Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


the baby-factor has added a material component to my studio migration - trying to detoxify. Found a few links for non-toxic painting online:

Things to try:
* winsor and newton water-soluble paints
* watercolor crayons on big paper
* gouache for printmaking

Currently using and liking
* water soluble plate oils by daniel smith for woodblock
*** a little "stickier" than the normal oils - had to add a lot of water on the plate to keep it fluid during print session.
*** matte colors are quite nice
*** limited palette (lots of earth colors + basics) but they are all gorgeous.

Modification of practice for oil-based existing supplies

* soysolv for oil cleanup in printmaking
* safflower oil for gamblin oil cleanup, followed by soap
* linseed + stand-oil as a medium (apparently this may be easier to clean up with safflower than
Teaching drawing class has excited my enthusiasm for line - so perhaps this will enter more of my practice.

General Safety for All Work

* PROBLEM earth pigments seem safe, and the spunky colors can be toxic if eaten / absorbed through skin. If I find the comprehensive list, will link it here.
* SOLUTIONWear non-latex, nitrile gloves
* no eating while working
* wash up thoroughly after work.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer school

Summer brought both quiet & storm.

At home, 9 years of accumulated items made it into small office
supply boxes. A third followed us up the hill to our temporary
respite, the rest were hauled to an air conditioned warehouse where
time erodes their relevance. When we unpack in several months' time,
it will be an excavation- both welcome and strange.
I come from 3 generations of boxfillers. Some family create labrynths
of cardboard and pillars, others line the walls, shrinking floor area
year by year. The contents are precious. To fill so many of my own
with stuff generiously labeled with "knick knacks" is bittersweet.
Most of my daily needs follow me in a blue backpack to and from davis.
To face the volume of other objects is disheartening.

I am teaching drawing 1 in Davis summer school. Class is good. Below
is a nice one from a positive/negative space drawing exercise.
The city itself has been socked in by smoke from nearby fires and the
temperature crested 108 the last few weeks, so I've been spending time
in the bay area. With a Little One on the way (my other big news) I
keep seeking put the cleanest air. This means refamiliarizing with
past patterns of graphic design work, while slowly unearthing paper
and plastic from stacks of cardboard.
Personal art is on pause. Skittish about toxicity- although I know
there is some media that will replace (sigh) the oils and their bad
solvents. Some beefy watercolor brushes arrived in the mail- hoping
size will overpower the delicacy I normally associate with this media.
Also have a few good block prints left to execute while I still have
access to a press.