Sunday, January 23, 2011

eternity ......... question about air purifier

9x6 pastel and watercolor
A new eternity, filled with hope, begins now. 
This is my first bedside painting since the surgery 10 days ago. When I was in the hospital I sat by the window and through tiny slits in my eyes (that wouldn't open because of the drugs) I saw the most beautiful thing. That night there had been an ice storm. In the morning the clouds lifted for a moment and everything was pure with hope. I feel full of that hope right now and I tried to create it here.

I am thankful every moment for my life, my loves and all my friends. Thanks for being there, friends. It really does matter.

I am thinking ahead and I need to think about making my studio as clean as possible from any lung irritant. For years I have existed with a small air purifier, but as you may know I need more now. I have made changes- This year I have limited my pastels to outdoors and oils for studio work. In addition I have changed from liquin to walnut oil alkyd and never keep anything open. Oil rags are always in an air tight can and turpentine is closed tightly only opened when used. I have had recommendations for air purifier called the "artist's air easel attachment air purifier." It is a pricey investment, but if everyone recommneds it I will just get it. At this point  cost seems unimportant  if it indeed will make my air clear. So friends, what is your experience? Recommendations?

THANK YOU once again your words, notes, emails, comments, flowers, gifts and most of all LOVE. I am a believer  that so much caring and light makes the healing possible. There have been days I actually cry touched by so much positive energy. I love all of you.


Double "D" said...

Dear B,

It's a wonderful painting and amazing that you're able to pull it off. I thought you should be resting ... that goofy hamster! You take very good care of the healing process and don't do anything that would jeopardize
the outcome ... please? We want you healthy.

As for my experience with purified air is not very good from the positive side. Breathing the fumes from markers for years, breathing in Bestine and turps mixed with rubber cement for hand made frisket, putting points on my brushes with my mouth when using gouache, breathing in chemical fumes from web and sheet fed press and breathing in dust from corn starch sprayed onto each sheet to keep the ink from offsetting. O I forgot, years of spraying 3M spray mount on layouts. Ummm, I'm still here and still kicking. Thats what happened to us old dinosaurs, I guess that's why we're nearly extinct.

Do not follow in my footsteps.

Continue your rest and healing, the most important thing you will have done in your life. Ok enough preaching.

I'm sending you healing thoughts and hugs and heading out for Sedona on Wednesday. I'll be in touch from the road.


Astrid Volquardsen said...

Hi Loriann,
it is so good to have you back and this painting is just stunning. A very good one from memory lane.

I use the artist air filter and it has significantly improved the air in my studio.But I am also wearing a protective mask, even though at some times it is pretty hard to endure.

loriann said...

Hi PB, It is amazing that you can breathe at all! I promise I won't follow in those footsteps. And yes I will rest...painting makes me feel good...even if i only manage a little in my bed. Best wishes for a safe and fun trip south. I will be looking for your paintings. Thanks-
b (otherwise known as the hamster)

Hi Asti,
Yes I remember your filter. Why do you still feel you need a mask?
PS Thank you about the painting too.

Casey Klahn said...

My experiences with a cheaper filter were that it just blew whatever was in the air straight out from the fan side. Awful. I think Asti's pumps it out of the building, if I am correct.

Very stunning work, Loriann!

I wear the mask that has a breather filter so it's more comfortable. I think dakota sells them, but they must be at Home Depot, too.

Leah said...

Laura says, "The drugs aren't all bad then. This is incredible! I'd like to own it."

I echo Laura's sentiment. It's magnificent!

SamArtDog said...

I'm in wide-eyed wonder at your slitty-eyed colors! You may actually have achieved new levels.

It's said that many artists gained new ways of seeing as they aged. I guess we all have a lot to look forward to. In any case, whether it's an arthritic hand too stiff to hold the brush or eyes too dim to see shapes, some of the best artists became the greatest.

Here's looking at you, kid!

SamArtDog said...

Oh... and if I remember correctly (?), Artist's Air is made in Maine, which would mean that they're wicked good! However, being made by down-easters means they're definitely made for profit.

And just cuz we like it, word verif.--tyrkdog.

Nika said...

oh, the painting looks as if it's not painted even, but breathed onto the paper. You're reaching a new level yet, you amaze me. Heal well.

loriann said...

Thanks for the info Casey.... and also for the kind words about my small painting.

Thanks Leah and Laura. It really painted itself.

Hi too could be the serious load of drugs placed in my body by the hour;-)
Wicked good filter, eh?

Thanks Nika..breathed onto the paper. Thanks for all your kindnesses.

Pam Holnback said...

The complements in this piece jumped right out at me when it popped up on my dashboard. I don't know anything about the air purifier, but, if it helps a little, it's worth it! I like the idea of only doing pastels outside. The dust is just too much. My thoughts and prayers continue to be wi/ you.

Diane Mannion said...

Beautiful painting, Loriann. Magical atmosphere and glorious color.
I have been using only linseed oil... no turps at all for a month. Washing brushes with soap. Find there is enough oils in the paint from the tube, and just dip my brush in the linseed (or walnut oil) once in a while. Find I'm getting much better brush quality from using thicker paint. Heal well, Loriann.
Diane Mannion

B Boylan said...

STUNNING! If you are taking medications and painting like this, then where can I get some?
All kidding aside, this is incredibly beautiful!

I use a face mask that I preach to every pastelist. It's called a Totobobo and you can get them online at It is flexible (silicon), lightweight and most importantly, effective. I purchased it online for around 25 bucks and it self-seals around so no air sneaks through the gaps. Still considering the expensive one, but will have to wait for now. Happy healing, we're glad you are back!

artistinthewild said...

Hi Loriann-
Two thoughts I'd like to share. First and foremost, my best wishes for your healing. It is a long journey--celebrate each and every day.
I know what it is like to have a doctor look you in the eye and say " do this surgery now and you MIGHT live; wait and you'll be dead within a year". In that brief moment everything changes. A positive attitude is imperative, and I think you've got that covered!
Secondly, I've looked at the air purifier you mentioned. For pastel work I think it would be outstanding. For oils in the studio, however, it has the drawback of venting out of the canister, and right back into the room. HEPA filters and carbon are great for particulates, but not enough for solvents. If you could locate the canister outside (longer exhaust hose?) this could be an ideal set up in my opinion.
Wishing you all the best. -W

Barbara said...

It's great to have you back and this painting is gorgeous! Like Brenda, I wear a Totobobo. It leaves very attractive old-lady lines on my cheeks but it works!

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Loriann, what a beautiful painting! And ten days after surgery! You are an inspiration. Best wishes x

Caroline said...

Hi Loriann, have you thought about turning more towards watercolour painting? I wrote a bit about it on my blog this morning and Maggie's 100 washes blog with all the artists who contribute is worth a look. Watercolour is very flexible too with the effects that can be achieved. Until you are well and strong Loriann don't go near those pastels as I believe the dust is not healthy. Many say that watercolours in themselves are very healing to use and relaxing too to watch the pigment flow as it will over wet paper. Just an idea. Keep healing our thoughts are with you.

Cathyann said...

Ehtereal is the word. This is stunningly beautiful Loriann.
So glad that you are back with us, painting!! and things are looking good for you healthwise.
Keep those nasty fumes away. Wish I could help with advice on the filter, but alas..I do what you did...keep the lid on and dispose of rags quickly, etc.
Am praying for continued healing and marvelous paintings. Best-

Donna T said...

Yes, ethereal is the word for this painting. I know nothing about air purifiers, Loriann, but think you and your work are worth every cent of the most expensive and effective thing on the market. Whatever it takes to keep you painting - and healthy!

Kim McCutcheon said...

Beautiful painting! So happy to read that you are healing!
I switched to water soluble oils a few months ago. It didn't take long to get used to them. I use Holbein Duo. They are artist quality and Gtumbacher MAX medium Quick Dry makes the oils flow nicely. There are no fumes and clean up with soap and water.
Take care and keep painting!

loriann said...

Thanks Pam! I guess the air purifier is most important for pastels.

Hi Diane,
Thank you about my painting and good suggestion about no turp.

Hi Brenda, Funny about the medications...wonder how much "they" painted?????
I will get one of those Totobobo filters right now and consider the bigger step too. Thanks for the info.

Hi William,
You are right it is a long journey but with a positive attitude and goals for recovery I will be even better than before. Sounds like you understand this journey.
Thank you for the filter idea. I will try to figure out how I can put the can outside.

Hi Barbara, Thanks about the painting and looks like I will have a totobobo soon. It's amazing how everything looks different now.

Hi Lisa and thank you. Egad...painting is an obsession.

Hi Caroline,Good thoughts about watercolor. I have been using more watercolor and more reserving just a few strokes of pastel for the the cherry on top.

Hi Cathyann, Thank you for your kindness and wonderful praise about my painting. I am getting better.

Hi Donna,

Ethereal..nice. I am starting to agree with you about health and is amazing how we (I) can take it for granted. Not any more.

Hi Kim,
Do you like the feel of the water soluble oils? How are the colors?
Thanks you about the painting.
PS Thank you about the painting.

Lynne E. Windsor said...

So happy to be getting your posts again Loriann! I know what you mean about painting making you feel better. I suffer from migraines, but will still drag myself to the easel when I start to feel slightly better! I don't know much about purifiers and use oil pastels, which I love. I do worry about painting with oils, and try to limit the turp and mediums, but so far no bad side effects. (Have suffered from migraines long before I took up painting full time). Lovely light in your soporific painting!

Linda Foltz said...

Hi, Loriann. You are so amazing! Glad you are back in business, bedside, no less. Another wonderful painting. I like how the yellow just boils up with hope. Let the healing continue! And what an interesting conversation you've begun about healthy art materials--will benefit everyone. Many prayers.

Kim McCutcheon said...

Hi Loriann,
Water soluble oils can work just like regular oils. I can make them transparent by using the medium and us them as glazes like you were doing earlier with Deborah Paris. I also use them without medium to produce textural effects. The colors are pleasing. Just be sure to by the Duo brand. My style isn't like yours by you can see how I use them at
I love your work ethic! Keep healing.

Kim McCutcheon said...

Hi Loriann,
Water soluble oils can work just like regular oils. I can make them transparent by using the medium and use them as glazes like you were doing earlier with Deborah Paris. I also use them without medium to produce textural effects. The colors are pleasing. Just be sure to buy the Duo brand. My style isn't like yours by you can see how I use them at
I love your work ethic! Keep healing.

Kim McCutcheon said...

Hi Loriann,
Water soluble oils can work just like regular oils. I can make them transparent by using the medium and use them as glazes like you were doing earlier with Deborah Paris. I also use them without medium to produce textural effects. The colors are pleasing. Just be sure to buy the Duo brand. My style isn't like yours by you can see how I use them at
I love your work ethic! Keep healing.

loriann said...

Thanks Lynne! I am not surprised that painting is your medicine too! Sorry about your migraines. I hear they can be awful. Thank you about the painting my friend.

H Linda, Trying to keep me healing and one way is to keep my hands in paint and pastels.
Thanks for all of your prayers and for the beautiful warm shawl and delicious chocolate. I wrap myself in that shawl most of the day when I am upright. You are an angel! xo loriann

Hi Kim, I will check out the Duo brand and your blog soon. thanks!

Brian McGurgan said...

This is a stunning painting, Loriann - it's so good to see you back at it.

I find using pastel on smoother surfaces like the Twinrocker paper creates much less dust than, say, working on Wallis or La Carte. To avoid getting dust stirred up in the air, I've largely stopped rubbing pastel with chamois, paper towel, or stumps, and mostly use color shaper tools instead to smudge it around. I wipe my work area down with a wet paper towel after using the pastels and find I'm cleaning up very little dust with this approach. I have a HEPA air purifier running when I work in pastel - the artist air filter dust collection system would be much better, I'm sure, since it's drawing dust directly away at the easel but it's much more expensive, too. I don't use a mask when I work but would consider it if I felt like I was kicking up much dust. With oils, I notice very little odor these days when I work, although I don't know how much vapor is actually in the air of the studio that I can't smell. I'm using OMS and Galkyd or Galkyd Lite and try to keep good air flow and ventilation. I've used Graham Walnut Alkyd Medium as well but find I prefer Galkyd since it dries to the touch more quickly and seems to me to have a somewhat warmer and more clear transparency. I use Galkyd Lite more frequently since I find it works better for me when glazing. It's got much less odor than Liquin. Having said all this, it's worth noting that except on weekends I'm generally not using pastels or oils for more than a couple of hours at a time so my overall exposure is probably much less than artists who can dedicate more time to the studio. restricting pastels to outdoor use sounds like a great idea, too - especially if your techniques generate a lot of dust.

loriann said...

Hi Brian,
Excellent points. I will try pushing the pastel in more, rather than rubbing. And continue using them mostly in the outdoors.
As for the graham walnut oil I like it because of its benign nature, but agree with you it dries much slower than liquin or galkyd. Now that my paintings have grown in size and i work on many at a time it is not an fact it makes me slow down more, which always makes me stronger.
By the way, did you get to see that Tonalist show? I still have hope to make it there before it closes although my hubby thinks my goal is unrealist. We will see.

Brian McGurgan said...

I haven't gone to the show yet, Loriann, but was thinking of going this Friday - if things are quiet enough at work and I can slip out a little early... things have been really busy and I'm fighting for time to paint, but I will definitely go before it closes. Hope you'll make it up here for it, too - but only if you are really ready to make the trip.

Karen said...

I am so glad to know that you are doing okay. Hope you are feeling better and better each day.
And this is the most exquisite, ethereal painting. Truly, a wonder.

Jala Pfaff said...

A very very beautiful painting.
Rest up!

loriann said...

Hi Brian, I still hope to make the trip although it looks a little doubtful....forever optimistic.

Hi Karen,Thanks about the painting...something good about letting it sit inside my head. Thanks for your well wishes!

Thanks Jala!