Over the last few years I’ve collected a nice pile of rocks from the Conestoga River that have a wonderful sienna colour to them. That said, it seems like the rocks have absorbed the colour from something outside themselves (oftentimes the centre is still colourless).
Today I took two of my children for a walk along the river. It was a beautiful day, and before it gets too cold I also wanted to look along the river banks for pigment for painting over the winter. I noticed an interesting feature in the landscape as we walked along the path and so we followed it back to the river’s edge. There, we found a layer of colour in between two layers of clay. It wasn’t very thick, but little by little we collected what was there even though it was underwater, which made collecting it difficult. Although it had a lot of impurities (little stones and such) I was really excited to find what might be the source of this colour.
Coming back to my studio, I washed the gravelly sand we had collected and decanted the pigment off. It will take a little time to see what the results are, but it looks very bright so far.