Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feeling guilty...

A while ago I was asked to be a "testing artist" for Chroma Interactive Acrylics, a type of acrylic which can be re-activated with water as you work. Athough I never liked acrylics, this involved free art supplies, so what the heck? I found I did like them very much for studies, outdoor painting and underpainting, and will add them to my arsenal, although I will never give up oils. Chroma recently asked me to teach a class in how to use them at the Community College of Rhode Island, my alma mater, so last week I went to the Lincoln Campus to do a demo.

The demo went great, but I was shocked!, shocked! to hear from the teacher, Tom Morrissey, that CCRI no longer allows oil paint in the studio. Students must use acrylics, or other "non toxic" materials. When I went to CCRI (RIJC then) I found a great staff of art teachers. Although I had been painting in oils since high school, I made a lot of progress in the medium in two years of classes at the junior college. I think it's a shame that students at the college would miss two years of working in oils if that's the medium they ultimately want to use.

So I thought that CCRI was just being lazy, surely they could find a way to dispose of any hazardous material in a safe manner, but then I began to guiltily think of my own studio. I had long ago given up turpentine for Turpanoid Natural, which cleans brushes just as well and is in itself non-toxic, but "not knowing what to do" with my paint rags and the gunk that collects at the bottom of the Turpanoid jars, I had been throwing them in the trash.

So I've been looking into how to manage my studio waste in a responsible manner, and I'll post what I've come up with. I'm also starting a survey to ask how other artists deal with studio waste.

Meanwhile, here's the next phase of my big painting. I'm ready for some color now...


  1. hey kathy, i just came across this link, and then there was your post on this topic, so it was very serendipitous! Might be what you are looking for...


    the blog looks good!

    -- Mary

  2. Thanks Mary!

    I had stumbled upon that link myself, I think it's pretty well buried in the Narragansett Bay Commission's site. I'm going to look into it and post it on the blog, it looks like there's some good information on it.



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