Monday, December 22, 2008

Between The Lines

A Sunday alone in the studio, bent low over a painting, acrid enamel fumes burning my throat.
I reinforce the crisp black line-work between wide areas of color. I hold a Diet Coke can, cut in half and filled with paint. I immerse the tip of my brush in it briefly before each stroke, wiping the excess from it on the side of the tin. The last thing I want is bubbles or clots: each application has to be crisp and consistent, as if stenciled by machine.
After a couple of hours, my arm aches and my eyes are sore. I long to stretch, to breathe clean ocean air and feel its saline fizz purge my poisoned lungs.
I wish it could also dissolve my persistent deep depression.

5 comments:

artcanyell said...

I think you should wear a mask when you are in close proximity to those enamel fumes that they burn your throat. You should not take such risks and you don't know what the chemical substances are doing to your mind. They could be affecting your mental state as well as your long term physical health. Please get some professional advice as to how to work more safely as I don't think you are taking the upmost precautions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hazel,

I have to agree to agree w/ACY
to a certain extent.
That stuff is SO toxic.
Nothing short of a hazmat suit will do!

Sincerely,
-M

Benito D. said...

Read some of Hazel's much earlier blog entries in which she describes the precautions she takes. She appears to be very careful but she has worked with this medium a lot and as it's also absorbed thru the skin over time, she has clearly become very sensitized. I think she also gave up enamels for a while – she deserves every dollar she gets for them!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, only one "to agree" there...

-M

Sarah Lacy said...

Oddly enough, the deep depression bit worried me more than the enamel...but probably because I've been there. And its recent enough that it makes my stomach flip over to remember it. I hope that you manage to swim out of it soon and that you're not dealing alone. And I send a hug, because words pretty much just suck.