Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Earliest Painters
Courtney & Wise have been painting the finest homes and businesses in Sydney and the North Beaches since 1954. However, we are not the earliest painters.
No, that honor goes to people living in South Africa 100,000 years ago. The people living along the coast of South Africa made red paint from pigment much as people have been making paint for centuries and still do. They stored the paint in abalone shells.
New research shows that the paint included not just red pigment, but also ochre, charcoal, quartz, animal bone as a binder, and a liquid scientists haven't yet identified.
Modern paint is still made with pigments from minerals, a binder, and a liquid solvent. Improvement in technology have made enormous changes in the specific materials used. Now, we use paints with little or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which last longer and adhere better to surface than the ancient recipe would have.
While our paint is not commonly stored in abalone shells, we modern painters still store our paints carefully. The ancient painters had tools fashioned from bone and pieces of ochre carved with geometric shapes. We have more highly refined tools now, but we still make notes while we plan and paint.
The recent find, the earliest evidence of painting yet found, just confirms what we already knew: painting is fundamental to the human experience.
at 7:02 PM