New Colours and Stories from Cobalt

  Cobalt is an amazing town to visit for local colours! A century ago it had a floating population of 12,000 people living in it, mined almost 1,000 tons of silver in a single year (30,000,000 ounces), and even had the cheek to dub Toronto as, “the place where you catch the train to Cobalt”.

Northern Ontario Greens

As I wrote about in my previous post, my family and I spent a couple of weeks exploring northern Ontario last month. While the residency at Pukaskwa National Park was a big part of that experience, we also took the opportunity to undertake a number of local colour pilgrimages along the way. What surprised me

Exploring Potential Colours

Today I got to work exploring the colour potential of two different rocks I collected last year: Lemonite from Madoc and Annabergite from Cobalt.  Using intervals of 100°F, samples from both rocks were put into a small kiln and held there to change their colour (this is an old, primitive process that goes back to

Sebright: Glauconite

  The final colour of my pallet that was still eluding me had been green. My only consolation in this frustration is that it has been is shared by every artist going back hundreds of years. There just aren’t many naturally green pigment sources out there. Historically, an artist’s choice boiled down to either malachite

Nova Scotia Pigments

It has been 9 months since my brother, Aaron, and I spent the week collecting pigment/rock samples from old mines in Nova Scotia and the verdict is in as to which of these samples are usable. While I am excited about these colours, not all of them were what I expected (as you will read).

Nova Scotia: Finding Colour

While the gross work of pounding the pigment into colour was done, there still remained the work of finely grinding them. This work was done during a demonstration at the Homer Watson Gallery. When grinding with a glass muller, one can’t help but notice that some rocks grind up with ease, but others require a