I study the colors of the terra, which in Latin literally means ‘earth’. Italy is famous for the rich minerals of its soil, which have been used to pigment works of art for hundreds of years. Many colors continue to be named for their Italian origins—including Italian Green Umber, Verona Green, Italian Yellow Earth, Ercolano red, Italian Burnt Umber, Italian Raw Sienna, Naples yellow, and Venetian Red.
I draw upon this history of color in small paintings of Venetian terrazzo—a type of flooring made from polished, composite of stone chips and cement, which is crafted from excess materials from other construction projects. These paintings use natural Italian earth tones from a local manufacturer. Intimate to-scale paintings reflect upon age-old investments in natural materials and zero waste and Italy’s involvement in the making of oil pigments.