|Healthy and high in fiber: paleo painting! (By little ol' me, of course.)|
Frankly the paleo food movement seems a little arbitrary to me: vegetables and fruits are ducky; grains and legumes are not, even though all four exist both in the wild and in big agriculture. (I’d examine this more closely, but I’m afraid someone might actually attempt to explain it to me.)
My writer pal tells me that paleo cooking is huge right now, so in the interest of shameless self-promotion I’m founding a paleo painting movement. This is perhaps easier than paleo fashion (which might include anything prior to, say, 2006), or paleo cosmetics, which would require kohl (dangerous) and Spirits of Saturn (deadly).
So what would constitute paleo painting? Anything done on a cave wall would be fantastic but hard to transport, let alone duplicate on the inevitable umbrellas sold in museum gift shops. The earth pigments—ochre, sienna and umber—would be appropriate and useful, and they have the additional advantage of lightfastness. Ultramarine blue would be fine, too, as long as it was ground-up lapis lazuli and not a synthetic proximate.
Of course, we would have to dump the odorless mineral spirits (a petroleum product) and return to turpentine, which is a distillation of pine resin. And the only white we will have on our palette is lead white, since it’s been mined for thousands of years.
I decided to rehearse this today with the original paleo painting material: charcoal. It is harmless, cheap, and easy to find. However, I objected to peeling the decorative birches in my front yard to make paper, so used plain old newsprint.
I think I'm going back to modern pigments for field painting. If you're interested in joining me for a fantastic time in mid-Coast Maine this summer, check here for more information.