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







This package includes a 10-night stay in cabin Wildcat, registration for Pigment + Place: Deep Space and Time, and some meals 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 live/work townhouse cabin has a loft bedroom with full-size bed upstairs and a twin day bed downstairs. This cabin is one of the two townhouses closest to the Commons with views of the pond and the playa beyond. It comes with a kitchenette which includes a counter top hotplate and convection oven, a dorm-sized refrigerator, a private bathroom with shower, a small living & dining area that opens up to an attached work studio.

Arrival begins Thursday, May 25, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Departure is Sunday, June 4, 2023 by 12:00 pm.

Pigment + Place: Deep Time and Space

May 25- June 4, 2023


Instructor: Daniela Naomi Molnar
Guest Instructor: Daniele McKay

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. One day will be spent with geologist, Daniele McKay, highlighting the region’s remarkable biodiversity, active faulting and volcanism, and record of past 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.



  • Thursday, May 25 – Arrival | 6:00 pm Meet & Greet Happy Hour + Slide Show 
  • Friday, May, 26 – Geology Field Excursion with Daniele McKay- Bring a packed lunch| Group Dinner provided by PLAYA
  • Saturday, May 27 – Morning Group Foraging Hike | Pigment Foraging and Processing Info | Creative Prompts | Group Dinner Provided by PLAYA
  • Sunday, May 28 – Afternoon Group Foraging Hike | Group Dinner provided by PLAYA | Pigment Foraging and Processing Info | Creative Prompts
  • Mon. May 29 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
  • Tues. May 30 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
  • Wed. May 31 – Group Feedback | Group Lunch provided by PLAYA | Optional Afternoon Foraging Hike
  • Thurs. June 1 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
  • Fri. June 2 – Individual Studio Visits + Self-Guided Studio Time
  • Sat. June 3 – Share Work | 6:00 pm Group Goodbye Dinner provided by PLAYA
  • Sun. June 4 – 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


Instructor Bio:

Daniela Naomi Molnar is an artist, poet, and writer working with the mediums of language, image, paint, pigment, and place. She is also a wilderness guide, educator, and eternal student. A cornerstone of her practice is to be resolutely non-competitive, non-expert, and committed to always changing. 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 was the subject of a recent PBS Oregon Art Beat profile and a front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times. Her work has been shown nationally, is in private and public collections internationally, and has been recognized by numerous grants and residencies. Her book of poems CHORUS won the 2021 Omnidawn 1st/2nd book prize. 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. She can be found in Portland, Oregon, exploring public wildlands, or at www.danielamolnar.com / Instagram: @daniela_naomi_molnar

Guest Instructor:

Dr. Daniele McKay is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon. She lives in Bend, Oregon and teaches online geology courses throughout the academic year, and field courses in central Oregon during the summer. Her research background is in physical volcanology with a focus on recent mafic eruptions in the central Oregon Cascades. She is also interested in how societies prepare for and respond to natural disasters, especially volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. She has worked with Deschutes County, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience, and the Red Cross on natural hazard preparedness and mitigation in central Oregon.

*No pets allowed

Additional information

Single | Double

Single, Double