I have been working in soft pastels for about 4 years. Because I have not had a separate studio space for several years I have worked primarily plein air during the warmer months here in Maine.
After many years as a printmaker I have developed quite a sensitivity to chemicals, solvents and pigments and working outside at least afforded me the opportunity to work in a medium that I truly love - soft pastel. When Kathleen and Warren told me about the ARTIST’S AIR, I was thrilled and immediately asked if I could try it in my small home studio space. At first I still wore a mask while using the ARTIST’S AIR, but have found that I do not really need one.
I work on sanded panels that I prepare myself, and they have a lot of texture so there is a lot of extra dust. The ARTIST’S AIR has performed beyond my expectations. My small studio space is in a corner of my living room and I have checked the floor around the easel several times. There is no dust. The only time I had dust in the area was when I turned the ARTIST’S AIR off at the same time as I stopped painting for the day. I realize that it has to stay on for several minutes after you have quit for the day - just to grab the smaller dust particles that may be airborne.
The most exciting thing about the ARTIST’S AIR is
that I can now work in this wonderful medium whenever I want. I no longer
have to wait for warm weather, which in Maine is not a lot of the time!
This may seem to be a biased testimonial, as I am one of the co-founders of ARTIST’S AIR . However, writing it seems fitting as I am the artist for whom this was designed and I have had a year to use it.
ARTIST’S AIR has been a tremendous relief to me, because it has eliminated completely a chronic sinus condition I had developed from working in pastels after several years. A dust mask was part of my daily routine, but it never truly helped. I had quit teaching indoor pastel painting classes, and was beginning to feel my successful professional career as a pastel artist was inevitably over. Reluctantly and regrettably, the need to search out another medium that didn’t affect my health was pressing. Warren Riess determined that he would find a solution to this dilemma.
Over two years, Warren developed and fine-tuned ARTIST’S AIR for me to use. After painting with it for about 6 months in pastels and 6 months in oils, I am thrilled! No kidding—I now paint without the use of a dust mask and without any renewed sinus irritations. I have comfortably returned to the medium I have loved for 25 years.
I have always worked intermittently in oils, sustaining headaches, trying
different medium and solvents to avoid these obvious symptoms of vapor-related
attacks on my nervous system. Using ARTIST’S AIR while
I paint in oils, I have not suffered those headaches and my studio smells
healthy and clean. I work with it set at “medium” and after
I finish painting, I leave it on “low” for a few hours, returning
to an odorless and toxin-free studio. I now can more thoroughly enjoy
working with oils.
Having used turps for years, I became very sensitized to the spirit,
and could no longer use it. While test driving ARTIST’S AIR developed
by Warren Riess and Kathleen Galligan, I found that I could paint with
I highly recommend this system to anyone seriously concerned about their
health. Any person using the inherantly toxic materials needed to create
art should have this system as part of their studio. I applaud Warren
and Kathleen's dedication in developing this health saver, taking into
account many suggestions and comments. BRAVI !
ARTIST’S AIR has
been wonderful. I can now paint in my studio while it eliminates the
irritations caused by my pastel dust—something my venting system
could not do. My studio air and surfaces are clean for the first time.
I park my pastels on the intake screen, so they stay cleaner too.