It is possible that the artist Vincent Van Gogh may have suffered from mental illness and other afflictions caused by handling the oil paints he was using as well as inhaling the paint fumes.
His oil paint pigments included chrome yellow (lead and chromium), cadmium yellow (cadmium), chrome orange (lead and chromium) and vermillion (mercury) which are very toxic indeed.
Of course, using solvents to clean art brushes and to clean artists’ hands is added to this chemical mix.
I would love to see all artists and would-be artists going ‘eco’ and Green Guide For Artists, by Karen Michel, (Quarry Books, 2009) may urge all kinds of artists to adopt a more natural approach to working with non-toxic art supplies in their studios or workplace.
What I like about this art project book is the DIY instructions for preparing non-toxic paints, mediums (whatever you are making your piece of art out of) such as clay/paper etc and glues.
There are ideas on how to ‘green’ your studio/workplace and thoughts on how to use recycled materials so they won’t end up in landfill.
However, I would like to find a better way of making a “List-Maker’s Journal” without the use of fusing plastic bags as mentioned on page 76. I feel that ironing the plastic may cause a toxic fume from the heat.
Other than that one ‘glitch’, I find Green Guide For Artists very informative with plenty of online resources for Green Art Supplies, Adhesives And Binders, Paper and Recycle Centers For Alternative Art Materials as well as other listings referred in the back of the book.
Where to Purchase
“Green Guide for Artists” by Karen Michel is distributed by Capricorn Link and can be bought from the following online shopping websites:
Amazon – Can be purchased as a paperback edition or as a digital download.
eBay – This book can be purchased from sellers located in the Australia, U.K. and U.S.
Barnes & Noble – Available for purchase as a paperback edition or in digital format.
“When consumers purchase eco friendly art supplies from art supply companies who care about artists and the environment then hopefully other art supply companies will follow suit.”
Women Environmental Artists Directory: Are you using “Earth-Safe” Art Materials?
University of Wisconsin: Art Safety
Oracle ThinkQuest Education Foundation: Van Gogh
You might like to read:
Self-Sufficient Living Handbook: Growing Your Own Fruit Trees.
Easy to Read Raw Food Recipe Book: “Going Raw” by Judita Wignall.