Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ecologically Responsible Painting

Allyson and I are dedicated to making work that is environmentally sound. We have to make many compromises as we live in an industrial society and certain things are expensive or maybe difficult to obtain or grow. For example Madder Roots produce a beautiful blood or ruby red but it takes 3 years to cultivate the color from their roots. Last year I grew a Madder plant. With much love the plant still died with in the year. Madder naturally grows in tropical/sub-tropical climates. Madder needs a lot of room to grow and I was growing it indoors. To make a long story short, my 7-month cultivation of the roots produced no color. So, at times we may need to depend on a particular climate or alternate source of an environmentally sound material. An important thing to know is that in the 1800’s Alizarin Crimson was invented using coal tar to re-create the chemical composition of madder. In 2007, Alizarin Crimson and most other synthetic pigments are still made with coal tar. The best way to avoid this is to actively buy products that do not support coal/chemical industries. We purchase our Madder from Kremer pigments in NY and Windsor & Newton. We are submitting a small list of our favorite watercolor paints and pigments that can be purchased at local art stores or online vendors.

MADDER RED= Genuine Rose Madder Watercolor: Windsor & Newton

TERRE VERTE GREEN= Terre Verte Watercolor: Windsor & Newton

YELLOW OCHRE= Yellow Ochre Watercolor:

LAPIS BLUE= Genuine Lapis Blue Watercolor:

List of Companies:
Kremer Pigments: They have a range of Earthen Pigments & Vegetable Pigments (some of the historical pigments are eco-friendly too)

Old Holland: Look for the Earthen Pigments (ochre, sienna, charcoal black, etc.)

Natural Pigments: Most colors are amazing! Watch out for the toxic pigments that are natural!

Daniel Smith: They have a line of natural mineral pigments. Watch out for the copper based pigments like Malachite, Azurite, and Turquoise. Copper based pigments are soluble in water and can be harmful to humans, animals, and water systems.

Bioshield: They make Zero VOC all natural wall paints (Make great gessoes)

AFM Safecoat: They make Zero VOC paints that are made from polymer (Makes a good wall paint)

REMEMBER: “Natural” does not always mean safe! Lead is natural! Also remember that non-toxic does not always mean good for the environment. Polymer is not good for our water systems. Titanium is safe for humans, but is processed or bleached in a way that is bad for the environment.

*** Remember that the information shared in this excerpt is not intellectual property, but information that should be shared with the world. Eco-painting should be done for the earth and future generations not for individual prestige.

*** Both images above are made using homemade walnut ink, rose madder, titanium white, and egg tempera. (Reign In Blood And Puss) (Puddin: Owner Of A Lonely Heart)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Part of the fun of having this blog is being able to focus on our collaborative works. Jeremy and I both have our own bodies of work (drawings, paintings, prints,etc.) but then somewhere between all of that there is this body of sculptures that we have made together over the last few years. What I like the best about the whole process is that we really emphasize each other's strengths and learn from each other. My pattern making skills have definitely gotten better from this experience and J has definitely gotten really good at sewing.
I am going to post some of these pieces over the next few days. Hope you like them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to our blog. Jeremy and I are in the midst of gathering all of our energy to create websites of our own... until then we thought we would try having a blog. This also gives us a chance to share some of our non-toxic recipes, ideas, and concerns. We are working on a book on that very topic and this will be good practice for us! We are looking forward to sharing and hearing from friends old and new. Hooray!

The image above is from our most recent show at Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn. If you can't go there in person go to their website, they rule!

more soon!