Friday, April 22, 2016

Celebrate Earth Day with StencilGirl + Earth Safe Finishes

Time for another Blog Hop and this time we are teaming up with the lovely people from Earth Safe Finishes.  Seems like the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day, doesn't it?
Nancy Burkhart of Earth Safe, has developed paints and mediums that are free of the toxins and solvents normally present in many of the products we artists use. 
I worry about toxins, especially when I am working with wax products. The need for ventilation is so pertinent I won't work with wax unless the room is properly ventilated.  
So imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Nancy has a product that is a substitute for Cold Wax! And she has pigments that can sub in for the oil sticks I typically use. Zero smell, zero toxins.

Follow along to see how I used these products.

1. I took a sheet of Arches Oil paper and cut it into a 9"x9" square. Using blue painter's tape, I taped off around the edges and taped off a cross shape through the center. That left me with four working square areas, which I treated as one piece.

2. Using Licorice Chalk Paint, I scraped some random marks across my substrate.

3. Truth be told, I couldn't wait to play with the pigments so I immediately opened them and put a few drops (they are intense!) on my palette. The colors are gorgeous and so highly pigmented that you really only need a couple drops, wow oh wow! This is a pretty unusual product - to find pigment in a liquid form, I'm not familiar with another company who makes this. I have certainly used powdered pigments before, but you need to wear a mask because the particles go airborne; these liquids are so darn convenient. You can add them to any of your mediums to create colorful versions of, say molding paste or texture medium or clear tinted gel. Or in my case, Cold Wax!
4. Next I opened up the wax. It wasn't what I was expecting, I thought it would be, well, more obviously waxy I suppose. It is fairly liquid, kind of runny yogurt consistency. And a creamy color. ZERO odor. I kid you not. It was unbelievable, absolutely no smell in these products. I put some wax on my palette and mixed it with the droplets of pigment. 
5. And finally I started to paint. This was all palette knife and skewer work (no brushes) and naturally several stencils jumped in, ha!! 
Since the wax itself is so fluid, I simply used my regular sponge to pounce it through the stencil. The Quinacridone Violet is a simply glorious color. That is it on top of the yellow (full strength) and mixed with some white in the foreground (see below). 

6. Here is my final piece after I peeled the tape away. I just love how it turned out. 
I want to spend some more time playing with these products, they have a lot of interesting potential I want to explore. And here's the thing - these days we are assaulted with toxic ingredients in every part of our life; it is really wonderful for a company to take the time to figure out other ways of manufacturing and to make safe products for artists. Kudos, Nancy!
And guess what? You can win my art. All you have to do is visit the blogs showcased today through Wednesday and leave a comment. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to WIN this one of a kind, 9x9 inch Cold Wax painting on Arches Oil Paper made by me.
One comment per blog please. You will have until Monday, April 25th at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to leave your comments.

The winner of Stencil Girl's give-away will be announced on StencilGirl's Facebook page on Wednesday, April 27th.

Here are the links to the other posts: