Pursuit of the sustainable artist- pt.1

Updated: Jun 16

When we make art we usually want to add a certain something to our spinning sphere, whether emotive, confronting or beautiful. But never should we be endeavouring to take away from it. Unfortunately every time we use acrylic paint we slap layers of plastic on a canvas and then pour our micro plastic ridden brush water down the sink to hurtle towards our sea turtles. We load our pallets with toxic oil paints such as lead-white, cadmium, and cobalt and then proceed to thin them with solvents like turpentine which again washes down our sinks. Then when our old plastic brushes have seen better days the bristles can't be recycled so off to landfill they go. So with this knowledge and a drive to leave only a positive mark behind, I decided to clean up my art act and start to address each issue, I've began with my paints and will continue to update you along each step.

I started making my own paint a few months ago, yes it is little time consuming but an enjoyably messy process (the messy part is optional, I just love a good mess). The majority of colours can be made from natural iron oxide and Titanium dioxide (different to Titanium metal). I mix these raw powders with Linseed oil but other oils can work well, my favourite source for these materials so far is https://www.naturalearthpaint.eu/en/ where you can also get eco-solve paint thinner and sustainable varnishes. The products are also vegan for those avoiding animal products. From a professional point of view I have had to adapt my application style for these paints, they are not as smooth as I am used to but they have triggered a welcome change in my practices that has been exciting. I've been making my paint up in batches and filling them into empty tubes and even found I can refill them (hello golden zone of sustainability). Next up I'll be addressing brushes, canvases and packaging to ship originals and prints... do let me know if you have an advise!

© 2019 by Colette LaVette.

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Sustainable ~ Cruelty Free ~ Artist