I care about the wellbeing of the Earth and prioritise its preservation when collecting earth pigments for my paintings. Respecting our collective home and practicing mindful gathering, which I call Intentional Sourcing, are fundamental to my approach.
The principles of this approach have been influenced by indigenous wisdom traditions that I have been fortunate to learn from and integrate into my protocol.
By adhering to this Intentional Sourcing Protocol, I demonstrate respect for the Earth, give back to maintain balance, and contribute to the protection of our planet and all living beings. This protocol serves as a guide for us, as natural artists, to act as caretakers of the Earth rather than exploiters, fostering a sustainable and harmonious connection with our home.
Mar Lodge, Scotland
Step 1: Connect and Appreciate
Find a quiet spot and stand in reverence, feeling the presence of the Earth. Take a moment to observe and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly, allowing a harmonious connection to form between your energy and the energy of the Earth.
Step 2: Honour the Directions and Elements
In your own way, speak words of acknowledgement and respect for the four cardinal directions: North, East, South, and West. Recognise and honour the significance of each direction in the natural world. Express gratitude for the elements of water, fire, air, and earth, understanding their essential role in maintaining balance in nature.
Step 3: Source with Respect*
Collect the rocks and minerals for your earth pigments by walking and exploring the natural environment, using your hands to connect with the land. Approach the collection process with a deep sense of respect and appreciation for the Earth.
Step 4: Conscious Material Selection
Select rocks and minerals mindfully, considering their location and how they exist within the environment. Prioritise loose rocks and minerals that are not connected to or required by any living organisms.
Step 5: Gentle Collection
When gathering materials, handle them with utmost care, ensuring minimal disruption to the environment. Approach the collection process with a gentle touch, minimising any impact on the delicate balance of nature. Collect with a sense of mindfulness and responsibility in small, reusable bags or storage pots.
Step 6: Guiding Principles for Sourcing
- Ask for permission from Mother Earth before entering and collecting from nature, acknowledging her presence and seeking her blessing.
- Leave an intention or a gift as an offering to restore balance and show gratitude for what is taken. This act of reciprocity helps maintain harmony with the natural world.
- Exercise patience and discernment when selecting materials. Avoid impulsively taking the first available item and instead, consider each choice with intention and respect.
- Take only what you need and never more than necessary. Always leave more than half of what is available. For example, if there are three rocks, take no more than one.
Step 7: Seek Permission and Protect Sacred Sites
Where necessary and appropriate, seek permission before collecting. Ensure that you do not collect from sacred or protected areas, those listed as conservation sites, breeding grounds, contaminated areas, or habitats vital to the survival of endangered species. Trust your intuition and make responsible choices.
Step 8: Support Conservation Efforts
To show gratitude and support, we commit to donating a percentage of the profits from Earth Paintings to the landowners, charities, or institutions responsible for preserving and caring for the land and its surroundings. It is our humble contribution towards the abundant blessings we receive.
*Sourcing with respect also includes the volume of natural material you source. As little as ten grams of pulverised raw earth pigments creates roughly fifty ml of paint.