How many times have you, dear reader, paused mid-brush stroke to wonder about the origins of your favourite oil paint, the composition of your favourite sketching pencil, or the sustainability of your beloved canvas? After all, in a world striving for sustainability, shouldn’t our art mirror the same ethos?
Eco-friendly art supplies, once a niche market, have now begun to bloom, much like a watercolour wash across the textured paper, bringing with it a burst of opportunity for both professional and amateur artists alike. It’s time we paint not just pictures, but a better future. So, let’s embark on this journey together and explore the world of eco-friendly art supplies.
Brushes with a Conscious
Most artists have an intimate relationship with their brushes; they are as vital as the paint itself. But do you know what your brushes are made of? Traditional brushes often use animal hair or synthetic materials derived from non-renewable petroleum products.
Enter eco-friendly alternatives like brushes made from Taklon or other synthetic fibres manufactured from recycled materials. The handles, too, crafted from sustainable bamboo or other reclaimed wood, represent an ode to nature, a testament to the harmony between artistic creation and sustainability.
And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget about The Green Brush Project, a brand that makes brushes from 100% sustainable materials and donates a portion of their profits towards environmental causes. So, as you create your masterpiece, you’re also contributing to the larger canvas of our planet.
Every sketch starts with a pencil, but not all pencils are created equal. Ever wondered what happens to the pencil shavings and stubs you leave behind? Well, Sprout World’s plantable pencils provide a charming answer. Once you’ve sketched your way down to a stub, simply plant the pencil in soil, water it regularly, and watch a variety of plants sprout from what was once destined for the bin.
Paints with Purpose
While capturing the beauty of nature on canvas, isn’t it ironic that the very tools we use could be causing harm to the environment? Traditional paints, filled with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals, often find their way back into our ecosystems.
Natural Earth Paint, a company that takes inspiration from our ancestors’ use of earth and mineral pigments, has managed to recreate the rich, vibrant hues that many artists crave, all without the synthetic binders, fillers, and toxins found in conventional paints.
With these paints, you’re not just creating art, but also preserving the environment in its raw, natural form. Think of it as making your art come full circle, as the colours of the Earth are borrowed, used to create, and then returned without causing harm.
Canvas and Paper – The Unsung Heroes
Canvas and paper are the unsung heroes of the art world, bearing the weight of our creativity. However, their production can often be taxing on our environment.
Next time, consider reaching for canvas made from organic cotton or hemp, produced without harmful pesticides and chemicals. As for paper, options made from recycled or alternative materials, like bamboo or hemp, are becoming increasingly available. Legion Paper, for example, offers Stonehenge Aqua Coldpress, a 100% cotton paper that’s perfect for watercolours and maintains sustainable sourcing and production.
Let’s redefine the term ‘blank canvas’ to not just mean an untouched surface ready for creation, but also a symbol of sustainability and thoughtful consumption.
In this era, where every purchase casts a vote for the kind of world we want to live in, let’s use our art to cast a vote for sustainability. It’s not just about creating art; it’s about painting a picture of a world that respects and treasures its resources, a world where beauty and responsibility coexist seamlessly on our palettes and canvases.
In the end, isn’t the most profound art that respects the source of its inspiration? By choosing eco-friendly art supplies, we are not only exploring the depth of our creativity but also recognising the worth of the planet that fuels it. Let’s use our brushes, pencils, and paints to not just depict nature, but to preserve it too.
To paraphrase Picasso, ‘Art is a lie that makes us realise truth’. And the truth is, we need to be more sustainable, even in our art. So pick up your eco-friendly brush, dip it in your natural paint, and let’s begin creating not just art, but a future where sustainability is the true masterpiece.