Happy Earth Day, Artists!

Being Part of the Green Art Movement

Happy Earth Day, Artists! May your land-, sea-, and skyscapes be as lovely today as they ever were. It’s not a day to preach or chide or feel down on yourself. Just a day to celebrate Mother Nature and raise awareness as an art community of green art ways–simple solutions you can do starting today in your studio to keep your ecosystem going strong.

Love in art,

Courtney

 

Green-art-ways-checklist

Download this free art infographic in celebration of Earth Day for a quick and easy reference on how to keep your studio as green as you can make it. Simple and easy. Enjoy!

Doing the Green Art Thing Is So Simple

No big changes or disruptions to your routine are necessary to make eco-friendly art. Instead, just be mindful of the ways you dispose of materials and supplies, and think before you toss. That’s really the basis of it all. For more, download the infographic above for a quick and easy studio checklist that you can post.

Green art: Matisse's The Oasis

The Oasis by Matisse.

Clean out the studio without wasting a thing.

We all love art supplies, and many of us can’t turn them down when they come our way. No shame in that! But if you are cleaning out the studio, really look at what you can reuse, recycle, give away to another artist, or pass along to a community organization or school. It you have a free table at your studio, put things there before anything goes in the trash.

Don’t pour paints down the drain.

Start there and all the decisions you make will be good ones. You may not work with toxic materials but they are foreign to the local ecosystem with the exception of natural earth pigments, so keep them out of the drain.

Extra caution for metal-based paints.

These—cadmium, lead, cobalt, etc—and mediums need to definitely go into separate containers and be disposed of appropriately. Label them and then just contact your local waste disposal plant or look at their website for what to do with them. Simple as that.

Invest in a closed disposal container like a solvent can.

You can clean off brushes in it too. Solids will separate and sink to the bottom. The liquid can be reused several times and when you are ready to dispose of it, put it in a tin-foil lined cardboard box, let the remaining liquid evaporate and dispose of as household trash if that works for your local landfill. OR you can take the sludgy mixture and use it for an underpainting, so nothing is wasted and you get a unique grey to paint with.

Don’t through excess paint and mediums in the trash

And don’t pour solvents down the drain. If possible, follow your locale’s plans for disposing of hazardous waste.

Put any small amounts of patinas, lacquers, and varnishes…

Outside so they can evaporate. The remaining solids will be inert and can be dropped off at the landfill. You can also pour plaster into the liquid, turning it into a solid for quicker disposal.

Let rags and paper towels with paint or oil on them dry

To prevent spontaneous combustion. DON’T crumple them up. Drape them over the rim of your trash can instead.

Remember that you are only one person but multiplied by millions, artists together can be a major part of keeping communities and local ecosystems safe and healthy. Green art is as simple as that!

 

 

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About Courtney Jordan

For Courtney, editor of Artist's Network, art is one of life’s essentials. Presenting art techniques to you from trusted instructors and creators as well as adding her own voice to the mix about her own (sometimes blooper worthy!) art endeavors is what she loves best. She writes about everything from Old Master painting and techniques to how to troubleshoot a painting gone wrong. She is always looking for ways to make more of her studio time, too, working in mixed media.