Earth Spirit
  • Earth Spirit

    Oil on canvas

    48" x 36"


    This began as an exploration into brown, a color I have used very little in my paintings. I was inspired by the reclaimed earth colors provided by Gamblin Oils as part of John Sabraw's* project to remove iron oxides from streams polluted by mines, return the clean water to the streams and the iron oxides, baked at different high temperatures to net different colors for fine oils. Gamblin did some Instagram marketing showing the various hues created with these pigments when combined with whites and other colors, and I was intrigued.
    *John Sabraw's project was featured in the Aug. 24, 2020 issue of Time magazine.

    First I began with a large area of the pure dark iron oxide and it sat for several weeks in the middle of my work space and I didn't know how to proceed. I really was in unfamiliar territory. Then I added purple and a warm rose pink and it took off. I concurrently found a medium that was a perfect fit for creating lush smooth oil color.

    Influenced by current events, hurricanes, wildfires, human violence, environmental damage needlessly caused to our beautiful planet, appalled by so much, my outrage snuck up on me in this painting among the lovely colors. Kurt Vonnegut wrote artists are the nerve endings of society. Maybe that's so.

     ©2020 Valerie Erichsen Thomson. All rights reserved.