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Tips for Keeping a "Green" Studio!

Tips for Keeping a "Green" Studio!

Utrecht Art Supplies

Draw on it!

There are many ways to stay green in the art studio. One of the best ways is by finding a use for the scraps and leftovers that might otherwise be thrown out. This month we showed you how to cut a simple mat, but before you throw out that piece you cut out of the middle, here are a few ideas on ways you can re-use them.

Mat scraps will have a beveled edge that can be pretty sharp, it can be easily trimmed off for any of these uses:

1. Cut a small window to create a viewfinder for landscape painting.

2. Use the white (or colored) side to do quick color studies in oil or acrylic paint.

3. The colored side makes a great surface for oil or chalk pastel sketches.

4. Fortify an envelope when mailing prints or drawings.

5. Cut a large scrap into 2 inch wide L shapes to get ideas on cropping an image or for choosing mat colors when framing finished pieces.

6. Stretch watercolor paper over a scrap for a more sturdy painting surface.

7. Use small pieces for scrapbooking.

8. Mat an even smaller piece of art!

Other tips for keeping a green studio:

1. Use washable rags instead of paper towels.

2. Choose papers that are made from recycled materials.

3. Seek out materials that are made using sustainable practices.

4. Avoid toxic pigments & harsh chemical processes.

5. Responsibly dispose of any harmful products you do use (turpentine, mediums, etc).

6. Look at alternatives, like egg tempera, beeswax mediums and waterbased paints.

7. If you work with materials that produce vapors or dust make sure to use an air purifier to limit what gets released into the atmosphere.

8. Seek other people’s leftovers! Material scraps from textile companies or misprinted materials from paper companies.

The more research you do and the more effort you put in will have a greater impact on the quality of life in your studio and environment at large. If you have any great green tips or practices, be sure to share them with us by leaving a comment or sending an email to We’ll add them to this list! Stay Green!

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