhemland, novices are smeared with ochre in sacred clan patterns on their chests, with white clay masks on their faces. The paint is part of the secret initiation. Anthropologists say the red earth represents men’s blood (death) or women’s menstrual blood (birth) but there’s another theory that the iron in the red ochre acts as a kind of magnet to show Ancestors and Aboriginal people the way along sacred paths.

Recently, modern day Aboriginal art has become very popular around the world, selling for large amounts of money in major galleries and museums. But guess what type of paint they use- acrylics! Perhaps this makes it less complicated for them to represent their secret and sacred Dreaming stories for outsiders if the materials themselves are not sacred. As if by changing the paint, the designs begin to lose the things that make them dangerous and powerful.

contemporary Aborigine art

*info from “Color” by Victoria Finlay



The Aboriginal Ochre Wars

Aboriginal Ochre Pit in Central Australia

At one time, all of Australia was a huge network of trading posts. And good ochre pigment 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.

  • info from “Color” by Victoria Finlay

Tasmanian Ochre Mine