Paint making with Pear Fleur
Can you tell us a bit about your new paint making video?
The new paint making video features the Saiun-do Kyoto Nihonga Mineral Pigment Set in Red Camellia. Inspired by the Japanese camellia, the set includes vibrant reds, lush greens, striking gold and other rich pigments. The careful curation of the pigments inspired the resulting red camellia painting that is created at the end of the video.
The video is part of a series of paint making videos that were created in partnership with Choosing Keeping. This particular video is very special to me because I was going through major life changes while producing it - the serenity and patience that the paint making process induces helped me through extremely stressful times. My only hope is that those who watch will experience some amount of calm no matter what they are going through.
How do you pick your subject matter for a painting?
I’m also drawn to paint scenes and objects that simply look fun to recreate in a new way. With the paintings I’ve created by using Choosing Keeping’s floral pigment sets, the colors themselves were already so inspirational - I had to paint flowers!
Is there a style of painting/particular artists’s work that you admire?
Art from children’s books has been a long time obsession of mine. I’ve also been really inspired by graphic novelists lately such as Aidan Koch and Yuichi Yokoyama.
Which technique do you use to transform the pigments into paint?
There are two techniques that I currently use. The first technique is by grinding the pigments into a fine powder, pouring a bit into a ceramic plate, and mixing the paint with Nikawa Japanese binder glue with my fingers. This is a traditional technique that is typically strategically carried out during the painting process itself, and the paints become very permanent after they dry.
To make paints that are more like re-wettable watercolors, I mix the ground pigments with glycerin, gum arabic, distilled water and a touch of honey. Then, I use a muller (that was graciously gifted by Choosing Keeping!) to coat each pigment granule with the mixture. I’m still practicing and learning how to get better at making the paint - thus my paint making videos are not instructional in any way.
What do you think is the main advantage of using the pigments instead of pre-made paints?
The very first time I made paints, I asked myself the same question after many failed attempts and frustrations that came with the learning process. However, the difference between the two is similar to eating homemade food versus eating at a restaurant. Yes, both options are delicious and fill you up, but at the end of the day, doesn’t the food made at home by someone you love always taste and feel more special?
You have now sampled all 3 of the floral pigment sets, which colour combination do you like the best?
That’s such a hard question!! It’s like trying to choose your favourite star at night. But if I had to choose, the Blue Iris set feeds my love of painting with blue tones.
Are there any art materials that you haven’t tried yet that you would like to explore?
Yes of course! There are so many art supplies that I would love to experiment and play with. Oil paints, pastels, alcohol markers, tempera, ceramics, and airbrushing come to mind.
Which are your 5 ‘desert island’ art supplies from Choosing Keeping?