Art can be bad for your health

Research into the effects of "art" on artists has been fairly sparse. Very often, studies into health issues concerning industrial painters and craftsmen have been the most useful sources of relevant information. Being largely self-employed rather than a cohesive group with its own representation, artists have had their health issues overlooked.

Many artists don't question their favorite methods and materials and if no one is checking up on their behalf or enforcing good health and safety practices, they are often quite happy to carry on regardless. It is perhaps only when a physical symptom is personally experienced that an artist stops to consider whether his or her working practices and workplace may be responsible.

"Artists are a very strange breed of people," Rickard says. "They tend to be quite anti-establishment, anti-authority. If the rules say do this, they'll do the opposite quite deliberately."

Or perhaps artists feel that "it's a risk you're willing to take because you're excited by the materials and their potential," Barazani says. Or maybe "these artists are not casual with the materials they're working with because they feel they know them so well that they don't have to worry about them," Conibear says, "but rather they're mostly just ignorant and just haven't thought of it in that context."

The most compelling explanation may be a combination of a dangerous attitude and ignorance of dire consequences.

"The self-employed artist may be socialized to be above such mundane concerns. They're thinking on a higher plane. They're creators," says Fuortes. "But once someone has health problems, they're extremely attentive."

Read the entire article here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Toxin Fighter Cocktail

One step at a time.

Today my focus was on elimination of toxins already in my body. My health care provider recommended several actions to take including increasing the body’s natural sweat. Movement does this and increasing water intake helps a great deal. As we speak I am sipping water. Here is another option.

Looking through my favorite cook book, refresh, (by Ruth Tal) I turned to the chapter on vegetable cocktails. Urika ! There is was, a nice hot, peppery sweat tonic.


½ inch ginger root
1 clove garlic
1 handful spinach (I used kale)
1 lemon, peeled
3 stalks celery
3 medium carrots
1 shake cayenne pepper

Juice the ginger and garlic first, followed by the spinach/kale, lemon and celery. Finish with the carrots.

Heat gently in a saucepan and add the cayenne. One is cautioned to remove the pan from the heat once the juice is nice and warm, but well before it comes to a boil. 

It works! Not only is this surprisingly delicious, the warmth factor stimulates the targeted route of elimination.



  1. This is an art blog? Well, yes.

    Before I can explore options to the acrylics that I strongly suspect are making me ill in the studio, I have to get my stamina back.

    I anticipate this blog will be about healing. It will also be about finding materials that I can work with in my studio. For now, I am working with water color and collage on paper.

  2. Congratulations on your new blog Leslie. It's time we all started paying attention to the risks we take as artists. Several years ago when I joined a water media art group someone warned about licking the "cleaned" brush to keep the bristles in a point. That was the first time I had any inkling that paints were toxic and even then we thought it was only the reds that were the culprits.

    "They're thinking on a higher plane" .... I like that :-)

  3. Thinking on a higher plane is what we are all about, at least many of us. I love doing that kind of thinking/being/creating.

    But if I am to keep doing it, I will have to find ways to also honor the health of my body at the same time. They have to go hand in hand.

  4. interesting that refresh is one of your fave cookbooks. my daughter worked at Fresh in Toronto for a number of years. I have the "Fresh" cookbook. Not a detox recipe but my favourite thing is the tahini sauce.


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