IS YOUR ART KILLING YOU?
(www.investorideas.com renewable energy
newswire ) A documentary on the pioneering of sustainable art products,
the work of artist Marshall Carbee, is seeking Kickstarter funding to
expose the paint industry's dirty little secret - that even the low-VOC
paints approved by the EPA have been declared safe only for the
environment, all the while often being quite harmful to humans.
stands for volatile organic compounds. "Don't be fooled by the word
'organic,'" says Executive Producer Nanci Crosbie. "They are chemical
compounds - 'organic' only because they contain carbon, found in all
It is the "volatile" that is the safety risk. It
means that these paints easily become gases. If you have ever painted a
bedroom or a canvas, that strong smell that is noticeable for the first
few days comes from the chemicals in the paint turning into vapors.
problem is, long after we stop noticeably smelling those compounds, the
chemicals continue to seep into the air over the lifetime of the paint.
That beautiful work of art hanging on your wall, that cute color for
your baby's nursery - they are actually sending off unnoticeable fumes
that are likely toxic, according to artist Marshall Carbee who says
others must be alerted to this danger.
Carbee first became aware
of the problem while working as a scenic artist in New York City.
Scenics are the artists who create the illusions of other times and
places by painting the sets of movies and plays.
"Our days are
long," says Carbee, "but I noticed that when we struck the sets and our
work was done, the job was often not done with us. Many scenics
developed long-term health problems most likely from working with
hazardous scenic art materials - even paints that were certified as
When Carbee saw his fellow scenics develop
chronic illnesses, he began to look for safer alternatives for artists.
Shockingly, he discovered that there were none. So, he set out on a
mission to create paints that were safer for people and safer for the
planet - the first truly sustainable paints.
Carbee's quest for a
better future for paints ended up taking him backwards in time. Mankind
has been painting since caves were our canvas, long before we relied
upon petroleum and harmful chemicals.
In 2008, Carbee search led
him to Eco Safety Products, a relatively small soy-based coatings
manufacturer in Phoenix, Arizona. Their CEO, John Bennett, had built a
company that pioneered using soy-based formulations for paint rather
than petroleum. The results were actually paints that were not only
better healthier for people, but yielded much better performance, as
The artist/entrepreneur and CEO began working together
towards a shared vision of sustainability. They developed the first
soy-based gesso for artists, and a line of soy-based industrial scenic
art paints and products.
Inspired by how Nature allows for the
creation of paints without any chemicals, Marshall Carbee began to
explore to what degree he could partner with the Earth itself in
creating art. This led not only to his using sustainable materials, but
to giving nature the creative lead in his painting methods.
my goal is to touch the art as little as possible," says Carbee of his
unique work. "I use natural soy to prepare the canvas and then use the
colors of the nearby environment to create the paints. Then I leave the
canvas outside, sometimes for months at a time, and let wind, rain, and
the curve of the Earth itself 'paint' the ultimate piece."
documentary will feature the results, which are often stunning: like
looking at the Grand Canyon or the Great Lakes in miniature, only filled
with dozens of colors. Carbee even harnesses what we usually consider
nature at its most destructive - some of his most famous paintings have
been created while canvases whipped through the high winds and rolled on
the ground during hurricanes.
Carbee's hope is that the
documentary will inspire the next step. "No more finger painting in
schools with paints that could be toxic. No more paint-caused illnesses
for artists. No more dangerous VOCs in our homes. Contribute to our
Kickstarter campaign, and join us in giving people a better choice for
their children, their homes, and their art."
Check out our Kickstarter project through May 23:
Two Carbee bio-paint earth paintings, private collection, Sonoma County, California
Public Good Relations