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Anonymous 19-09-03 01:20 PM

Eye strain whilst painting???
Hi does anyone else suffer from eye strain? My eyes have bees really strained and tired recently(every day), i have of course visited the opticians, last month whos assured me every thing is ok ect, but im still a bit worried.
Does anyone else get " tired and strianed eyes"?
Maybe its because i paint everyday focusing on a board 5 or 6 inches away for hours on end, even untill 2 or 3 am I dunno, would be helpfull to hear if anyone else gets eye strain regulary and any advice?

Rosemary 19-09-03 03:08 PM

Maybe helpful
Hi Steven,

I get eyestrain when ever I keep my eyes at one focused at one particular distance too long, whether it is painting, reading a book or working at a computer. I try to get up and walk around for 5 -10 minutes every hour, preferably outside, looking all around me.

The little muscles in my eye that focus the lense just get tired the way my arm would if I held my arm out for an hour at a time. So I try to do some eye exercises like looking up, down and side to side while I paint as well as looking out into the distance regulary. Things like looking as far away as possible, such as the other end of my hallway or out the window at the skyline or stars. Another helpful treatment for tired eyes is to rub palms briskly together until they warm up and cup them over the eyes, so they do not touch the eye but make a little warm house for the eye. The eyes may be open or closed, whatever feels best. Especially good when sitting back in an easy chair for a few moments.


Anonymous 19-09-03 03:51 PM

Thanks for that rosemary, my eyes feel really sore and tired even if i look to the side or up etc, your right reckon i focus them at one distace for to long I must exercise em!!! and do as you sugest ie look at far distance objects at intervals ect.
Theres a tecnique called the "bates method" that is suposed to be really good and helpful in strengthening the eye muscles etc,im going to look it up via the internet, if i recall the treatment you advise of "cupping" your eyes is called "palming" and is part of the "bates method".
Thanks for the advice i now know its not just me who suffers from tired eyes, and apprecaite your suggestions.

Anonymous 19-09-03 04:59 PM

Just been surfin the net and looked up the "bates method" and made another amazing discovery id like to pass on to others.
DO NOT PAINT USING FLOURESENT LIGHTING TUBES!!! as they cause serious eye strain, due to flicker
I have a fluresent tube about 8 inches above my eyes, were i paint for hours on end so NO WONDER MY EYES ARE SO SORE AND TIRED.
Its equivent to being being in front of a pc flicker screen for 10 hours a day every day!!!(as i use the pc when not painting)

So again DONT use fluresent lighting as it was its really bad for your eyes due to the flicker.
Im going to try those "daylight bulbs" you can get and do some focusing exercises, palming ect with should help.[/b]

RobM 19-09-03 05:51 PM

I use 'northern light' flourescent tubes fixed about the studio. These are stlll flourescent tubes and flicker at whatever Ghertz or whatever they call it but they are a much bluer light which you want for painting. They do give me a better colour balance than normal tubes which provide a yellow light. I get terrible probs with my eyes but then I'm in my mid 50's and bad eyes run in the family. I manage no more than about 4 to 6 hours a day painting.
I paint in either an east facing conservatory where the lighting is just perfect for daytime painting or a garage (so defined for planning purposes but the real studio) where the windows face north-east but much better during the summer months when the conservatory gets that hot that the paint sets up the moment you make it.
Those daylight bulbs we have are fine but the major draw back is the limited area they illuminate. You really need about six of these set up to give even lighting over the work.
Guess we'll have to suffer for our art!!

Anonymous 19-09-03 07:54 PM

Yep thanks rob
Supose eye strain is part of what we must endure to allow us to contiue with our work, just i was a little worried as thought it was just me.
But I know i FEEL I HAVE TO PAINT i just cant help it, its taken over my life , in fact art is my life!!!
Supose all artists are all a little eccentric eh? LOL :-)
But im going to get say 3 or 4 "day light" bulbs or a combination of northlights bulbs if there available in bulbs, As i really do want to aviod any type of fluresant tubes due to flicker.

RobM 20-09-03 07:32 PM

All I can say is that I've been down your route with the daylight bulbs and I've ended up with 3 x 5 foot flourescent tubes. One to the left of the painting area, one to the right and one directly overhead. All at ceiling height, about 8 feet. All have the northern light type tubes which have a bluish cast instead of the yellow. Personally, I prefer the tubes (albeit that I have to synchronise blinking at 60 KHz :!: )
Just one point I've always thought about.............
Where ever you are in the world and if you are selling 'locally' the client will be viewing the work in mediochre lighting so why do we seek to paint in as near perfect lighting condition which will be wasted on the client with his 100 watt bulbs from Tesco's!!!!!!! ( No replies to that comment please :lol: )

Rosemary 21-09-03 12:02 AM

Eye exercises
Hi Steven,

My father used the Bates method exercises and my uncle did as well, with great success. That is where I learned to rest eyes. The exercises work very well with my uncle who had 1/2 inch thick glasses being able to go to normal looking glasses and my father being able to go with out glasses until he was older. I got my mother's eyes and didn't really need glasses until older, so I have never done the exercises, other than the resting.

I use a pair of LUXO lights that have a 22 watt circular fluorescent around a 60 watt incadescent. I have one on each side of me. I have not noticed a flicker with them like I can see with the long tubes. Maybe it is masked by the incadescent light. I like them because the replacement tube and bulb are inexpensive and easy to find, unlike the specialty fluorescent tubes.

I also like halogen lighting for painting under.


Anonymous 21-09-03 02:47 PM

Nice one rosemary, so the bates method does work!!!
I new it would.
Ive printed the exercies out from the net and will do them every day and should see an improvement soon.
Will let you all know how i get on, hope others will try the bates method aswell, anything to help our eyes is a good thing isni it?

Think i will change and stick to bulbs rob, as i really want to prevent any kinda flicker whatso ever.

Dennis H 22-09-03 04:22 PM

Crazy bulbs!
I wish I had a beautiful day-lighted conservatory to paint in, like Rob, but alas I work at night, mainly, in a half-below-ground-level "studio" bedroom. My lighting sources, not by design, have evolved into a combination of halogen, fluorescent circular tube, and regular incandescent bulbs in portable armed lamps surrounding my desktop easel, augmented by a couple of 100-watt incandescents in a ceiling fixture. I paint with sunglasses on. Actually, no; but I do have an array of various strengths reading glasses to pop on the old face as I work. I've always had terrible eyes. As they grow worse with age, I compensate by painting more minutely. Eyestrain is a fact of life for me. :-(


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