• Alana Stewart

Painting with the Pantry: Using spice as paint! (Blog + Gallery)

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Painting with the Pantry was a free Art Therapy facebook live stream event that I facilitated on Saturday the 4th of April. I created this free event in response to the pandemic situation and the starting of lockdown measures in Australia and across the world. Click here for facebook video recording to follow along with - (please excuse the awkward beginning, some technical difficulties were experienced with starting. Haha).

My idea was to facilitate an Art Therapy activity that was accessible to the many, who probably hadn't yet thought to stock up on art materials yet during the panic buying. I was inspired by a process known as eco-dying, where natural dyes in plants is used to colour and make prints on fabric and paper. Thus, with some googling and searching through my pantry, I found many coloured spices and ingredients that made lovely earthy coloured paints! The smells from using spices also is a lovely sensory experience that adds to the art therapy process and mindful experience.

The of the live stream session was mindful engagement and expression, so I asked participants to experiment over trying to create a complete "artwork". During the live stream, some participants were very inventive with their ingredients. Their comments can be seen on the facebook video. 

All you need to do to replicate this process is find some powdered spices which have a strong pigment and other things such as berries and coffee. Mix these with a very small amount of water and test how they come out on your page. Add more ingredient or more or less water to get desired transparency or opaqueness. Once dry, you may notice some powder left over on the paper. You can choose to leave this stuck to the page or rub it off.

Also, for parents with young children a spice paint can be made with flours which is taste safe. Click here for the youtube tutorial. In the below photo are some ingredients I have tested. Once dried, I rubbed off the remaining powder to see if it successfully stained the paper. I hope this helps with your ideas. Scroll to bottom for a slideshow gallery of the art made in this event by myself and some participants who have given permission to share.

Ingredient ideas


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