Earth Speaks

Hi Friends,

I’ve been working on some new paintings in my “Earth Speaks” series — the paintings created using natural earth pigments. I find it interesting that I can get many different looks using so few colors. I’m only using yellow ochre, red iron oxide, burnt sienna, graphite gray and black.

Here are my two latest pieces. Click on the images for more information and to see them in a browser.

Cassandra Tondro earth pigment painting

“Higher Love,” 30 x 40 inches, natural earth pigments on raw cotton canvas

Cassandra Tondro natural pigments

“Naked Truth,” 36 x 48 inches,” natural earth pigments on raw cotton canvas

I played around with Conte crayon scribbles underneath the layers of paint, hoping that the crayon lines would smear and blur. Uh uh. Those lines aren’t going anywhere. I even tried scrubbing them off with a stiff brush. I was surprised they were so permanent.

Cassandra Tondro scribble

If I want a sketchy look I’m going to have to find a way to apply the crayons more lightly. Maybe use the sides and rub them gently on the canvas.

I’m also thinking about masking and applying the paint using a spray bottle. It’s going to be a challenge to keep the pigment in solution using that method. It sinks to the bottom when not actively stirred.

All of this is an effort to find a way to use more natural materials that hopefully have less of an impact on the environment. And still create paintings that I love!

What do you think about our environmental impact on the earth? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. i think your work is lovely, i really like earthy colours and i have messed about with soil in mixed media

    1. Thanks, Patricia. I was reading something recently about soils — I think it may have been on the Sinopia Pigments website. It said that most soils are primarily silica, which gives weak and uninteresting colors. The soils that have interesting colors are soils with iron oxides.

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