March 3, 2008

Menstrual blood art (2)

Thanks to those who posted comments as well as the many who wrote to me privately. I always welcome feedback and dialogue, so keep writing!

For all of you women who are inspired to paint with your Moon Blood,
one technical point: your paintings need to be sealed once they are completed (regardless of your canvas material). Sealing will prevent cracking or fading, and will preserve your painting. What to use? Let me tell you how I found out...

I entered the local art store and my heart skipped a beat when I asked for a sealant (wondering what I would say if I had to describe what it was for).
- "I want to fully preserve the color of my painting" I said.
- "Are you using oil or water-based paint?" asked the woman behind the counter. I glanced around to see who else may be hearing me, took a deep breath, and semi-whispering I courageously announced: "My menstrual blood..."
The woman was un-fazed.
- "OK" she said.
Not a muscle moved in her face, as if people came in every day looking to seal their menstrual blood paintings (perhaps they do?)
- "Would you like it to have a matt or a glossy look?" she asked, business-like. I sighed and had to stop myself from bursting into a laughter of relief.
- "Matt" I smiled.

Given her total lack of surprise I was hoping for a conversation, half-expecting to hear the story of her journey with blood painting, but she disclosed nothing. If she was shocked, she certainly didn't show it, neither did she show solidarity. Utterly neutral she escorted me to the cash register where she reminded me to read the instructions on the sealant spray bottle, and to allow the painting to fully dry between applications.

It worked! A few coats did the job, the color remained as deep as my blood ever was, and the painted drum looks exactly as it did before I sealed it, which is how I wanted it to look.

Vanessa Tiegs is the only other artist I know who creates with her Moon Blood. You can view her powerful paintings at -

I was about to post this when an email arrived from a fellow Moon Blood devotee, responding warmly to the previous post, and adding: "Menstrual blood is also wonderful for a facial. Apply blood as-is, allow to dry, wash off and enjoy soft skin!" This is delightful news! I would certainly try it... and I thought there was nothing new I could learn about the subject...


Anonymous said...

Vanessa Tiegs of mixes an acrylic gloss into her blood , which she says extends the medium and also prevents fading and cracking...sounds like a good alternative to using a post-painting sealant. Just wanted to pass that along. ~jmm.

Anonymous said...

Do you know of a sealant that can work on fabric as well? Just wondering...:)

DeAnna L'am said...

The problem with sealants on fabric is that they harden/stiffen the fabric.
I made prayer flags which I painted with menstrual blood, and decided to leave them unsealed because of the inevitable hardening that a sealant will cause.

With a drum, you would want to seal your art since the drum beating will chip the painting.

With fabric it may not be necessary.

Cat said...

Do you have a brand name for the sealant?

DeAnna L'am said...

I don't have a brand name for the sealant...
I guess any would do :-)

I asked at the Art Supply store for a transparent, matt sealant, and chose among a couple of options.

Good luck!

Stem Cell Research said...

Menstruation (a period) is a major stage of puberty in girls; it's one of the many physical signs that a girl is turning into a woman.

And like a lot of the other changes associated with puberty, menstruation can be confusing. Some girls can't wait to start their periods, whereas others may feel afraid or anxious. Many girls (and guys!) don't have a complete understanding of a woman's reproductive system or what actually happens during the menstrual cycle, making the process seem even more mysterious.