Natural Pigments:

Process, Material, & History with Gunjan Kumar

Gunjan Kuma is an American Indian artist, educator and scholar based in Chicago, originally from Punjab, India. Kumar received her Bachelor’s in Arts from DAV College for Women, Chandigarh, and is a postgraduate in Textiles from the National Institute of Design and Technology, New Delhi. She has spent many years traveling through India and other countries in South Asia, observing age-old practices in textiles and indigenous arts, and visiting archeological sites, particularly prehistoric cave paintings in central India. All these experiences form the undertone of her art practice. Her process involves ground earth and organic matter applied as core mediums on natural surfaces with techniques inspired by traditional methods. Her works have been exhibited all over the world and are a part of noted private collections globally. Gunjan is a recipient of the South Asian Arts Fund (The India Center, NY), SPARK grant (Chicago Artist Coalition), Propeller Fund (ThreeWalls), amongst others. She is currently a resident at the Chicago Art Department (2021- Present). She has been a recipient of the Edward Albee Foundation residency, Montauk, NY (2016-2017).

Course Description

Join The Bray and guest artist Gunjan Kumar in this unique class focused on working with natural pigments, both organic and inorganic. The basis of study is the prehistoric cave paintings that date back between 10,000 and 40,000 years and related schools of Asian art that exemplify traditional pigment painting methods. Natural pigments have a distinct aura and when mixed with organic binders in varying densities can be used to create ethereal surfaces.

By focusing largely on the process of preparing paint out of pigments and natural binders (using some of the oldest known techniques!) students will learn various application methods and how to incorporate them into their own creative process. Learn to work with natural and naturally derived pigments such as calcium carbonate, powdered clays, oxides, various types of ochers, pine soot and more. Discover how to work on different types of natural surfaces along with traditional techniques of paper sizing and mounting.

Through engaging demonstrations and thought provoking lectures on such topics as Traditional Tibetan Pigment Painting, students will discover a new and expansive world of possibilities!  Prior experience in art making is helpful but not necessary.

Who's This Class For?

An excellent class for adults of all backgrounds and abilities and teens (14-18 years old) interested in expanding their perspectives of Art!

Discover a multitude of new information about: visual arts, art history, archeology, geology, human anthropology, environmental studies, ecological and environment friendly archival art practices, while exploring your own creative process.

Included In The Course:

15 hours of live instruction via zoom, access to online classroom until September 1 2023, and select materials shipped directly to you via your instructor including. 

Shipped materials include: Japanese Mulberry Paper, 8 naturally and naturally derived mineral, oxide, and organic pigments, as well as plant and animal based natural binders and natural preservatives. 

Not Included: Additional materials list will need to be procured by student. Many items can be found in existing household inventory or for minimal cost at local shops.

15 Hours of Content

Meet as a group for 5 (virtual) live interactions filled with hands on instruction, engaging lectures, and ample time for student Q&A on:

August 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th, and 11st

from 2-5pm MST

Zoom link provided upon enrollment.
Instructional meetings are LIVE. No recordings are available. Please plan accordingly.

This course is closed for enrollment.

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