A lovely flower to lavish in your hair, to give it a light luster, like the Sun. Calendula has for centuries been used therapeutically, ceremoniously, to dye, to eat, and to protect!
My attempts to make a paint/ink out of the bright orange calendula flowers, was not super successful. This is okay, some of my experiments that seem to be a failure, end up giving me a surprising discovery….this one has yet to be unveiled. The ink that I did make, I used as a nice light yellow initial wash for this painting. It was quite faded, but added nice little flecks of the flower petals, that you may be able to notice through the other layers of paint. I added some of my other earth/mineral pigments to brighten and bolden this painting. One of which was a yellow ochre that I harvested from Fern Lake in Leicester VT…Yup, I extracted pigment right out of the ground with a shovel and a bucket. The other handmade, natural ink I used was saffron. This is a new one to me, I made it from boiling down the stigmas from the Crocus flowers. The color is so rich and vibrant. It is a warm and crimson yellow.
The process of painting this felt comforting to my heart. I ate a few of the calendula flower heads while painting, they are bitter and pungent, which strengthens digestion, yet also have the most unique sweetness, I really enjoy eating them. They are a blood cleanser as well, an alterative. This painting reminds me to really BE with the plants, especially when they are in flower and blooming in all their glory for life, to Be with them is to mirror this energy and extend into our WIDEST SELF!!