Workshop + Cabin 4: Pigment + Place: Deep Space and Time



Led by artist and writer Daniela Molnar, this 10-night workshop/residency experience will introduce you to the vibrant world of natural pigments in Playa’s ecosystem. You’ll learn how to ethically forage pigments and transform them into any type of paint or ink. You’ll also learn about pigments as a way to creatively engage with ecological issues, including climate change. 



This package includes a 10-night stay in cabin #4, registration for Pigment + Place: Deep Space and Time, and two group dinners provided by PLAYA as listed in the workshop description below.

Choose “single” for one workshop registration and single cabin occupancy.

Choose “double” for two workshop registrations and double cabin occupancy.

This spacious 1 bedroom cabin is part of the southern trio of cabins that faces the playa. It has a queen bed, a full kitchen with dining table and chairs and a large bathroom with a shower. Includes a large writing/work desk in the living room as well as a small art and writing studio off of the bedroom. Enjoy the private wrap-around deck with expansive views of the playa and the surrounding mountains. This cabin can sleep up to 4 people with use of the full-size fold-out futon in the living room and a twin cot that can be placed either in the living room or the art/writing studio.

*Please note that the tub room has been converted into a writing/art studio. The tubs have been removed in an effort to conserve water in support of our environmental mission. Only non-toxic art materials can be used in the studio.


Instructor: Daniela Molnar

Dates: June 6-16, 2024

Arrival: Thurs. June 6, 2024

Departure: Sunday, June 16, 2024

Skill Level: All skill levels welcome

Mobility Level: Moderate-Ability to walk on gravel and dirt in the outdoors and explore outdoor areas for 1-3 hours at a time. Options for longer hikes. 


Workshop Description:

Led by artist and writer Daniela Molnar, this 10-night workshop/residency experience will introduce you to the vibrant world of natural pigments in Playa’s ecosystem. You’ll learn how to ethically forage pigments and transform them into any type of paint or ink. You’ll also learn about pigments as a way to creatively engage with ecological issues, including climate change. 

Pigments allow us to feel forms of time that our daily lives can obscure — geologic time, photosynthetic time, or what is often called “deep time.” In opening up different timescales, pigments offer a balm for the confusion and challenging emotions that ecological crises can provoke. Here in the vast, open space, making pigments from rocks and plants, you will be offered the opportunity to interact with ancient rhythms. In this way, the pigments will lead you to new directions in your art.

This course is appropriate for all skill levels. Maybe you’ve been working with pigments for years and wish to deepen and expand your practice, or maybe you’ve never previously worked with pigments — all are welcome. 

Guided field trips will offer the opportunity to explore the region via short hikes so we can get to know pigment sites, ancient petroglyphs, and other regional wonders. (Your teacher is a certified wilderness guide with backcountry medical training so you can feel safe on these outings.)

 The first part of this class (days 1 – 4) will consist of field trips, conversations, demos, slideshows, and other informative, skill-building, exploratory group activities. You’ll receive creative prompts and optional readings. Days 5 – 6 will consist of individual studio time with optional studio visits from the instructor to discuss your questions, interests, and goals. Day 7 will be a guided field trip, followed by 2 more days (days 8 – 9) of studio time with optional individual studio visits. We’ll wrap up on day 10 with the opportunity to share your work and ideas with the group.


Instructor Bio:

Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist, poet, and pigment worker collaborating with the mediums of language, image, paint, pigment, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student. An entry in the Oregon Encyclopedia states, “Molnar pioneered the notion that art can speak to climate change.” Her work is the subject of a front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times, an Oregon Art Beat profile, and a feature in Poetry Daily. Her book CHORUS was selected by Kazim Ali as the winner of Omnidawn Press’ 1st/2nd Book Award. Her next books are PROTOCOLS (Ayin Press, 2025), and Light / Remains (Bored Wolves, 2024). Her visual work has been shown nationally, is in public and private collections internationally, and has been recognized by numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies. Her art is about transmuting grief to wonder in order to help shape and nurture generative new questions, feelings, and ethics about what it means to be human at a time of socioecological crisis. Climate justice, climate grief, and intergenerational trauma and healing are topics she’s focused on in recent years. Her work has been shown nationally, is in private and public collections internationally, and has been recognized by numerous grants and residencies. She has training in both science and art, which has led to diverse practices, including: being an Art Director at Scientific American Magazine; the art/science practice of making her own paints from natural pigments and wild waters; and founding the Art + Ecology program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2016, where she taught for many years. A 3G Jew and the daughter of immigrants, she is a diasporic student of the earth. www.danielamolnar.com / Instagram: @daniela_naomi_molnar


    • Thursday, June 6 – Arrival and greeting
    • Friday, June 7 – Introductory slide show and afternoon foraging field trip: | 6:00 pm Group Dinner provided by PLAYA
    • Saturday, June 8 – Morning Group Foraging Hike | Pigment Foraging and Processing Info | Creative Prompts
    • Sunday, June 9 – Afternoon Group Foraging Hike | Pigment Foraging and Processing Info | Creative Prompts
    • Mon. June 10 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
    • Tues. June 11 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
    • Wed. June 12 – Group Feedback | Optional Afternoon Foraging Hike
    • Thurs. June 13 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
    • Fri. June 14 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
    • Sat. June 15 – Share Work | 6:00 pm Group Goodbye Dinner provided by PLAYA
    • Sun. June 16 – Morning on Your Own | Depart by noon

Materials to bring:

Recommended equipment to bring:
• hat
• sunscreen
• insect repellent
• water bottle(s)
• binoculars
• hiking poles if you use them
• hiking shoes
• clothes for layering (can be hot in the day, cold at night)

Materials needed: 

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions on supplies! Pigment work is supply-intensive but there is actually not very much you need to bring. The list below is full of suggestions, not requirements. 

Pigment-processing supplies:

  •  A medium/large mortar and pestle if possible — check thrift stores or kitchen stores 
  • Glass jars with lids (reused, clean jam jars or similar are great) – bring
    as many as you can, of varying sizes! Lots of jars!
  • A muller and glass plate if you want to invest in one
  • Gum arabic (buy it in powdered form) and/or a small jar of honey

Pigment-foraging supplies:

  • Small plastic bags, reusing existing bags is fine
  • Garden gloves/work gloves
  • A backpack or other collecting bag
  • A sun hat, other forms of sun protection
  • A sturdy water bottle
  • Sturdy walking/hiking shoes
  • Shears (optional)
  • A small trowel or spade (optional)
  • A small hammer or a rock hammer (optional)
  • A chisel (optional)

The list below is simply a set of recommendations! 

Bring any paints you already own and like using. If you don’t own any paints yet, you don’t need to rush out and buy a bunch — you can buy just a few colors. Here are some suggestions. If you choose to buy paints, try to get the real pigments, not the hues if you can afford it:

  • Quinacridone rose or pink
  • Cadmium red
  • Ultramarine blue 
  • Cobalt blue
  • Indigo blue
  • Phthalo, manganese, or cerulean blue
  • Lemon yellow, cadmium yellow pale, or hansa yellow light
  • Cadmium yellow deep
  • Sap green
  • Chromium oxide 
  • Ultramarine violet or Dioxazine purple
  • Pyrrole orange or cadmium orange
  • Burnt sienna 
  • Burnt umber
  • Titanium white 
  • Mars black
  • Any “PrimaTek” pigments made by Daniel Smith that strike your
    fancy (https://danielsmith.com/product/daniel-smith-primatek-watercolors/ )


  • Any watercolor paper you already own 
  • 2 or more sheets of high-quality watercolor paper. I recommend Arches 300 lb, 16 x 20 or 22×30 (or larger)
    Small pad or loose sheets of inexpensive watercolor paper to experiment on

Other painting supplies:

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 brushes, size 4 or 6 and size 12 or larger
  • A large mop brush
  • Drawing board to hold your paper
  • Clips to hold paper to your board
  • Artists tape or painters tape
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Any colored pencils and/or pastel pencils you already have
  • Any dry pastels or oil pastels you already have
  • Palette for mixing colors – an old white plate or pan is fine
  • Something to write with and on
  • A digital camera (cell phone camera is fine) if you already own one — no
    need to buy one
  • Tracing paper
  • Masking tape and a permanent marker for labeling pigments
  • Empty spray bottle for water
  • A container or spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
  • Ruler
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Fine or extra fine black felt tip pen (such as Pigma micron in size .01)
  • X-acto knife or scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Charcoal
  • Assorted erasers (kneaded, Mars plastic, fine-tip eraser)
  • Acrylic matte medium



*No pets allowed. Thank you.

Additional information


Single, Double