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struggles with paint

It’s strange to be an artist, who loves to paint and is allergic to paint. I find myself constantly battling the smell of chemicals that can overwhelm me and bring on an asthma attack, alternately I’ll paint with acrylic which I find give me the the worst results. I’m not saying acrylic is bad for everyone, but it doesn’t have the feel of painting with oils, that allow you to blend, take a break and mix a new color, and then come back and work more.

Today's oil study, made from hand mixed oil and Earth Pigments.  Non toxic - non-smelly. Non-Acryclic.

Today’s oil study, made from hand mixed oil and Earth Pigments. Non toxic – non-smelly. Non-Acryclic.

There is loss, knowing that my oil paints are gone, all of them destroyed by the flood (they were stored on the floor). Struggling against acrylic the last weeks, I went searching for my oils, like a crack addict I searched my entire studio trying to deny the fact, that I had thrown them all out after the flood swept through my studio.

In the end, I opened up my box of dry Earth Pigments again. I’ve mixed my own paints before, and talked about it, but I still haven’t been satisfied with the body of the paint, and sometimes various dry pigments don’t grind easily into paste. However I kept at it the last couple days mixing my own paints, so that I can make another stab with oils.

Hours of grinding and mixing to yield six colors of my Earth Pigments.  Will it be worth the trouble?

Hours of grinding and mixing to yield six colors of my Earth Pigments. Will it be worth the trouble?

The oils I’m speaking of course are chemical free, vegetable based oils. There is no chemical smell as I work, and my pigment is toxin free.

Today’s test is a modest test, and to the naked eye there may not be much of a difference between other small tests and this. The paint blends far better though, and gives me the spontaneity that is so lacking in acrylic, it’s fast food like plastic sensation, is so grating to work with.

In the end I am encouraged, and only have to wait for my new blend to dry, and see whether it bleeds, oozes, cracks or just dries well in the next week or so.

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