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Gema Prades

Ancient, natural methods solve a modern paint problem

Modern acrylic paints include synthetic ingredients (plastics), so what’s an artist to do if they seek to create their art without harming the natural world they admire?

Gema Prades, a landscape painter who lives and works in an area of Spain called Clariana (near Barcelona) has much to share about creating art that is truly in harmony with the earth.

Gema’s paintings are inspired by the natural world, and to honour her connection to nature, she has learned ancient painting and paint-making techniques which allow her to create her paints organically. In a beautiful, time-honoured tradition, she collects ingredients from plants and even insects in her local environment, and blends them with simple, natural elements such as eggs, beeswax, vegetable oils, flax and resins — notably, all sustainable, low-carbon footprint materials.

“Learning about traditional methods of paint making, especially the use of natural, sustainable materials, resonates with my general outlook of trying to move away from mass produced and non biodegradable materials when possible,” says Gema, “I have grown to love the paint preparation process as much as the image-making process…although I have been painting all my life I feel like I am just beginning this part of the journey and am so I excited to see where it takes me.”

It was a true and peaceful pleasure to spend time with Gema, and to learn about her methods and manner of creating art in harmony with the natural world. We hope you are as inspired by her as we are.

yellow petaled flower by elias sorey unsplash

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