I have been living in an amazing landscape since 16 years. When I open my shutters, quarries of ochres fashioned by humain beings with a dominant deep red jump out at me every morning. Nearby pins have a perfect complementary green with those natural colors. It is a unique site as we have few in France. Here is Roussillon in Vaucluse.
This geological wealth has not escaped the notice of local people who have started from the 19th century to work this awesome raw material : ochre. Indeed, soils extracted from underground quarries or from open pit minings cannot be used as such. Thanks to successive ingenious processes they are got ride off from 85% up to 90% of their basic elements. Only 10% of the soil is valuable. This fine powder has an outstanding tinting strength. It is one of the four families of pigments, the mineral pigments one. Plants, animals and artificial pigments will come over time to complete the story of color.
When we use ochre, we realize a big jump into time.
Indeed, we handle the oldest materials ever used by men to reveal their visions. It is a step backwards to the original practices of painters of Lascaux, Pech-Merle, Altamira, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans and even some builders of the Middle Ages. What a journey!!!
Ôkhra, Conservatory of ochre and color, is an incubator of knowledge and know-how which is daily committed to the return of ochre in art, decoration and town planning. I have some works there and I initiate people to the art of painting from pigments (watercolor, tempera, casein …)
The handling of ochres and pigments is a real pleasure. First, the matter is sensual and as soon as possible I invite to work with bare hands to fully understand its qualities: miscibility, non-toxicity, tinting and covering powers, a shaded richness of flaws and unmatched power to capture light. At least, what a color chart, from light yellow to red …
Play the colors and forms, with a few basic matters used with master hands by men of Prehistory: a block of yellow ochre, a block of red ochre and a piece of charcoal
Young people and adults are fond of it!
Below are some achievements of my primary school pupils.
Cet article est aussi disponible en: French
- Ochres and pigments