Bad Habit

…and another good tip: CLOSE YOUR JAR OF TURP!!!!!! IT IS BAD FOR YOU!!!!!!

As a painting instructor, I am in a closed up studio for about 12 hours each week. At the California Art Institute there are no windows that open.  If everyone in my classes used their turp jars to clean their brushes every other stroke, I would be producing babies with three heads. There is a vast, ubiquitous bit of ignorance out there about ODORLESS turp. It is more harmful for you than non-odorless turp. WHY? Because you can stand it for longer. You don’t notice its offensive, harmful fumes. Be assured however, that they are there.

“So how in the world do you paint without cleaning your brush”, I am asked by people who come to my classes for the first time who already have painting experience and bad habits? “By means of wiping it on a rag, or by using more than one brush”, I answer. I learned this from David Leffel. He and I both are capable of producing perfectly lovely paintings with this method. David does not even use turp to clean his brushes when he is all done painting but resorts to using some kind of special soap, the name of which escapes me. I admit that I do clean with turp at the end, but at least I limit my exposure by not painting with the open jar right under my nose for eight hours at a time. Supposedly Gamsol is safer to use, but is still not perfectly safe. Why bother risking it WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN NEED IT?

So next time you see a child walking around with three heads you’ll say to yourself, “Turp baby”.


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2 Responses to Bad Habit

  1. Mike says:

    Not even turp is needed….keep a jar with about 1 inch of walnut oil. At the end of the day put all of the brushes in the oil push down ans swish around a few times then wash brushes with bar soap, dish wahsing liquid or Murphy’s Oil soap. Rinse and dry. Done! (Wipe handle with rag or papertowel moistened with a few drops of the same oil. ) Takes me 5 to 10 minutes to clean up.

  2. lbtowers says:

    But don’t you go through a ton of walnut oil that way? I have heard about this, but it does not seem that economical or even environmentally safe. Clue me in.

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