03 May 2008

solvent-free painting

I use M. Graham oil paints. These are formulated with walnut oil. I don’t use any solvents. I clean my brushes with walnut oil.

I’m trying to replace toxic pigments with alternatives. Thorough information about the toxicity of oil paint, mediums, and solvents is not easy to find. I don't hear enough artists talking about it. Stefan Thompson has some useful links.

I clean our home with food grade substances. I use a reel mower and I garden organically. I occasionally hang the laundry. I walk for transportation. I use low- or zero-VOC house paint. I installed cork and bamboo floors in our home (my proudest achievement second only to giving birth). I chose cementicious siding and a metal roof, each of which has a gazillion year life span. I’m trying to find a hamster-powered automobile. We keep looking for ways to make our home and our lifestyle have the smallest, cleanest footprint.

I never considered oil painting before because I assumed it was too toxic; toxic for the manufacturer, for the artist, and for the land and water.

Now that I’m hooked, of course, I need to find a way to follow sustainable principles. Please share your solutions. What alternative supports have you tried? What colors have you substituted for the lovely cadmiums? Have you stopped buying frames that are made in China? How many trees have I felled with all the paper toweling I've used?! (None, it's seventh generation.)


Anonymous said...

My only concern with all the wonderful "green" products available for home improvment is that people are throwing away (or letting the contractor throw away) something that is in good order. The first thing we should consider when remodeling is can I re-use what I have. This will go much farther than using even green alternatives.

Dar Presto said...

I completely agree. "Can I reuse what I have" is a most important question which we should ask ourselves daily.
Thanks for visiting.