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Painting Program-investigation of naturally sourced pigments and ecological paper

We are passionate about our environment and through this course you will not only learn how to create with nature, but to understand this connection between the materials and where they are sourced.

Collect natural pigments with Trina Brammah and learn how to make durable paint.

Trina is a visionary artist and has worked with naturally sourced pigments found in her local area, for over ten years.  Trina mostly works with earth and stones, although she has recently learned how to prepare plant dyes into durable paint, using ancient fine art painting techniques.   The idea is to experiment together, find more colors and durable binders.  Fortunately, we live close to various indigenous Kechwa villages, and the women still hold the wisdom of plant dyeing techniques, although this knowledge is gradually becoming lost.  

Trina believes in the healing properties of the earth and stones she creates with and has developed her own unique style.   Trina will be there for you in the studio to guide you while you practice painting with the pigments.  We can hike to some amazing nature spots where the pigments are found, just an hour's walk from Sachaqa - if you are not able to walk this far then don't worry, there are plenty of collecting spots close by. 

NEW THIS YEAR- one day hike to a kechwa community 

Trina Lerner Brammah
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optional - Hike to Anakiwi River in search of a yellow - Iron Oxide (3-hour hike)

A 20-minute uphill walk from Sachaqa, we can reach the viewpoint of the 'Cordillera Escalera' conservation area.  A viewpoint that runs parallel to the crystal clear waters of Anakiwi, a magical river full of rock pools and small waterfalls. There is an impressive view of Tarapoto city along the way.   We will eventually meet the river and continue walking for 60-minutes, crossing the river several times, until we meet a very special place where Anakiwi joins the larger River Cumbaza.  Behind the scene is what looks like a broken mountain where layers of colored rocks lay bare.   Iron Oxide formations could be as old as 3,700 million years old and are thought to be formed in seawater as the result of oxygen production by Photosynthetic Cyanobacteria. We can collect natural pigments, enjoy a picnic lunch, meditate alone in nature and swim in clear river pools.

Trip to the native community of Chunchiwi (2 hour walk)

In the Kechwa Lamista territory which spreads over 5’492.5 hectares, workshop in traditional ceramics.  Traditionally the clay is kneaded together with a powder called shano in preparation to make ceramic pots and bowls, painted with natural pigments.  When the clay is dry the pots are fired on a traditional open fire called 'Shuntu.' 

The views on the walk back from the community are really beautiful and we can collect natural pigments along the way.   A pallet of red, orange, yellow, green and brown.

Trip to Lamas Town the capital of the Kechwa people.

There are two very different areas to explore in Lamas.  At the top of the hill Lamas feels more like a quaint European town and actually houses a castle built by an Italian millionaire.   Then a few minutes downhill we enter Wayku a large indigenous Kechwa community.  Where we can buy some really lovely hand-crafted souvenirs.   

We are going to escape from the main tourist area and journey to the back streets where real life happens.  Learn how to make plant dyes with a local expert.  It is really special to be invited into a Kechwa home where we can spend time with a local family, and eat in a Kechwa home, with food collected locally and cooked on an open fire. 

Back in the studio Trina can show you how to make the dyes into durable paint. 

Trip to Chazuta Paper-Making and Ceramics course, Chocolate making, and hike to the sulfur springs of Chazutayacu. 'El Duende Ecolodge' 

Including 30 sheets of A3 paper or 15 sheets of A2

Day 1:  Paper-making demonstration, lunch in ‘Rio Bosque Magico’ (cacao farm), ceramics course and ceramic museum, visit ‘Mishky Cacao’ chocolate factory (energetic chocolate) 

15-minute walk to 'El Duende Ecolodge' The gardens here are out of this world we can relax and soak up this amazing environment.


Day 2: Get more involved in the paper-making process - wash the pulp in the River Huallaga, a really special moment where we can spend time with the elderly women who run this project and see how they manually grind the pulp with a large stone.  These women are amazing for their age.

Lunch in ‘El Duende Ecolodge’.  In the afternoon we can hike to the Sulphur Springs of Chazutayacu, hot medicinal water pools in the center of pristine rainforest.

Day 3: Continue with our paper-making course. We can experiment with plant dyes and organic collage and play with the size of the paper.  If we want A2 paper then there will be fewer sheets, the regular size is A3. 

Return to the ceramic workshop where we can paint our pot with natural pigments and learn about traditional symbols.

One Day paper making experience not including paper


Paper-making demonstration, lunch in Rio Bosque Magico, choice of walk to the sulfur springs of Chazutayacu or ceramics course.


You can't go to Chazuta without learning how to make chocolate.

Learn about the different stages in cacao production and participate in the labor process, how to ferment and dry the cacao beans ready to make chocolate.

Prepare the most amazing energetic chocolate.   Visit chocolate factories that produce high-quality chocolate – certified to export.


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Why not have a go at painting a Mural?

Murals are a perfect way to give back to the community.  The great thing about natural pigments is that they are free and in abundance.  Once we have painted on paper, board, or canvas; We can largen our scale to paint on a wall.  The base, unfortunately, has to be synthetic and if we would like our mural to last our binder is best with wood-glue. 


Develop your work in the studio

After we have collected our materials we can spend time developing our ideas in the studio.  If you would like to display your work after your residency we offer various online platforms where you can share your work with a larger audience.  An exhibition is entirely up to you, we can invite friends from our local community to the studio, light a fire in the garden and celebrate.  if you would like an exhibition in the city of Tarapoto there are various cafe-bars where we can exhibit.  The city is always changing, so this can be a very spontaneous event.


Basic Program 2023: one month 1600soles 450USD - two weeks 1000soles 280USD 
Basic Program 2024: one month 1800soles 550USD - two weeks 1280 soles 350USD


Our painting program activities range between 100USD and 875USD let us know which activities most interest you and we can send you a breakdown of prices.

Includes;  Teachers, translators, transport to course destination, and food during the Chazuta trip only.  


Group chats in the studio -Trina Brammah talking about her work. 

It's great to get together and talk about our creative process.

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