My non-toxic method for oil painting from start to finish.

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For a long time, I put aside oil painting because I don’t have a studio and I didn’t want to fill my small NYC apartment with toxic fumes.  It’s one thing, to be in a studio for a few hours inhaling the stuff; it’s another thing, to live and sleep with it every day.  Long-term effects of inhaling turpentine and mineral spirits include permanent brain damage, dementia, and psychosis.

Throughout my training, I was taught that solvents were necessary to prime surfaces, thin oil colors, wash brushes between colors, and varnish the finished painting.  Basically needed for every aspect of oil painting. I used to think solvents were an occupational hazard oil painters had to accept. Continue reading →

The strange way leather is made.

apc gigi bootsIn a previous post, I had mentioned the horrific things that are happening at Bangladeshi leather tanneries.  I really had no idea how bad things were until I saw this segment on PBS.  It got me wondering: what does “proper” leather tanning look like?  I found this youtube video about how leather is made in the USA.  Even leather made “safely” in America is strange!  Frankly, it’s gross.  Manufacturing waste from the leather tanning process, in forms of dried up connective tissue and gray globs of fatty slime, is bought by cheap dog food companies to use as filler (yuck, I’m so glad we feed Freddy real meat and good dry food).  I’m not vegan or anti-leather, although I do admire those who do choose to be.  I do own a few cherished leather items: my APC gigi boots, half moon bag, watch, wallet, and loafers.  But after seeing this, I’m starting to evolve in this area, and will opt to purchase leather secondhand when I’m in need of replacements.  Or go “pleather” or “vegan leather”– both names don’t sit right with me.  There’s lots of snarky connotations in those terms.  What about removing the term leather altogether and replacing it with the name of the actual material.  As it terns out there’s a huge range of vegan leather and some are actually really bad for the environment and yet they all go under the same name. Continue reading →

dead malls + environmental hopelessness

Seph Lawless

Malls are dead.

All across America, malls are dying. And there are people out there finding inspiration in the decay. Just check out Dan Bell’s low budget films and Vaporwave, an internet art movement. They’re using dead mall imagery to express a sense of hopelessness about the things we can’t control, like being poor, having no jobs, the false promises of capitalism, and so on. Continue reading →

wardrobe: my favorite thing in 2016

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It’s new year’s eve and 2016 is almost over. I’m reflecting on the changes to my wardrobe this year. I removed a lot of unnecessary stuff out and filled in some necessary gaps with quality pieces that have for the most part worked out well with a few exceptions.

Out of all my wardrobe additions this year, my favorite one has been the SleepPhones by Sheep Acoustics.

Continue reading →