Linda Fries, a San Francisco artist, created Earth Pigment Paintings in abstract and landscape styles. These are galleries of that period of her work.
For four years I worked entirely outdoors in wild places under open skies using only simple, earth-based materials: sumi ink from burned pine bark and earth-wise, recycled or handmade papers. Immersed daily in the natural world, sitting on the cliffs at Land’s End in San Francisco, I found a new perspective emerged. Themes in nature informed my images and the colors of the earth called to me. Eventually my attraction for true local color took over. I began incorporating into my paintings the very ground on which I sat. My paintings in this series are made entirely with natural ground earth pigments.
I developed this painting process using only nature’s ingredients. I collect my own pigments from the earth. I grind these colored soils by hand and mix them with plant-based medium to make paint. Some soils are finely ground, while others are left in their original rugged state. The colors are exactly as I have found them, untouched by any additives or mixing. While the manufacture of many modern art materials can and does produce toxic or potentially harmful materials, the use of natural earth colors recalls an earlier, more basic way of making art.
The themes for my paintings are drawn from years of working outside in wild places. My passion for wilderness, light, air, mountains, trees, rocks, the flow of water, the wind and my fascination with the patterns of nature and unseen energies are channeled into forms of abstraction and clothed in the vibrant colors of the earth. In addition to painting and speaking on environmental issues for artists, I served for a number of years on the Board of Directors of WEAD, the Women Environmental Artists Directory, an organization that promotes seeing environmental issues through the lens of the artist.