Pigment and Water: Exploration, Observation, Imagination, and Chance July 8-12


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Cost: $460 (lodging not included)
Dates: July 8-12, 2021
Instructor: Daniela Naomi Molnar

Learn to take a deep, playful approach to the exploration of water media’s elements. Through hands-on experimentation and prompts, you will learn new techniques and processes to help you create innovative new paintings. PLAYA’s juxtaposition of dry and wet landscapes provides the perfect backdrop to consider the two main elements of water media painting: pigment (dry) and water (wet), exploring questions such as:
– What does it mean to work with different water sources? How does water from the tap vs. water from PLAYA’s pond or Summer Lake impact a painting?
– Where do pigments come from and how are they made? What is the right way to ethically harvest pigments from the earth? And how should they be used once gathered?
There are ecological, sociopolitical, historical, chemical, material, emotional, and spiritual variables at play in these questions and we’ll talk about and explore all of these variables while creatively experimenting and making new work. In addition to a greater understanding of water media’s elements, you will learn more about the inspiring approaches of many relevant artists. You will complete this workshop with at least one finished painting and several smaller experiments to inspire future work.

This workshop starts Thursday evening with a socially distanced, communal dinner and presentation. Lunch will be provided Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday a continental breakfast will be offered along with a workshop closing led by the instructor with the workshop ending by noon. A workshop syllabus will be shared with participants 3 weeks before workshop start date.

Click HERE to view available cabin rental packages for this workshop.

Materials to bring:
Any water media paints you already own. This includes watercolors, acrylics, gouache, casein, tempera, or any other water-soluble paint. If you don’t own any, here are some suggestions. If you choose to buy paints, get the real pigments, not the hues if you can afford it:
– Quinacridone rose or pink
– Cadmium red
– Ultramarine blue
– Indigo blue
– Phthalo, manganese, or cerulean blue
– Lemon yellow, cadmium yellow pale, or hansa yellow light
– Cadmium yellow deep
– Sap green
– Oxide of chromium
– Ultramarine violet
– Pyrrole orange or cadmium orange
– Burnt sienna
– Permanent white and black gouache, casein, or acrylic (not watercolor)
Any watercolor paper you already own plus 2 or more sheets of high-quality watercolor paper. I recommend Arches cold press or rough, 300 lb, 16 x 20 or 22×30.
Smaller watercolor paper to experiment on – a pad or some loose, inexpensive sheets
Any brushes and mark-making tools you already own. If you don’t own any, here are suggestions:
– #10 and #6 round watercolor brushes
– #1 or #2 small round watercolor brush
– Flat or filbert wash brush size 12 or larger
– A large mop brush for making wet washes.
Drawing board to hold your paper
Clips to hold paper to your board
Artists tape
Pencil sharpener
Kneaded eraser and fine-tip eraser
Any colored pencils and/or pastel pencils you already have
Palette for mixing colors – an old white plate is fine
A medium/large mortar and pestle — check thrift stores or available in kitchen stores
Something to write with and on
A digital camera (cell phone camera is fine) if you already own one — don’t go out and buy one
Tracing paper
A pencil and eraser
Tape and permanent marker
Empty spray bottle for water
A container or spray bottle with rubbing alcohol
Glass jars with lids (reused, clean food jars are great) – bring as many as you can, of varying sizes
Rags or paper towels
Fine or extra fine black felt tip pen (such as Pigma micron in size .01)
Gum arabic or a small jar of honey
Garden shears
Gardening gloves or work gloves
A small trowel
A backpack or other collecting bag
Bags for storing finds
X-acto knife or scissors
Glue or glue stick
Assorted erasers (kneaded, Mars plastic, fine-tip eraser)
Acrylic matte medium

Instructor Bio:
Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist and poet working with the mediums of language, image, and place. She is also a wilderness guide / educator / activist / eternal student. Her work for the past several years has been focused on issues of climate justice and climate grief. She works across forms, melding painting, poetry, prose, site-specific intervention, editing, activism, and teaching. She founded the Art + Ecology program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is an all-around integral part of Signal Fire, providing opportunities for artists to learn about environmental justice by engaging with public wildlands. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and her visual art has been shown nationally and has been recognized by numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies. She is founding Co-Editor of Leaf Litter, Signal Fire’s art and literary journal and was Art Editor at The Bear Deluxe Magazine for many years. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Fugue, Moss, Tripwire, Bomb Cyclone, Capitalism Nature Socialism, and elsewhere. A member of the third generation of the Holocaust and the daughter of immigrants, she lives in Portland, Oregon, in the Cascadian bioregion, atop a buried headwaters confluence, on the unceded land of the Clackamas, Cowlitz, Chinook, Multnomah, and other Indigenous peoples.

COVID Safety:
PLAYA is doing all it can to keep its guests and staff safe with COVID. PLAYA is naturally spacious which easily allows guests to follow 6’ distancing guide-lines. Sanitation procedures will be strictly followed and programming will be conducted outdoors as much as possible. Masks will be required for any in-door programming with 6’ distances between participants. Some indoor spaces on campus may be closed to visitors.

Please note, PLAYA does not have a restaurant or store to purchase additional meals. There is a small convenience store and restaurant in both Summer Lake 11 miles north and in Paisley 17 miles south.