Making paint from 23K gold leaf: I learned the technique from artist Rosie White, who studied traditional Turkish manuscript illumination at the Royal Palace of Topkapi in Istanbul. It is a time-consuming process that starts with gold that has been beaten into sheets that are thinner than the finest onionskin paper. To make paint, I spend many hours, usually over several days, mixing the gold, sheet by sheet, with a natural binder and water with a fingertip, until it becomes perfectly smooth.
Gem and Mineral Gouache and Watercolor: I use watercolors containing materials used in earlier times: minerals and gems. They are often identified with their places of origin, such as Sleeping Beauty turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona and Amazonite, from a gem found in the Amazon basin. Some of the paints include lapis lazuli, malachite, amethyst, garnet, black tourmaline and jadeite.
First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.
—Vincent Van Gogh