Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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02/27/2005: "Suffering for art yet again / Drying Linseed Oil"

Yesterday after the bridal shower I came home and started painting again right away and kept painting until 1am or so. The problem is that my right arm kept hurting worse and worse. I can't tell if it's joint pain or muscular, but it's terrible. I couldn't force myself to stop though and finally I could barely stand it anymore and *had* to stop.

I took some Aleve but it hurt so much last night I couldn't get to sleep...I finally did but then slept in so late it feel like half my Sunday is wasted. Not that it matters much; my arm is still a wreck. The worst part is that I only worked on two paintings last I improved slightly, and the second I can't tell if I improved it or made it worse. It sucks to put all that effort in and not at least have the feeling that you've accomplished something to make it worth it.

I do have some good news (skip this if you're not an oil painter) I've been experimenting, trying to find a painting medium to take the place of Liquin, which is really toxic and always leaves me with a headache and sore throat. I tried walnut alkyd before, but it's too viscous and wasn't great for thinning paints or doing washes etc.

Yesterday I started using Windsor & Newton's "Drying Linseed Oil" which says on the back "Increases gloss, flow, and transparency of oil colours. Speeds drying." Then it says to use "Drying Poppy Oil" for pale colours and whites. Why?

Anyway, it really did work; it thins the paint at least though the verdict is still out on how much it will speed drying. That comment about using the other oil for light colors has me concerned. It doesn't say "non-yellowing" like many oil mediums do. Does anyone have any experience with this product? I really like it because it's non-toxic, but I'm worried about it discoloring my work over time.

Replies: 7 Comments

on Sunday, February 27th, Dio said

Yummy, Linseed Oil, I've been taking two teaspoons of the stuff a day the last couple of weeks as I read its potentially good for the skin and for helping keep eczema under control. (Warning - Medicinal Version, not the kind you see in hardware stores...)

Its actually Flaxseed Oil, in brackets (Linseed Oil) but I'm not sure how close it is to the stuff you use for paint and rubbing into your cricket bats. It certainly tastes how I image Linseed Oil would taste :crazy: - as for its effectiveness, that's yet to be proved, but as a rich source of Omega 3 Oils, it must be doing some good somewhere... ;)

on Sunday, February 27th, Elise said

My mom used to make us take Castor oil, for the same reason. It's supposed to be great for your skin and hair and has high Omega 3s etc. but it made me nearly vomit everytime I had to take it. For me it's like being able to run with sizzors or sit too close to the TV, now that I'm an adult I can say *No thanks*!

on Sunday, February 27th, Howard said

Flax oil taste kind of nutty, great on popcorn.

I think the reason not to use linseed oil is because of the dark yellow colour of the oil. It's probably really hard to get bright whites with it. I've never seen poppy oil but I bet you anything it's a much clearer oil.

on Monday, February 28th, Elise said

Flax seed oil eh? I'll have to try that out.

I did a little more research and your right about the poppy oil, it's a light, refined opposed to the unrefined linseed which is dark in color.

I guess I don't mind as long as I can see immediately any discoloration the darker oil might cause. I just don't want it to changes colors after the fact.

on Monday, February 28th, holly said

Also a flaxseed oil proponent- a tablespoon every morning. Makes your skin and hair look great, too.

You might want to drop the Aleve, Elise- naproxin sodium was shown a few weeks ago to be linked to heart attacks, particularly among women. Have you tried ibuprofin (Advil)? I have good luck with that because it acts as an anti-inflamatory, which is most helpful with the old arthritic joints (I don't think naproxin is an anti-inflamatory). Of course, I have to take four at a time, but it does work. Hope you feel better...

on Monday, February 28th, holly said

Oh, and Dio, flaxseed oil that's gone off tastes like paint. It does spoil pretty fast. Otherwise, like Howard said, it has a nice nutty taste.

on Tuesday, March 1st, Elise said

Man, first they say no Vioxx, then no Celebrex, and now no Naproxin Sodium? It has been one of the most helpful over-the-counter pain relievers for my joints and it is an sister who's a nurse recommended it to me, but that was awhile ago. there are always new reports that everything is bad for us.

Probably next it will be Advil that causes something or other. It's so depressing. But thanks for letting me know! And me stuck now with 5 huge bottles of Aleve!