Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Allergies and Folk Art Painting


People with Chemical sensitivities can be allergic to paint
Allergies and Paint

I LOVED to paint. It was my life. If you read my book, Allergies and Chronic Fatigue  A Natural Approach, you will know that from a very young age I have been fascinated with painting, whether it is transforming and beautifying a door or wall or decorating a canvas, piece of paper or some wood.

Throughout my book you will see that every time I was exposed to paint from childhood, I became very ill. We now know this as chemical allergies.

Modern paint is full of chemicals. Goodness knows what they were full of in the 'Old' days. I passed my thirties a good while ago.

Paint contains a good dose of chemicals including toluene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are BAD for people with allergies to chemicals.

My Painting Career

For many years I painted - artistically - up to 12 hours a day with artists acrylics. I would not use artists oil paints as the brushes had to be cleaned in turpentine - another strong smelling chemical. One video I watched of an artist explaining how to paint even used petrol to clean his brushes!!!!!

Now I thought I could get away with these tubes of acrylic paints. After all it said on the plastic tube 'Non toxic'. Mmmm. To whom?

I painted folk art style and still love this simplistic version of painting. This style is often painted on wood or tin. The background has to be painted first. Here come the larger quantities of paint. Get the picture?

I also used to mix large quantities of background colour for my students - I taught painting for years too. Painting classes were a delight for me but I found that going home after a couple of classes I was totally drained. I had been exposed to paint from 12 students for 5 hours.

Well eventually my chemical allergies all came to a head and I ended up in bed - for years. But here I am.

My style of painting has changed a lot over the years, as happens. I used watercolour paint for a while as very little paint or pigment is used. It is different to acrylic paints. Now I can use acrylics again, but I will never use them to the extent of before.

Chemical Sensitivities

If you have chemical sensitivities be careful with acrylic artist's paint too. It is not only the paint in the tubes but the tubes themselves are made out of plastic - more on that another day. People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) need to be careful.

To see my Folk Art Books click here.

For more information on my book Allergies and Chronic Fatigue  A Natural

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