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Fourteenth Meditation (2021)

Fourteenth Meditation (2021)

Cole Swanson 

Fourteenth Meditation 


hand-prepared mineral colours on wasli paper 

6 x 5 inches



On Minerality

Bone Black
Yellow Ochre
Terre Verte
Iron Red
Burnt Umber
Red Ochre
Chalk White

"I began my artistic practice as a painter, but over the past ten years, I have focused mainly on creating large-scale installations and research-driven projects on human interactions with nature. The slowing mechanics of the public art world at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic signalled my return to foundational training in earth-based painting. For many years, my work engaged natural media, sparked in large part by my first encounters with miniature painting through my long-time teacher Dr. Nathulal Verma. A modern artist and scholar on natural pigments, Nathulalji provided tutelage in the many ways that earth colours were wielded in pre and post-colonial India. I was introduced to methods of pigment extraction from earth-based sources and the application of such colours to cosmopolitan painting traditions including fresco (araayash) and illuminations (laghuchitra). Over the past fourteen years, I have continued to study and collaborate with Dr. Verma and his contemporaries in Jaipur to explore the use of ancient colours in experimental and contemporary contexts.

As mineral pigments are of the earth, it is only logical that they are inextricably connected to the vast biosystems therei