This story in Toronto Life, “My Beautiful Death,” is quite interesting and appalling. Art materials are often toxic and require safe handling practices, but this tale not only deals with those practices but also with reflected fallout from our environmental mismanagement as well.
And here's the finished first painting! It's a conceptual, experimental piece - those are real Atlantic blue mussel shells (Mytilus edulis) adhered to the panel; I beachcombed some while I was in Iceland and was quite interested in their coloration and form and how I might use them to break the picture plane. I wanted to explore ideas of illusionism, perspective, shaped or irregular canvases, cast shadows, organic versus architectural form language, and intertidal zone ecosystems.
I'm titling this painting Byssal Bird, and it's a mixed media piece with acrylic, watercolor, Atlantic blue mussel shells, and epoxy on a 16x12" basswood panel.