Greetings from the Art Treehouse!


  • Since our last newsletter, we have heard from several artists who wash their own oils!  There are as many techniques for doing this as there are artists, but the common element is, of course, water.  There is a new article on the web site discussing the topic a bit further.  Throughout much of history artists have been aware of the need to "clean" their linseed oil. Perugino taught how to clean oil by putting it in a horn-shaped glass with an opening and a stopper at the bottom. Water was added and the mixture was stirred. After the water settled, it was drained from the bottom and fresh water was added. Today, because of the availability of large scale chemical refining, most artists have never even heard of this process, with the result that out oil dries slower, is less viscous, less color depth, and is not as good for impasto techniques. You can read the article here:
  • We received a call from someone who wished to give a gift certificate to the web site as a birthday present.  Previously, we were not set up for gift certificates, but we now have that option available at .   Please note, when we receive an order for a gift certificate, we send an actual pdf document that can be used for printing a paper copy, or for sending through email.  This is easier to understand and use than a linked email only. 
  • NEW 128 OZ. OIL OF SPIKE LAVENDER - now available, schools and larger ateliers can now purchase this jumbo size of Oil of Spike Lavender!  When we first started selling Oil of Spike Lavender, we only had the 2 oz and 4 oz bottles, because we assumed that would be all that most people wanted.  Very soon, we received requests for 8 oz and 16 oz bottles, and now the 128 oz size. It makes sense that a groups of artists working together in a studio setting would prefer Oil of Spike Lavender over the usual solvents.

  • Essential Oils or Frangrances?  This is an important question for artists using traditional oils.  Synthetic essential oils are sometimes called "fragrance oils", or just fragrances. They can often be composed of up to 95% petroleum-derived chemicals, including acetone; benzaldehyde; benzyl acetate; benzyl alcohol; ethyl acetate; limonene; methylene chloride, etc.  Up until about 40 years ago, most perfumes were made with essential oils. But nowadays they are almost all synthetic. Synthetic fragrances are used in candles, soaps, kitchen cleaners, etc, etc.  When the term "fragrance" is used, a manufacturer is not required to disclose the ingredients. Legally, it is considered "proprietary", and can have pretty much anything in it. The same for the art industry. Very few artist paint manufacturers will tell you all of what is in their paint. In contrast, essential oils have been analyzed in great depth, and their composition is quite public.  In fact, for Oil of Spike Lavender, the composition is published even evaluating one batch from another. 

  • For those of you that sell your work through galleries, this art gallery loses in court and is ordered to pay the artists tens of thousands of dollars. Found guilty of fraud, negligence, deceptive trade practices, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy, they ignore the whole thing and continue to sell art!


  • Please note: if you use our Rubine Red - we still have some left, but our pigment source says it may be discontinued in the near future.  It was our first paint, and is still one of the best!