Painting Program-investigation of found and natural 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, 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 experiment with binders.  Fortunately, we live relatively close to indigenous Kechwa villages where the women still hold the wisdom of plant dyeing techniques, although the knowledge is becoming rapidly 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)

20 minutes walking uphill from Sachaqa we will reach the viewpoint of the 'Cordillera Escalera' conservation area.  The viewpoint runs parallel to a pristine clear river on the other side, a magical river full of rock pools and small waterfalls.  If we continue on for a further 30-minutes we will meet a very special place where Anakiwi River 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 have formed in seawater as the result of oxygen production by Photosynthetic Cyanobacteria. 


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

In the Kechwa Lamista territory which spreads over 5’492.5 hectares.   Workshop in Ceramics, make a simple ceramic bowl, paint with natural pigments.  Return when your bowl is dry to fire on a traditional Shuntu fire.  You will collect natural pigments on the way back to San Roque with Trina Brammah.   A pallet of red, orange, yellow, green and brown.

collecting natural pigments
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Artist Giulia Violanti
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ceramics program
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Quechua Lamista
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shuntu fire
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collecting natural pigments
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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 you enter Wayku a large indigenous Kechwa community.  Which used to be all-natural and people only sold local products.  You can find some really lovely crafts and souvenirs.  The problem is how Lamas and Wayku are targeted towards buses full of tourists - mostly wanting to visit the castle and see local people dance.  We are going to hide from all that in the back streets where real life happens.  Learn how to make plants into dyes, to take back to the studio.  It is an experience and worth the visit.  If only to experience the organic local ice-cream, its worth it.  

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


Day 1:  Paper-making demonstration, lunch in Rio Bosque Magico (cacao farm), 15-minute walk to 'El Duende Ecolodge'


Day 2: Get more involved in the papermaking process - includes 30 sheets of paper. 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.

Lunch in Rio Bosque Magico.  In the afternoon we can hike to the Sulphur Springs of Chazutayacu, a magical place in the center of pristine rainforest.

Day 3: Continue with our papermaking course.

EXTRA: Chocolate making course, visit chocolate factories, ceramic course, visit the local museum.

Ecological Paper - Learn how to make ecological paper using natural resources. Making paper by hand is by no mean an easy process; you can help with this physical process or just watch and learn.  Two-hour demonstration.  

A full course - three days.  To make a new batch of paper from scratch - takes four days.   Two of which involve cooking the pulp for 24 hours.  

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.


One month basic program: Special price 2022 $300 $560 USD. Two weeks:$170 $280 USD


Economic Price:  $190USD - Includes all activities - excluding full paper making program (although you can buy separate sheets of paper) One day in Chazuta (choice chocolate course, or ceramics or hike to sulfur springs) and paper making demonstration.

Full Painting Program - inbox for the price -  All activities and Three day trip to Chazuta - full papermaking including 30 sheets of paper, chocolate making, museum, and ceramics or hike to sulfur springs. 

Includes;  Teachers, translators, transport to course destination, 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.