RED letters 01


I found RED!

Home 01
Home 02

Shadow on red dirt

RED dirt 01 


A strong vein... the 'mother-lode' in my very own back yard! A few days ago, I was walking about and found it. The most beautiful concentration of RED earth I have seen yet. In reality, it is a result of bonfires during the last few years. Fire and heat has baked the minerals into a perfect cache of nearly scarlet red ochre earth. I fetched my pail and digging tools and set to harvesting. 

RED dirt 02


Spotted towhee 01

Spotted towhee 02

A lovely little Spotted Towhee that lives in the pear tree watched and serenaded me as I dug. He has feathers the same colour as my newfound dirt!





As I have written before (see Mud Pies and My Prince!), I am fascinated with using natural materials as art supplies. So I was quite excited to have such a beautiful colour of pigment to add to my studio palette.

RED dirt 03

RED dirt 04

Some chunks were redder and purer than others so I kept them a bit separate from the rest. I am processing some of the dirt with levigation method using water. The two jars on the left are with the more concentrated chunks.








I was so anxious to try my new pigment I powdered a little with my mortar and pestle and mixed with a bit of acrylic medium. I then painted 2” high letters on Strathmore 140lb watercolour paper. Because I was impatient and skipped mulling it, the letters have a rough, raised texture. I like it as it has an embossed effect. 


RED letters 02


I like the simplicity and I think I will mat and frame the piece. 


RED letters 03


With summer coming on I look forward to getting out more and I can't wait to see what I find next. Every walk is an adventure!


  1. That is cool that you have such an eye for such "finds" and the imagination to put it to work for you! It is great that you discovered that you can paint with dirt.

    1. Thank you Donna! It is a lot of fun!


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