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Nature's Palette: Make Your Own Oil and Watercolor Paint from Stone

  • Catskill Center 43355 New York 28 Arkville, NY, 12406 United States (map)

A workshop lead by Catskill Mountain Artist and former Catskill Center Artist in Residence Laura Leigh The use of stone pigments dates back to ancient times. Stone pigments were used by indigenous people to create cave paintings around the world; specifically in Australia, Europe, and by Native Americans. The old masters of the Italian Renaissance also used rich umbers and red ochres that were made from stone. Today’s abundance of commercially made paints has contributed to the technique’s disappearance. Making your own paint can be financially beneficial and create a more profound connection between artist and material.

Join us for a hands-on demonstration. Laura will walk through her own method of creating oil and watercolor paint from stone. This process includes crushing, sifting, and then applying pigment to painting medium. Laura will also discuss basic Catskill geology, safety procedures, areas of the Catskills where she collects her stones, benefits of creating your own artist materials, and applying these unique pigments to your painting process. Each student will create a small amount of their own stone pigment to bring home.

The workshop costs $12. For more information or to register, visit or call 845.586.2611.

*Feel free to bring a stone or two you have collected.

*This workshop is for adult artists and non-artists alike. No previous knowledge required.

About the Artist
Laura Leigh was born in Cambridge, N.Y and now works in Hunter, N.Y. She received a BFA in
painting and drawing from SUNY New Paltz in 2014. A nature-inspired abstract artist; Laura bends landscape into abstraction using her imagination in her large-scale oil paintings, all while using the actual land as paint. “I consider it my duty to pass on this knowledge to the community and support the idea of being a self-sustaining artist. Artists who make their own materials have a positive impact on the environment by cutting down on their carbon footprint.” -Laura Leigh

You can see Laura’s work at