Published on October 16th, 2009 | by Wenona Napolitano


A Review of the Green Guide for Artists

Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist is the one book all green crafters and artists should have. It lists craft and art supplies that are green (and at a minimum less toxic) as well as gives recipes to make your own green supplies like natural paints and glues.

I had no idea that Gorilla Glue is “green”. My husband uses it all the time and I figured it was just another glue from the hardware store but it is actually non-toxic and VOC free. Though when I have performed searches for green supplies it never comes up.

That’s just one reason why this book is so great.

Green Guide for Artists: Nontoxic Recipes, Green Art Ideas, & Resources for the Eco-Conscious Artist by Karen Michel has fabulous recipes for making your own safe, non-toxic, “green” paints from natural materials, plants and pigments. There are recipes for: watercolor paints, gouache, egg tempera, glair paint, milk paint, and casein paints as well as many natural adhesives like collage glue, rice paste, waterproof glue, methyl cellulose glue, gum Arabic glue, casein glue, and acrylic glue.

I am loving the projects in the book too. The wood collage vignettes are a cross between fine art, country craftiness and with a bit of whimsical folksiness tossed in (which fits my eclectic nature to a T) and the little paper mache’ birds are so cute. There are some great instructions for making books and journals from cardboard, fabric remnants, and even plastic shopping bags and there are some interesting ideas for making art from photographs combined with other mediums.

To see what other green artists out there are doing there’s a whole section dedicated to green artists and their work, quite beautiful and inspirational. I love the safe etched copper by Lauren Ferguson.

This book is just a must have for green creators.

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About the Author

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book. She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible. Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including,,, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and

7 Responses to A Review of the Green Guide for Artists

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  5. Lisa Brown says:

    I have this book. I love it.

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  7. Office Art says:

    Artists are becoming ever more aware of the impact they have on the environment. For years, we have dealt with toxic products (cadimum yellow comes to mind). Hand made art, whether print making or fine art, is a great place to start being green. This book is timely.

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