I am beginning to think artists should really strive to reflect the times they are living in. There are so many ecological crises happening worldwide that to create art and not to attempt a greener approach might be considered irresponsible. I use acrylics for painting and although the cleanup is better for the environment than oils (if you're not flushing your rinse water down the drain) the plastic containers and tubes that hold them, and the plastic polymers binding the pigments aren’t exactly best buddies with our earth, and some of the pigments themselves contain heavy metals like lead that I don’t want my liver or the even smaller livers of my children to have to deal with.
What to do then? I’m sure there are sustainability issues with many different art supplies that I currently use but my first step is going to be trying out this product that I just heard about called GLOB. I ordered a kit last night and am really excited to start using it. It is a dry powder that you mix with water, made of all natural ingredients, and its manufacture and packaging are very earth friendly. Its labeling categorizes it as more of a craft and/or kid's art product which is excellent. It probably isn’t considered artist grade because it doesn’t have the same archival quality of current art materials on the market but I really don’t care. Digital photography can help artists achieve longevity if required; if we don’t take a hard look at all of our activities in an effort to save our planet, then longevity of a piece of art will be a meaningless concept.
Check back for more info as I continue to create a more mama-earth friendly studio.