Monday, September 30, 2013

Nearly October! What next?

Here it is the last day of September 2013. Big problems for the US with their debt ceiling. Little problem for me - I now seem to be allergic to turpenoid. I had just developed a new mode of oil painting based on my studies of Emily Carr's luminous glowing paintings and was getting really excited about doing a lot of paintings that way. Now I realize I have to make a change.

Years ago I used real turpentine for painting. When I started painting again a few of years ago, I decided to use turpenoid because it is odorless. For 2 years I never thought twice about the turpenoid. It never seemed to affect my asthma and it worked quite well. But my asthma has been quite bad for almost a year now. It started with a virus last November. By June my symptoms were getting out of hand. In July, my peak flow had deteriorated from my normal high of 410 to a low of 120. I was so out of breath that I could hardly walk down the dock or climb the ramp at mid-tide.

After visits to the respirologist, sinus specialist, asthma education clinic, and three courses of prednisone, I  finally understand that, although my asthma starts with a virus, it is exacerbated by various allergins.  I now seem to be allergic to chemicals in polyfilla, varethane, deisel fumes, and, sad to say, something I use in oil painting - I think it is the turpenoid. I get a sore throat, sinus pain and increased effusion in my eustachian tubes. I haven't noticed it exacerbate my asthma - but I can't take that chance.

So I have put my wet oil painting in Mike's workshop and locked up the turpenoid. I have also done some research on painting with acrylics and painting solvent-free with oils. There is a chance that I will not be allergic to either of those painting methods. Tomorrow I will try painting solvent-free by thinning my paints with linseed oil and cleaning my brushes with soap and water. If this doesn't work - I'll give acrylics a go and switch from "following in the footsteps of Carr" to doing  more "Norval Moriseau-like" work.  I love his colours and shapes - so it could be great!

As the saying goes - "when one door closes another door opens."