Painting Green, not the color, but the Approach
Many oil painting materials are toxic to humans and bad for our environment. This past Friday night I was explaining to Coni Thornburg, the GM of the Calistoga Ranch Resort, that I use the least toxic approach to painting in oils that I have been able to establish. First of all I do not use turpentine, mixing mediums, or nasty varnish. I just use pure oil paint and I cut this with linseed oil, nothing else. The down side is that takes a long time for my paintings to dry, technically it takes one full year on average. So I let the sun do the job and put them outside when I’m not fogged in at the beach. The upside is that this is as pure an approach as you can get and it’s a healthier way to practice my art. I don’t require ventilation equipment. And I always wear latex free vinyl gloves so that the paint does not come in contact with my skin. With my art studio whipped into shape, with space to paint, and storage for my inventory, I ordered new supports (painting boards). New greener surfaces to paint on, new toys. I purchased new two inch deep-cradled everlasting Gessobord with 13-ply birch plywood. These are acid and formaldehyde free and made from sustainable forest products that ensure the protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water. They do not contain harmful volatile organic compounds. These painting boards are much more expensive but I'm not stingy with my oil paint and my collector’s investments are worth it. And wood boards don’t get dented like stretched canvas can. In fact, Leonardo da Vinci painted the "Mona Lisa" on wood panel. Even though the "Mona Lisa" has put art conservationists to the test, it has obviously withstood the test of time.