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Art, Earth, & You: Sustainable Painting Techniques

Tips on how to make your own fine art practice more sustainable


• Buy only the quality brushes that you need and avoid buying packaged sets of brushes. Clean them well and they can last a lifetime.

• Never dump dirty water into the soil or drain! Pouring acrylic wastewater into sewages and drains during disposal can go to water bodies and harm aquatic life. If you live in a dry enough climate you can wait for the water to evaporate and the paint solids to settle on the bottom of the bucket or cup. When the water evaporates, peel out the dried paint residue and dispose of the hardened paint in a trash bag with your other trash.

• Never throw canvas in a garbage bin. It is not very biodegradable. Keep your scraps for other crafts and drawings. Use them as a bookmark, a birthday card, sew it into a coin purse, the possibilities for canvas scraps are endless. • Recycle old works on canvas and paper. Go back to pieces on quality paper and let them transform into new ones.

• Quality over quantity. Instead of buying cheaply made, thin canvasses, buy a few eco-friendly or gallery quality pieces. Also, large rolls of organic raw cotton canvas are available online to stretch yourself. • Avoid painting on wood panels. With all of the recycled and reusable options, painting on wood is wasteful in many ways. It absorbs too much paint, it doesn’t age well, it warps, it’s heavy and hard to hang, and so much else. • Don’t use chemicals or airborne sealant and sprays. Never use paint thinners, mediums, and other chemical dyes. You wont want to inhale the fumes anyways.

• Walnut oil is a great alternative to clean your brushes, but I always use Dr. Bronner's PURE-CASTILE LIQUID SOAP • Good acrylic paints are expensive and so it’s best to align yourself with a company who you can get behind before spending hundreds of dollars on paint. Look up the safety information and ingredients to the materials you use.

• All of your materials should be non-toxic and biodegradable to avoid further poisoning of our water and soil.


Environmentally Friendly Art Suppliers:


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