Saturday, June 2, 2012

graphite strata and thoughts of the toxicity of art supplies.

06022012strata by megan_n_smith_99
06022012strata, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

I have just uploaded this drawing and 2 others to etsy.

I am working on a bigger one now - 11 x 14". i keep having to get up to wash graphite off my hands. i am trying to smudge as little as possible. when they are done i spray them with krylon workable fixatif (i really hate that cute spelling of fixative.) well, anyway even though it is workable i don't like to work over it if i can avoid it. it just feels different. i am really allergic to this stuff so i spray them out on my balcony. if i was a famous artist someone (and i am not naming names!) someone would do this for me. actually i have sprayed drawings for the artist in question myself but it was not generally my task, as i did not have a respirator and asthma is nothing to joke about. actually i much prefer avoiding toxins to using a respirator which was why i never got fitted at my old job. did you know you really need to get fitted for a respirator and not take it off the shelf? not sure where you can get that done but maybe a safety supply place. and i think osha may require it, plus it is really in your interest. and even if you don't you a respirator it is smart to use at least a paper mask if you are working with anything dusty or powdery. some of that is not stuff you want in your lungs, and some pigments and dyes and things are so fine that it's really easy to breathe them in, paper masks are not as good as respirators but they will help with particulates if they are not too fine.

this is also why my art supplies of choice are all non-low-toxic - pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and occasionally acrylic. no oils. no resins. nothing too crazy. for my beadwork i use annie's tacky glue and then bead around whatever the item is so that the beads form a bezel and hold it in place. that way i can avoid using the really nasty epoxies and things one might otherwise need. the tacky glue might eventually fail but i have not had anything with a beaded bezel lose its cabachon.

well. draw and paint carefully out there.

1 comment:

Kittyj said...

If you start with harder less smeary pencils and work up your darks with the soft you shouldn't have so many problems. (It's also easier to keep your whites white that way.) I also like to keep a tissue under my drawing hand if I need it so - no smudges! I have really old OLD pencil drawings that have never been fixed - they are just fine! I don't like fixative.