AS you may have known if you have been reading my posts….I make my own paint now! That was the adventurous and curious part. Now I am getting to know these natural pigments and how they interact, morph, and strike up a conversation with the paper. They do not act like usual paint. I have noticed that the Hibiscus paint has an infinite number of shades from cool purple to flaming fuscia. I am beginning to understand it has to do with the consistency, how much water I add makes a huge difference. The beetle juice that I am using, from red pigment of the cochineal beetle, has its own surprising reaction on paper as well. I made it with the expectation of having a very intense and deep red color, close to iodine. Certainly this was the color that originally spread across my watercolor block. Then, I watched in rapt fascination as, like magic ink, before my eyes this color slowly and dramatically morphed into a deep and shinny black. Hmmmmm….not sure how or why, but the unknown is clearly fascinating. My guess is the beetle juice reacts with the gum arabic, my binder, to transform the color. It is quite fun to paint with and Kids would Love this. Each paint has a different texture and I have no idea how the colors will combine or repel one another. Live, organic, raw and wild has a tendency to be unpredictable and exciting like this! So, I imagine I will be playing with these for a while before I get some control over them, if I can. For now this is lots of fun as I get to revel in smells of roses, clove, and hibiscus while painting rather than turpentine. Check out Lady Hibiscus painted with Hibiscus watercolor only!It took me some time to actually get the gumption to make a painting with these paints! I guess I was intimidated by the unknown effects and odd textures…..it certainly is nothing like painting with store bought paints! But I am pretty happy with this one. It was a pretty spontaneous idea….I just started painting the lacy pattern that became her hair, then made a lady’s face. That was it for awhile, until I decided it was unfinished and added the hands in prayer, then holding the hibiscus. The whole painting was created with my watercolor made from Hibiscus petals that I collected while living in the Caribbean! I am totally in awe of how many shades of purple this one paint can produce….it is quite spontaneous and unpredictable, but still I think that unknown and ‘Wild” component is what most fascinates me. It almost feels like the flower and I are having a dialog and making this painting together……How neat! I love the collaboration and extra mark that nature does provide. Yea for Organic paints! Next I think I will paint Wild Lady Mustard!