About MasterPigments

In 2004, I immigrated to the United States from Slovakia, driven by a passion for painting inherited from my parents. Rather than following modern principles, I chose to explore traditional painting techniques, specifically the layered technique. My goal was to achieve a balanced tonality in my paintings, characterized by bright, smooth gradients, sharp brushstroke definition, and deep color parts without dull darkness. This ambition led me to experiment with various painting mediums to enhance the appearance and process of my work.

Through extensive trials with traditional mediums, I discovered that modern paints and pigments often fell short, especially in layered paintings. Issues like thinning, drying, and maintaining brushstroke integrity became apparent. However, when I encountered natural earth pigments, I felt a profound connection. These colors spoke a different language and inspired me deeply, unlike the vibrant but flat modern colors designed for industrial use, which often disrupted my creative flow.

This realization marked the beginning of my new journey—discovering the origins of colors. I delved into antique books and manuscripts, studying the techniques of old masters and learning about traditional pigments made from minerals. I started preparing my pigments, beginning with malachite. The first successful preparation affirmed the unique 'feel' of these traditional colors, sparking a relentless pursuit to create more pigments like cinnabar for red and azurite for blue. The process was arduous, especially creating the Fra Angelico blue pigment, which took four years to perfect.

By 2010, I had amassed a collection of classical pigments and launched my first website, www.masterpigments.com. The response was overwhelming, with many artists sharing the same passion. This led to the establishment of Master Pigments as an online store.

Balancing a daily job, I continued hand-making my pigments and developed additional materials inspired by traditional art. With the support of like-minded individuals and modern technologies, I overcame challenges in producing traditional colors and created my own line of oil paints, 'Via GAZO'. Utilizing a minimally contaminating method for grinding and cleaning minerals, I employed ceramic rollers for milling pigments into paints.

Each paint in my collection has unique properties based on the pigment used. Milled to perfection in linseed oil, the paints feature a variety of pigment particle sizes, offering a fine grit without being overly gritty or flat. Finding the right linseed oil was another challenge. I use hand-washed, traditionally cleaned linseed oil, resulting in a lean, fast-drying product without driers or cooking. The development and testing of these paints is a meticulous, time-consuming process, but it is a dream I am dedicated to. My priority is to create paints without extenders or additives, preserving their original properties and enhancing their compatibility with various oil painting mediums. These paints open new dimensions in creativity, offering a world beyond conventional colors.

Attila Gazo