Be an Eco-Friendly Artist

478340041_c157cdfa81_mOctober 23, 2013

I have been painting (as a hobby) for a few years now but didn’t think much about being an eco-friendly artist until just recently. I’m not very good at painting. It’s mostly for relaxation and enjoyment-which for me is just fine. I have no desire to be the next Rembrandt. I once had a guy tell me how much he loved the sidewalk in my painting because I made it look dreamy, as if it was trying to reach the sky. It was literally just supposed to be a regular sidewalk. I guess depth is not my forte, nor sidewalks.

After finishing that masterpiece, I remember dumping my bucket of paint-water down the sink and thinking, this can’t be good. This was before becoming an eco-friendly artist. Whether you create Picasso-like work or weird sidewalks, a certain level of eco-friendly awareness as an artist is a good thing. Artists usually see beauty that others do not, but sometimes we do not see the environmental effects our artwork leaves behind. To help you transform into an eco-friendly artist, Eco News Network offers some places to buy eco-friendly art supplies that will make your art as natural as it is creative!

Natural Earth Paint:
Natural Earth Paint is a small family business that creates paint similar to the ways ancient cave dwellers did. They collect their own pigments from nature and with the help of modern gadgets (and their two year old son), they grind, sift, collect, and test their own materials. They believe in making paint naturally, the way it was made for 100,000 years before oil helped create manmade paints. Through this ancient method they feel more connected to their artwork and to the natural world. They have also been named a Gold Certified Green America business.

Their products are high quality and are more cost effective than many popular brands. Their Earth Oil Paint kit allows you the opportunity to mix 6 pigments with refined walnut oil which gives you the opportunity to be a part of the paint-creating process. They also have children’s paint sets, natural egg-dye, and face and body paint-perfect for Halloween!

This art store may be a giant, but it is turning out to be an eco-friendly one. Blick has locations all over the country, and a huge variety of products to choose from-many of which are friendlier to the environment. In 2001, Blick began turning its distribution center into a more energy efficient one. Today, Blick reports using only 10 percent of the energy it once did to heat and cool its distribution center. They have also been incorporating a large amount of green products onto their shelves and marking them with eco-friendly tags so artists can make informed choices. They have everything from bamboo frames to non-toxic, organic-compound tempura paint. Check out all their eco-friendly products here.

A tip for what to do to lessen the amount of paint going into your water bucket (and being poured down the drain) is using excess paint to create another painting. While painting one canvas, I had another one on the side. Instead of swishing the paintbrush in the water, without really looking, I wiped the excess paint off as much as I could onto the other canvas to get all the paint off. Then, at the end, the experimental canvas is filled with colors and patterns that you didn’t know you were creating! It is fun to see how it turns out.

So as I said, whether you are a masterpiece painter or an amateur like me, opt for painting practices that help you be an eco-friendly artist!

-Monica Bologna

Photo Credit: Flickr/alainelorza

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