There it is.IMG_4239I was at the art store the other day to buy turpentine. THEY WERE OUT OF TURPENTINE. This was not Michael’s, this was Jerry’s Art-a-Rama, a reputable supply chain. The guy apologized to me and said someone had been in a few days earlier and cleaned them out; he then tried to sell me Gamsol. Out of forlorn hope I asked him about Flake White and he had some extremely overpriced small tubes which I didn’t buy (this just came in the mail). That got me started on the subject of metallic pigments and their relative toxicity. I said why worry about lead when cadmium and chrome are just as bad and he wordlessly pointed at a sign hung above the paint section: Winsor Newton is phasing cadmium colors and replacing them with Azo pigments.

It’s all the fault of the fucking namby-pamby Europeans. Stop trying to make my hobby safe! Are you going to restrict welders to using sparklers? Can sculptors now only work in styrofoam? And the same message to artists who are wrapped up in safety issues: if you feel obliged to wear a respirator and rubber gloves to paint in oils, DON’T PAINT IN OILS. MY access to potentially hazardous materials does not affect YOUR ability to avoid them. Stop trying to police my materials!



Plein Air Season!

June 5, 2018

Just getting started on outdoor painting. Here are a few new ones.



Gray Goo

October 2, 2017

I keep a jar in the garage for cleaning my brushes. I put some hardware store turp in it and, as it evaporates, just add a little more. I then rinse out my brushes before washing them with soap and water.It doesn’t really matter how dirty the turp is, I’m just going to squeegee it out of the brushes with a paper towel before washing, and since I’m reusing it over and over, there’s no need to dispose of dirty turp into the environment.

IMG_3192Well, it’s time for the Changing of the Jars (interestingly, I’m going to swap in a new jar for my medium too). The gray sludge at the bottom of the jar is now so thick that my brushes get stuck in it. So here is my pristine new jar and the old, soon-to-be-retired jar. And what will you do with the old jar, you ask? It goes up on the shelf to, um, season. After a couple of years I may throw the hardened mass out in the trash but to be honest with you, I keep forgetting to and I probably have half a dozen of the things hidden away on shelves. Eventually they’ll all end up in a landfill but I’d have to say my environmental impact is fairly benevolent.It’s the oil painting equivalent of embedding radioactive waste in glass blocks.