Painting and Water Quality: Does Hard Water Affect the Quality of Watercolor Paints?

Tap water can curdle paints.

Quinacridone Rust paint has non-granulating pigment. The color is lovely. However, when mixed with water in a color palette, it curdles and clumps. The same happens when you drop the paint into a wash.

You get an intensively noticeable pattern of granulation. If you mix the paint with another non-granulating paint that’s dark valued (such as phthalo), the pattern of granulation intensifies.

This occurs even if you buy the most transparent paint with adorable color.

The internet barely has reports of paint granulating in tap water. Although hard water can cause the granulation pattern, you (painter) can easily come up with ways of mitigating the curdling and clumping.

Quinacridone (Rose) and Neutral Tint Paints

Quinacridone Rose and neutral tint paints have non-granulating pigments. The two paints also curdle and clump when mixed with tap water but to a lower intensity.

Whether you buy a dud tube or three from the same manufacturer at different times, the effect of hard water on the paints is the same. Even with that kind of effect, you’re less likely to find similar reports or experiences shared on the internet.

That alone is enough to make you go nuts.

Most botanical artists recommend that you use distilled water to mix your paints and watercolor paints.

Tap water is usually hard water. It contains high mineral and acidity content, which easily reacts with paints. This is more so true if you live in a region known to have hard water.

What is Hard Water?

What makes water hard?

Hard water contains high amounts of magnesium and calcium, including other minerals. Unlike water from open water bodies such as streams, rivers, and lakes, groundwater drawn from wells tends to be harder.

Hard water causes mineral deposits (limescale) on fixtures and pipes. It also prematurely degrades water heaters in plumbing fixtures such as pipes.

Therefore, homes in areas with wells use water softeners to make hard water soft. Water softeners are designed to replace minerals such as magnesium and calcium dissolved in the water with sodium.

Saltwater is beneficial for your health when taken as drinking water. However, it affects showerheads and dishes, among other uses of water.

Similarly, art studios need water softeners to convert hard water into soft water. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing your painting with saltwater or limewater.

So, the best advisable way to produce high-quality painting is using soft water to mix paints or watercolors.

Soft water has other amazing benefits.

Designed for different uses; however, water softeners ensure that you get the best salt-free water to mix your paints. Soft water also reduces the wastage of soap when washing clothes.

How to Test the Effects of Tap Water on Your Paint Work

Buy a large bottle of distilled water and wet-on-dry and wet-in-wet painted samples done on similar paper. Compare the paintings using distilled water against hard water.

You’ll realize dramatic differences between the two painting samples. However, expect to see some visible texture on some of the paint-outs using distilled brush water.

Mineral buildups in the pans and on the plates (use them as color palettes) and brush have been attributed to the visible textures. What’s more, tap water is used to wash painting items.

Even if you use fresh tube paints because they’re cleaner, you’re bound to get similar results. The paint is still vulnerable to curdling.

The Best Water for Painting – Distilled Water

Use distilled water in your paintwork to maintain water quality and painting. Your paints can look better than you and drink more water than you actually do.

Invest in a high-quality water softener system based on reverse osmosis to make your hard water safe for drinking and use in your art studio.

If your studio is shared with other artists, installing a water softener may become infeasible. In such a case, fill up a bottle with soft water at home and bring it with you to your painting studio.

However, if you only wash your brushes and color palettes with RO or distilled water, you’re still bound to see some effects of hard water.

You can easily get torn about paint and watercolor manufacturers. Although some paint brands are bright and saturated, they can be prone to curdling and clumping when mixed with tap water.

When running the test, check out your mixing charts to help you determine other paints with unexpected texture.

For instance, Quinacridone pigments from other brands may not clump as much as those mentioned above. However, they may also vary in color boldness.

Soft water or distilled water produces paint-outs with smooth textures.

Mix your non-granulating paint with distilled water free from magnesium and calcium to get smooth textures on your paintings.

Soft water (or distilled water) is of top quality to maintain the quality of your paintings.

Painting and Water Quality: Does Hard Water Affect the Quality of Watercolor Paints?
May 8, 2020

What You Need to Know About Guns and Gun Safety

Guns are dangerous but only in the hands of evil people. Before you acquire a gun, you need to learn as much as you can about them, especially on gun safety.

Tens of millions of Americans possess guns. The constitution guarantees the right to own and carries guns, but that does not mean you can go around shooting whoever wrongs you. With knowledge on guns, you and those around you will be safe from burglars and safe from the accidental fires.

Read on to learn more.

Understand Basic Gun Safety Rules

You never know when you will be faced with a situation that requires you to use a gun. As such, you need to learn basic gun safety rules to keep yourself and those around you safe [1]. These basic rules are gospel to veteran gun owners. If you follow them, you significantly reduce the likelihood of shooting someone who did not pose any threat to you.

Here are the basic rules:

  1. Every gun should be handled as though it is loaded
  2. Never point a gun at anything you did not intend to shoot
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you have the target in your sights and you are ready to fire
  4. Confirm your target before you fire, as well as what is around the target
  5. Keep guns out of reach of children

If you forget the first rule, the second rule should help you avoid “accidental” fires or “stray” bullets. If you forget the first two, the rest of the rules will still help you stay safe. Whether you are at the range, out in the jungle hunting, carrying or not carrying, you should memorize and practice these basic rules.

People Kill People. Guns are Inanimate Objects

A loaded gun will never off by itself. An unloaded gun will never load a magazine by itself. Guns do not pull triggers. It is people that do all that – it is people who kill people. If there were no guns, people would still kill people using other weapons.  

If you understand that people kill people and not guns, then terms such as “accidental shooting” or “stray bullets” will not exist. These two terms point to a lack of accountability and responsibility. If the basic gun safety rules above are religiously followed, they will reduce negligent shooting significantly.

In instances where intentional shootings are involved, the criminal (and not the firearm) is to blame. This is why criminals are sent to prison, and guns are auctioned. The criminal who intends to shoot innocent civilians is far more dangerous than the weapon they yield.

Modern Guns Have Safety Features

For a gun to go off, a human being needs to load the magazine, chamber the round, and pull the trigger. Modern guns do not “accidentally” go off even when you have chambered the round. You still need to pull the trigger for the gun to go off. The correct statement would be; guns do not go off, people fire the guns – understanding this is enough to get you started.  

Today, guns are fitted with safety features like trigger protection to ensure they do not accidentally go off.

Learn the Difference between Automatic and Semi-Automatic

Automatic firearms discharge multiple rounds in one trigger pull. In the U.S., civilians are not allowed to possess or carry automatic firearms unless they obtain them illegally.

Semi-automatic firearms can only fire one round for every trigger pull. These firearms are referred to as semi-automatic as they chamber a round automatically after a round is fired. A semi-automatic pistol is different from a revolver. Although a revolved can chamber a round after firing, the user still needs to cock the hammer manually or via a double-action trigger.

Clip vs. Magazine

A clip is not the same as a magazine. In the news, these two terms are used interchangeably, but they are different.

Unlike a magazine, a clip just clips rounds together for easy feeding into the magazine or the weapon’s chamber. The clip has no moving parts. Magazines, on the other hand, have moving parts, such as springs. They are inserted into the firearm directly, and there they remain. The springs in the magazine push another round into position after shooting.

Gun Safeties and Smart Gun Technologies Fail

The only gun safety that does not fail is the one between your ears. No gun is foolproof. A gun is a mechanical device, and like any other device, a gun will fail. As such, you should not rely on the external safety of your gun but instead, follow the five basic rules outlined earlier. At times, firearm manufacturers such as Glock do not install mechanical safeties and expects you to follow gun safety rules strictly.

Smart guns are great for enhancing gun safety. A smart gun is inoperable unless wielded by its rightful owner. Some gun controllers want to make smart gun features mandatory for all guns [2]. Smart gun technology is still in its infancy stages – no smart gun has been sold in the U.S. thus far. It is therefore advisable not to rely on gun safeties or smart guns.

Conclusion

Having a gun does not make you a good shooter. Having a badge does not make you a shooter either. If you have a gun, you need to practice often to be a better shooter for the safety of innocent people around you.

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/gun-safety-not-gun-control/266318/

[2] http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/5/5683504/gun-control-the-nra-wants-to-take-smart-guns-away

What You Need to Know About Guns and Gun Safety
April 10, 2020

Welding Art and Sculpture Using Plasma Cutter and Multi-Process Welders

As much as art is a matter of creativity, you will also get the best design when you have the right tools. A plasma cutter and a multi-process welder is a must-have tool for this function. It not only helps to bring out the best in the metals but it also makes work easier. When you have just a normal welding machine, with the time you need to improve on your skills by investing in other high-end machines. The main advantage is the fact that the multi-process welders quickly change over to different styles. This means that you can have a design from the internet and just make it as long as you know how to set and operate the machines to your advantage. It uses a plasma cutter to cut through the metal using a high conductive electrode.

This is the tool behind the fabrications and metal repair shops. There are times you look at a piece of metalwork and just wonder what could have been the magic. The answer is in multi-process and plasma cutter welders.

Why use multi-process and plasma cutter welders

Saves on cost and time

This machine uses less energy when it comes to production. As much as he works they do is massive, you will have no high utility bills. Moreover, the installation process is also simplified, thanks to digital technology. The high speed that the machine uses means that within a day you can make hundreds and thousands of designs depending on how sophisticated they are.

 Ideal for commercial functions

Are you looking to commercialize your enterprise? Are you interested in moving your welding business to the next level? If yes then this is the machine to invest it. It will give you all the ample time and you can even use online material to come up with unique and original designs.

High speed

Speed is crucial in this modern world. The fact that it uses electricity in production means that the processing is also very fast. All you need to do is to just set the right settings to make sure that you get the best otherwise you will be disappointed yet some of the functions are irreversible.

Ideal for commercial metalwork

This is a machine that you do not just purchase it for home use. It was designed to make work easier. If you are a beginner in the commercial metalwork entity then you need to invest in a smaller one and purchase the bigger option the more you grow. 

This is a multi-purpose welding machine that can change to suit any design at will. It is a machine that you do not just purchase when you do not have an idea of how it works. Apart from the manual, there are many online journals that you can use to get a rough idea of how it works. Moreover, some multimedia channels have videos to give you a practical outlook on how the machines work? To know more about plasma cutter check: https://bestweldinghelmet.review/plasma-cutter/

Welding Art and Sculpture Using Plasma Cutter and Multi-Process Welders
January 21, 2020

What is an ionizer machine, how does it work?

Naturally, water from the wells and springs are considered to be the best and safe water of all times. However, the fact that it is hard water which also comes with its share of disadvantages then most people prefer to soften it using the ionization process. The process mainly involves the removal of magnesium and calcium and replaces it with potassium and sodium.

These chemical elements are believed to be the ones that are the first in the reactivity series. This means that they change the acidic component to the alkaline component. Have you ever got water from the taps that taste salty? This is natural water, it does not mean that it is unsafe, it is only that the taste does not sound well for you. This is the time you need to invest in an ionizer machine for the consumer. In short, it is what we call a water softener. The normal taste of water is neutral and that is why people feel healthier using a well water softener.

What are the advantages of a well water softener?

  • It uses fewer detergents hence saving money
  • It removes stains from the utensils
  • It is easy and soft to clean
  • Keeps the skin soft and glowing
  • Brightens and softens the fabric
  • It has a sweet taste

The ionizer machine is something that is installed on the water system and that means that you need a plumber to do it. The ionizer machine uses electrolysis to make the water alkaline as expected. It raises the alkalinity levels of the water to get that beautiful taste. There is no scientific proof that an ionizer machine removes dirt and bacteria, what it only does is to change the PH levels. In this regard, only bacteria that thrive on other PH levels may be rendered inactive or dead otherwise, they may still be in existence despite the changes in the acidity and alkalinity levels.

There are others that use the reverse osmosis system which is renowned for perfect ionization process with minimal maintenance costs. All you need is to talk to your plumber who may have the best experience when it comes to the ionization machines. They come equipped with a filter system that makes sure that some of the impurities are removed which is a rare case especially when you have a treatment plant at the source. The filtration process is to remove the acidic elements that are found in the well waters. This is purely a chemical process that involves a lot of osmosis reaction- which deals with the concentration levels of components.

The digital ones come complete with an LCD display which indicates the electrolysis settings in which you have a choice to input the right numbers. We cannot forget to mention the pressure systems that are found on the machines as a way of having a customized ionization process. With this, you can run a trial and error method in that you can set the settings and taste the water to get the best chemical levels that you feel is ideal. A little knowledge comes in handy to take care of your health too.

What is an ionizer machine, how does it work?
November 26, 2019

Your Weapon of choice: A reference Magazine for Gun Owners

Handling a gun…

is a skill that you need the right training. This explains the reason the military has to go through vigorous training due to the fact that it needs a sound mind and an emotionally stable person. Just like you do a thorough research when buying an electric appliance; first, you must answer the following questions.

1.   Why do you need a gun?
2. Where will you use the gun?
3. How do you want to handle the gun?
4. What are the government policies when it comes to gun handling?

It is the answer to these questions that will guide you on the specifications and the type f gun you may need. How then do you get to know the correct gun for your needs? It is of importance to understand the specification that will decide on the functionality. Some of the specifications include.

  • Size of the gun
  • Gtr gun range
  • Bore Axis.
  • Sight Radius.
  • Barrel Length.
  • Frame.
  • Grip Size & Texture.
  • Sights.

Gun handling

There are few magazines available that handle gun handling. This is because of the sensitive nature of the operation as well as a security concern. Remember, the magazines have to be vetted and verified since it is a fact there are gun owners who might want a shortcut in using a gun. Some of the homicide cases are a result of poor handling or just an emotional trigger or rather an accident when it comes to the use of the gun at home. Griffin gun club understands too well the value of gun training before you opt for a licensed gun. This is a field that is moderated even the gun training school have to be in line with government security policies.

Digital technology…

has made access to information faster and easier than before. Knowledge is available all over the internet; it is upon you to vet reliable sources. You also need to get an expert in gun handling to answer to your queries rather than an experiment at home. It may turn to be fatal. Gun manufacturers design the guns according to the use and needs of the handlers. There are others that are specific to the military personnel and they are only done on order. If you watch some of the military training you get to know new guns that you will never get them in the market. Having the knowledge in gun handling is not enough, you also need to get information concerning the policies that surround gun possession as a citizen If not, you may send the rest of your life in jail due to ignorance. Remember, ignorance of the law is an offense in its own measure. Every country has a way in which they regulate gun use, ownership, and handling. You have to get all this information in the country in which you wish to reside in otherwise you might be on the wrong side of the law.

Your Weapon of choice: A reference Magazine for Gun Owners
August 11, 2019

Having Gun at Home is Important

People who existed in the past were living a peaceful life where enmities, war, crime, and killings could not be witnessed. For these reasons, they only kept weapons at home to protect themselves against hostile wild animals. This is a different situation in our societies today as people who are close to you are the ones who turn against you and kill you. This has made people feel insecure and look for alternative ways to improve their security. So, why is it important to own a gun at home?

Keep you safe from home invaders

As much as you want to live a peaceful life, you must be aware that there are people who can never grant you this peaceful environment. There have been several cases reported about home invasions where victims and up losing their lives and properties. The reality is that no one ever wishes to experience such incidence. So for you to be able to safeguard your property and family members, 1903 pistol is essential as no one will ever cross your boundary whenever this gun is in your possession.

Good for Recreational Shooting

Guns are not only meant for taking lives. Currently, there are sports where participants need to use guns. These activities may include hunting, competition, and skeet shooting. We must admit that people can only participate in a recreational activity that they have an interest in. As a target shooter, 1903 pistol is essential as it is very light and allow you to focus mainly on your target without getting worried about the weight. If someone who has an interest in this game owns his or her gun at home, they will be able to practice frequently whenever they have free time. This can improve their skills and allow them to win medals from shooting competition

Improve security in your home.

Most victims of theft and attacks find themselves in such situations because criminals find them when they are vulnerable. I guess no one can courageously attack a home when he or she already know that they have a gun. As much as the government has been pushing the moves to improve on the security they offer to citizens, it’s not logical that when someone is attacked 100 miles from the police station, than the security personnel will make it in time before the victim is assassinated. But in a case where there is a gun at home, you can simply fight back and protect your home.

Every citizen has a constitutional right to own a gun.

Perhaps you may not really understand how important this can be. But the reality is that in life we meet people with different motives and we must appreciate people who drafted and passed this bill. There are cases where a citizen can request to be given permission to own a gun. Their life may be at risk, or they are having valuable items which need security. This right can help prevent criminal activities such as bank robbery, car hijacks, and human threats among others. Actually, you do not need a high profile gun, 1903 pistol is essential for your own personal security.

Having Gun at Home is Important
February 17, 2019

How Do Trees Grow In The Shade?

“Mama, how do trees grow in the shade?” I asked.

There was silence. I didn’t look at my mother who was driving. For many trips and scenic-routes-to-nowhere in the Pacific Northwest,  she would insist that I look outside at the view instead of inside the car. Inevitably, I would become car sick and would need to have the window open and my head or my hand hanging out.  ‘I feel sick when I look at the trees going by, Mom!” “Then, look THROUGH the trees,” she said.

A whole new world opened up when I did. I saw things that seemed to stand still. Light cascading onto the forest floor, deer and birds in the safe haven of the forest beyond the trees, new dimensions of color and texture. The feeling of warm air pushing past as I leaned out and the sun shining upon my face in whips of light. This particular day, I noticed something new, trees growing in the shade. I wondered…how is this possible? My eight year old mind knew that plants needed sunlight to grow. And, yet, there were all of these trees and plants growing in the dark, cool shade.

“Mama, how do trees grow in the shade?” I asked again. This time I was looking at her.

There was a long pause. I waited for her brilliant, mom-knows-everything, answer. She said, with a glance, “That’s an answer you will need to find out on your own. Why don’t you write that down in your journal when we get home?”

I felt smart. I felt like she acknowledged something great inside of me. Maybe it was the way her face lit up with a tiny surprise on her lips. Whatever it was, I liked it.

I wrote it on a piece of paper in the car and transferred it into my tiny orange, faux-leather journal later that evening. I’ve since forgotten where the little journal is, but always remembered the question.

Over the years, I pondered what that really meant on a metaphysical level…How DO trees grow in the shade? When I learned how it happened botanically,  I was a little disappointed, a little intrigued, and a little amused. The answer was too simple. My inner spiritual sleuth longed for more.

Reviewing my life experiences during the 38 years since that day in the car with my Mother has brought about the question again. So, how DO trees grow in the shade? How do we grow in the shadows of the Dark Season of the Soul? How does any one grow spiritually, physically and emotionally amid the shadows and trials of one’s life? How do we do this human experience and feel like it’s all worth it?

The only way I could justify being here, on Earth, as a Spiritual Being having a Human experience, is if I had purpose. A reason to live. After all,  all I ever wanted to do is get out of this place alive.

The question, “How do trees grow in the shade,” eventually matured into “How do I enjoy my life and do what I love everyday, despite the suffering?”

In Summer of 2011, my weekly talk-radio show, SoulTalk with Jahdaa, went on the air.  The question I asked all of my guests was, “Are you doing what you have come here to do?” I wanted to know because, if they were, then how the hell did they get there? I REALLY wanted to do what I have come here to do! At that time, at 42 years old, I was sick of living a mundane life of bullshit and experiencing trials and tribulations for no real reason except to suffer.  I’m all about “soul-ution based suffering.” But, suffering for the sake of feeling like shit, just isn’t my thing and was getting really old.

The “mature” question stumped a lot of my guests…one even said, “I don’t know if I am doing what I have come here to do. There is a big difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’. But, I do know that I am being who I have come here to be!”

That was a game changer for me. I asked myself the same question, “Are you being who you have come here to be?” I still wasn’t sure. So, I kept on asking.

Another year went by and, week after week, I asked my guests the same “Being” question. Some were moved to tears, some exalted, some absolute, some unsure, some annoyed, and most were grateful for the opportunity for self-reflection. One musician from New York emailed me weeks later after his interview to inform me that this question had left him reviewing his existence and he found himself depressed and in bed for three days because he thought he knew and now he was not so sure. I found this interesting. Was this my purpose? To shake the “tree of knowledge?”

One night late into my second year on the air, I interviewed author and public speaker, J. Ross Quinn. He turned the tables and answered my question with a question: “How can anyone know if they are being who they have come here to be if they do not know who they are? Do YOU know who you are?”

Doh! Stump-town! I wanted to cry. My eyes welled with tears and my voice caught in my throat.

Uh….I dunno.

The deal is, I DO know who I am. At the time, I just didn’t know how to Be the Authentic Me. Nor did I have the courage to “do” what it takes to express the Authentic Me in human form.

From that day, I relaxed into Kundalini meditation, twisted myself into excruciating yoga postures, chanted hours of mantras, invested in visioning, journaling, and several trips into the sacredness of our plush forests and beautiful Oregon coastline, an underworld cenote of a Mexican jungle, and into the bush of Jamaica to reason with a rasta medicine man. I have received empowerments from High Lamas of Bhutan, shamanic blessings from Native elders, prayers of healing from a Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist Gurus, endowed with spiritual names, oracles, and divinations for introspection, affirmation, and confirmation.

And, with all of this, in the year and a half since J. Ross Quinn’s question to me, I have come to a simple knowing:

I am a spark of the Divine. How that expresses is up to me and is mine to do and be. Now that I know this Truth, how I experience my life is my responsibility.  It really is an inside job.

As a former single welfare-mom of seven children, domestic and sexual abuse survivor, once jailed, twice homeless, educated by the University of Life, recovering drug addict, massage therapist,  business owner, published writer, world-traveler, mentor, educator of Tantra, Love, and Native American spirituality, radio host and producer, public speaker, Lover of my family and all of Humanity, I am finally seeing how I can blossom in the shadows of my existence..and, how trees grow in the shade.

 

Excerpt from Desiree Rudder’s book, “Mama, How do trees grow in the shade?”

How Do Trees Grow In The Shade?
August 19, 2018