RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ARTIST
HEALTH AND SAFETY; RESPONSIBLE PAINTING
It's an artist's responsibility to be aware of the environmental footprint the artwork creates. Health and safety need to be considered. Painters use all kinds of materials to make paintings. It's important we achieve the results we want; but often we put our lives at risk in the process. I think our health is important, our environment is important. It's a good time to look for ways to reduce petroleum content in art materials. Sustainable chemistry and plant based resins make this possible. It's important to consider the health and safety of artists. It's important to think ahead and be concerned with sustainability. Low impact earth pigments and other professional yet more responsible, non-petroleum based art materials can be found online. Painters are exposed to many unknown and untested chemicals. Pick Your Poison, a book by chemist, Monona Rossol, can help guide you. Another good book for artists is called, Artist Beware, by Michael McCann. There are industrial coatings alternatives, but little is known of the effects these chemicals have on us. Painters want to live. Be careful. If you want to paint, make sure you talk to a health and safety expert. Do some research on materials. MSDS sheets are available for most materials, paints and other chemicals; MSDS are put out by the manufacturers. Why use hazardous materials when you don't have to? To become more aware of the situation, please read PICK YOUR POISON, How Our Mad Dash to Chemical Utopia Is Making Lab Rats of Us All, by Monona Rossol. You'll find out why "Nontoxic" doesn't mean Not Toxic, even with regard to children's art supplies. The most common disease among industrial painters is a type of brain and nervous system damage. Unknown solvents in commercial paints can be hazardous. Paint is easy to make. It's not a mysterious process.
At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don't need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.
-Toni Morrison, Tar Baby
When modern art was born artists broke free of their historical limitations and in the process, lost sight of their social contract. As artists neglected their accountability to society, people lost interest in the artist and art. People need to care more about the Arts and about artists. They are not going to do that unless artists care more about people. Art can lead people into the future through beauty. Great art illuminates us; it shows us the best of what we are. There is a new world of social awareness which poses a radical challenge to artists: Renew our social contract, create art that inspires and uplift us with stunning beauty and white hot spiritual energy. People need to care more about what Art offers. To help them do this, Artists need to care more about people. That’s the beginning of a renewal of our social contract.
- Marshall Carbee