Eco-Friendly Art

Art Painted Sustainably

There’s no way to hide it. I love immersing myself in nature. If I’m not in it, then I’m painting it or thinking about my next hike, bike or ski, but this raises the question:


Is my art having a detrimental impact on the environment I love so much?


To find out, I questioned the products, companies and art practises I use to create my landscape paintings.


When you buy art you should know if it is as good for the environment as it is for your mind, body and soul.
Acrylic Paint

Derivan Matisse acrylic paint is what I use 99.9% of the time.


They match actions to words, supported by a fabulous Sustainability Policy.

These are the points that won me over, demonstrating how forward thinking and committed they are to the environment:

Fast Response Time

They responded to my sustainability questions within half an hour of receiving them.

Australian Owned & Made

Derivan Matisse are Australian owned and manufactured, so I’m reducing transport costs when buying their products. I also buy their products from a local shop less than 15kms away.

Involved in Government Recycling Study

Being involved in a government study of recycling and waste minimisation has helped form and guide their actions and sustainability goals

Paint Ingredients Biologically Friendly

The ingredients used to manufacture the acrylic paints I use will not cause biological harm. This means I can safely dispose of the water I wash my painting equipment in, and water the garden with it.

Reuse, Return or Recycle Containers & Packaging

They redesigned their containers to make them reusable, but these are also made from PET, which is 100% recyclable.

Inward bound packaging is recycled, returned or reused wherever possible.

Environmentally Awesome Factory

The factory is impressively friendly to the environment e.g. water treatment plant, using recycled water, light sensors, eco-friendly cleaning products, staff that ride to work get $500 towards buying a bike, a worm farm and…


In the words of their CEO when I asked about their Sustainability Policy, “3 years ago we had 120 solar cells installed on our roof which makes us pretty well carbon neutral (certainly our manufacturing plant, we are still yet to calculate our sales staff carbon footprint etc.)

Four paint palettes of Rebecca Collett Artist
Disposal of Paint

Sometimes I’m overzealous with the amount of paint I load onto my painting palette (a repurposed old glass picture frame).


Instead of washing the paint down the sink, I keep small canvases on hand and create small paintings, trying new techniques. These canvases can be used multiple times and are sometimes sold to a nature loving individual.


I live in Australia so I’m always mindful of water usage. My painting tools are washed in a tub of water, which then waters my plants (Derivan paints are plant friendly).


I buy all my canvases from a local art supple store. Jacksons contacted their supplier, who stated :


We have been using the PEFC Certified wood for the last several years. Therefore we have initiated the process of getting PEFC certification. Hopefully we should get the PEFC certification by end of March 2020.


When March comes around, I’ll check how the certification progressed. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (“PEFC”) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organisation which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification.


Jacksons is a 100% Western Australia family owned business, which has been trading since 1955.

Future Plans

The majority of painting canvases are currently made from cotton. Cotton production is burdensome to the environment: large amounts of water + a chemical cocktail = low yield for the land used.


I’ve heard positive things about hemp canvases for painting on, and production is the opposite of cotton: low water needs + few, if any chemicals = 250% more fibre than cotton using the same amount of land.


This is the direction I want to move in the future, however, at the moment this requires me to make the wood frame (sustainably sourced of course!), find and attach the hemp canvas. I’ll get there soon, I just need to put down the paint and pick up the saw and a moisture reader (who knew???)!