earth pigment workshops
learn how to make paint from the clay, soil, and rocks in your own backyard
open to all levels -- no experience necessary
workshops spring + summer 2023
what you'll experience
You will learn how to make natural paint from rocks, soil, and clay. You can bring a small amount of earth from your own backyard to the workshop or use the land Bird has gathered.
We'll start by grounding ourselves in land memory and history, as well as learning how to gather earth in ways that are culturally and environmentally responsible. You'll learn how to process earth into refined, artist-grade pigments and how to mull pigments into your own paints. We’ll end by painting natural color studies on raw canvas that highlight the beauty of the land around us.
Classes are intentionally small to help facilitate real connections with others. We'll hang out, enjoy snacks and drinks, and create in a relaxed and supportive space. Plus, you’ll go home with your own earth pigment painting that you made in class.
Heather ‘Bird’ Harris is an artist, educator, and activist working in Atlanta and New Orleans. Her work explores the throughlines between land history and environmental crises, as well as mothering in the face of climate change. Her practice includes painting and social practice, which both engage site-specific earth pigments as catalysts for connection to historic and personal narratives, environmental risks, and collective action.
Harris received her B.S. in art history and studio art from Skidmore College in 2009 and master’s degree in education leadership from Columbia University in 2013. Over the past 15 years, Harris has been a teacher, middle school principal, written anti-racist history curriculum, and has worked with school leaders across the South to implement equitable learning practices and empowering history education. Her environmental art practice has been featured nationally on NPR and locally in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Harris has exhibited widely across the South including her 2022 solo exhibition Where the Water Goes as part of the Arts New Orleans SALON Residency. Upcoming 2023 exhibitions include Art Fields and her Land Memory project in collaboration with Science Gallery Atlanta and Emory University.
Bird is FANTASTIC teacher! She knows her stuff, but knows how to meet the individual student where they're at. She taught me so much about my own creativity and potential by equipping me with new knowledge, but also helping me tap into the skills I already have. She has the instructional skills of a teacher and the knowledge and craft of an artist. You will walk away from time spent with Bird having learned something meaningful about yourself as an artist and a person, 100%.