Wednesday, September 19, 2012
It first began in the late 1980's when I was working at a hotel in upstate New York and the hotel installed new carpeting. I had such a bad reaction to the smell of the new carpet, I couldn't go into work for days until it had all aired out. Of course everyone thought I was quite nutty.
The second time I had an allergic reaction was to a new shower curtain I had purchased. I couldn't even have it anywhere in the house. The smell affected me just like the new carpet. My head filled up as though I had a bad cold and my eyes burned.
Sometimes I cannot even read a magazine. Especially high end magazines with very glossy paper. It must be something in the paper varnish. The Wall Street Journal comes out with a lovely quarterly magazine but I am unable to open it due to the smell and my immediate reaction to it.
I am also allergic to some band-aids and adhesives for wounds. In fact I developed an awful rash from the bandage on my back after the surgery. It was itchy and blistery like poison ivy.
Which leads me to my newest allergic reaction. Encaustic. Yes, it is true. Each time I worked in my studio I came out with a headache and burning itchy eyes as well as a stuffy nose. I did try to ventilate as I know you are supposed to. I had a fan blowing the fumes towards the window and another fan pulling the fumes out of the window.
But it was not enough. I think that my home studio is too small to work in that medium. I think you really need a big space. or maybe it wouldn't matter. Maybe it is just another of my allergies. I don't know. But I can't work in it.
Yes, I am disappointed, but my art is not worth risking my health.
I will have to work in water based media since oh yes, I forgot to mention, I am allergic to turpentine and turpenoid and so cannot work in oils any longer either.
It is weird that I never had a reaction to the polymer clay. Since that is melting plastic for heavens sake!
Well, I'll figure it out. I will find a medium I can work in and then I will get back to work.
I did really like the monoprinting and collaging aspects so I am hoping I can monoprint with water based paints.