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Reimagining Land + Soil Through Pigment + Paint

The wonder of nature is in its complexity of integration – the endless awe of exploration in art, science, culture, history, mythology, politics, and possibility – all weaving together into a thick book where no adventure is ever the same. Where our self-concepts and boundaries of who we are, what we can be good at, and what we can be capable of, are perforated, expanded, and melded into something else entirely. We become multi-dimensional beings wading through a cosmic ecology of other multi-dimensional beings.

My eternal quest is to share the story of soil, to stir up excitement and interest in caring for and conserving the land, to deepen our collective commitments to soil health, the great source of all that feeds us, clothes us, and through the ecology of growth, conjures up whatever we most need, from a home to a writing desk.

There are multiple endless ways to share the story of the soil. One of my favorites is through the practice of making pigment and paint from the crumbly clay loom of the earth itself. There, refining and re-threading the earth into an artistic expression, the spirit of the soil moves through my body, mind, soul, and fingertips onto paper and board, channeled into a symbology of human inspiration, communication, and connection.

Where I have gathered that soil from to make this paint, I connect deeply on a spiritual and energetic level with that sense of place. Its spirit makes its way through me and onto my canvas, imprinting everlasting a relationship to the land. It invites curiosity to the stories of the land, shifting the way we might see and relate to land.

The soil of the land itself, though quiet, holds the histories of ancestors and cultural practices over the ages. Generations of lives sifting bedrock through organic matter, imparting their own imprints to the weathering of soil and the making of land.

Rather than a commodity to be bought and sold, developed, paved, and tilled as a packaged good, the land can be called into relationship, mutualistic care, collaboration and friendship. Where we might feast our eyes on a work of wonder, we can look too with those eyes to the mysterious abyss of the soil.

The soil connects us all to each other, to the plants, animals, and vast networks of microbial intelligence across the planet itself. There is room for you here too, whoever you are, wherever you may be. The soil is an open book, ready for your care and wonder, ready to take you on a journey of endless learning, growth, challenge, and ultimately, a weathering away of who you think you might be, in order to reveal and showcase the enduring fortitude you truly are. Vast and diverse, there is a place for you here too, to discover your voice and share the story of soil.

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Take home a piece of the earth to adorn your walls: original soil pigment painting commissions start at $75 for a 5’x7’ piece on claybord. Contact me to request a custom soil pigment painting.

Check out other Soil Art prints here, and compost bacteria art here.

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