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Allergies and art occasionally don't mix.

If I'm working on a physical painting, I need a paper towel to blot, smear, lift, and otherwise abuse paint. Generally, living in the perpetual snuffly twilight of the allergic, I also require a Kleenex.

You can probably see where this is going.

Not unlike dipping one's paintbrush into one's coffee, it's inevitable that sooner or later worlds collide. A fast-running drip--of either variety--will require immediate attention, and I will grope for whatever is at hand. Kleenex as blotter is rarely too bad--if the Kleenex has reached the heavily used state, I've thrown it out already, so I am rarely in danger of accidentally spreading the contents of my sinuses across a canvas, and it just means I go through Kleenex a bit faster.

If, on the other hand, I have just thrown out my Kleenex, or knocked it on the floor as I flailed wildly across the little end table that serves as my essential-stuff-holder or the cat has made off with it--well, any port in a storm, and there's a big, heavy-duty Viva paper towel, guaranteed to soak up anything RIGHT THERE, clutched in my off hand. And--well, I can't imagine anyone on earth has gotten away with not experiencing, at least once, that hideous sensation whereby the nasal cavaties sudden decide they've had enough, rebel, and send the occupants packing south of the border, and suddenly you have about one second to find SOMETHING or else...it ain't gonna be pretty. This is a cultural taboo up there with bedwetting--you get that immediate, visceral oh-shit-bodily-fluids-escaping! Noo! panic, and living as we do in a decorous society, the paper-to-nose reflex is so strongly ingrained that it would take a stronger soul than me to fight it.

Even a paper towel that has been catching paint for a coupla minutes now.

Which is, of course, how my nose and cheekbone got slathered in Quinacradone Violet and a smidge of Naples Yellow.

Good thing acrylic is non-toxic...

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Ah... the joys of adding a little color to your cheeks and nose. ^.^ I've done that before, though for me it was a rag used for wiping the oil dipstick of my car. I swear during a sneeze you are at the most vulnerable creature on earth. There you are, and only ONE thing matters... the sneeze... you're paralyzed utterly and if this were the time of hunter gatherers the jungle could come and take you and you'd be helpless. You could be running for your life from a man-eating tiger and you'd have to stop for a sneeze. ^.^

I haven't done that, though I have swigged my fair share of acrylic/watercolor water when it was sitting next to a coffee. -_-

Good thing indeed. O.O

I don't know what quinacradone is, but it sure *sounds* toxic.

Hope it comes off easily. :D

What a colorful description of an unfortunate occurrence. May you naturally shine through again ... and soon.

===|==============/ Level Head

The vaguely threatening warning label off a tube of Golden acrylic. Quinacridone crimson, actually. Boldface mine: "Based upon toxicological review, there are no acute or known chronic health hazards with anticipated use of this product (most chemicals are not fully tested for chronic toxicity). . . ."

Whenever I paint something, I end up hesitating over these warnings, then proceeding anyway. Possibly because it would be neat to be the first documented case ever of quinacridone poisoning. Or - even better - phthalo poisoning.

Similar problems here, only with metal oxides. I work with aluminum a lot, anodized and 5356 bright alloy, and end up with aluminum oxide all over my hands. Even 5356 alloy oxidizes a little, after all, and when you handle as much as I do, you accumulate oxide. And so I end up with war paint type streaks where I forgot about the oxide and wiped away an annoying trickle of sweat. My wife occasionally has to point them out before I walk out of the house looking like a chimney sweep. (But I've got an enormous broom...) The sneeze brings a whole different set of problems, as I don't put down my pliers at any point when mailling, having learned to do just about anything with a pair of chain nose in each hand, and so I've very nearly put an eye out a few times in the reflexive whip-tissue-to-nose process. Fortunately, I wear glasses, and so I end up with the occasional lens scratch instead of injury.

My bad habit is licking paintbrushes when I'm painting. After a rinse, I stick the brush in my mouth to bring the point back in order before I start again. Most times I make sure the brush is clean first.

Sometimes I forget though.

I think I've sampled just about every color of acrylic and watercolor paint made.

Hah! I though I was the only person to do that. XD

I've done that a few times too. The worst occasions are when the paint gathers round the base of the bristles, so you end up with a large blob of it in your mouth. Thankfully it hasn't happened to me *too* often...

-Big Dave

Since my sneezing accidents most often happen in the kitchen when I'm cooking, and I don't want to have to wash my hands every five minutes, I've developed the habit of sneezing into my elbow.

It's saved me a lot when my hands are covered with graphite or paint or flour.... any number of things that would make the sneezing fit worse. ;)

I do that too, just on general principle. There are some places where you just can't get away to wash your hands. (And besides, spraying your hands with mucus is disgusting... and you just end up wiping it on your clothes anyway, so...)

When I'm cooking and the urge hits (as it always does when I'm doing something that needs precision/concentration, don't you know) I will sneeze straight down at the floor, to make sure the food doesn't come anywhere near overspray... or any bits flaking off shirtsleeves.

Disgusting, yes. But that's why god made Lysol and mops.

I usually just go for the sink, if I'm cooking.
I love that everyone has these elaborate stories for how they get covered in paint! The natural course of painting for me is somehow being covered in paint for no logical reason. My mind boggles when I see well-dressed art students in my classes whip out their aprons.

I don't know, some how I got meticulous about paint at some point and I rarely get paint on me, now. Apron? Why? And who in the heck goes into an art class with good clothes on? I mean, you can do it if you are using computers and on the far chance, ink, but printing? painting? drawing (w/charcoal)? Heck no. However, I still don't stress about paint because I seem to be able avoid getting it on me at all. Perhaps because I started at an early age, which, contrary to popular belief, does not make me a prodigy. And with that thought, I'm going off to rant about "prodigy" children.

Yeah, I mean, it's not like it's integral to the creative process for me to get covered in paint, it's just easier to stop worrying about it. Sometimes I'm fine, other times it looks like I was rolling around on the canvas. It just confuses me why ANYONE would wear 'nice' clothes to an art class-- the idea of getting dressed up to go to any class at all confuses me-- especially considering most people seem to schedule it so that their art class is the only classt hey have that day.

Well, last year my art class was the first one of the morning and I had 2 other classes directly after that. I really couldn't walk around campus in splattered clothes... Though it is more fun to be messy.

Lol! As someone who is allergic to cats and lives with one, I know precisely how that goes!

I sneeze into my armpit/elbow. I hate hate hate my boyfriend's habit of sneezing directly into his hands. I find that absolutely disgusting.

I like to wear my 'paint shirt' when painting . . . ice big baggy ol' t-shirt that I can wipe brushes (and nose and hands) on when necessary.

I was once shaking up a jar of clay glaze in my high school art class, and the lid came off. I was completely drenched in white glaze. I laughed so hard I nearly choked.

And you didn't GET A PICTURE for us?!

Jeez, Ursula, whatdya think this journal is for, you? =)

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