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Ron Francis
06-26-2010, 08:58 PM
It has come to my attention that there is a huge illegal trade in mongoose hair that is used for making artists brushes and shaving brushes.
The hairs come from are wild animals in India that are trapped and bashed to death (if they are lucky) before the hair is pulled out.
They are protected and endangered in India and there are hefty penalties for anyone caught.

This web page is a must read for anyone who cares.
http://randomfootprints.wordpress.com/category/mongoose/

Please don't buy them.

stapeliad
06-26-2010, 09:05 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek:
Thankfully I do not have any mongoose. Thanks for the heads up on this.

KerryOriginals
06-26-2010, 09:39 PM
There was a time I would never buy anything but natural hair brushes, because, quite simply, they were superior in every way to synthetics. I loved kolinsky and royal sables for fine detail brushes in oils and hog bristle, badger, and later when badger was no longer available, mongoose for the main utility brushes. I still have a couple old mongoose brushes in my brush bins, but, I quit buying natural hair brushes altogether about 2 years ago. Synthetics are much, much better than they used to be and by systematically trying new synthetics each time I buy new brushes (at least one new type) I have narrowed down the vast selection to a few synthetics that meet my needs. Now that I know I can get decent synthetics, I probably won't buy any kind of natural hair brushes again.

Gayblade
06-26-2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the info, by the way, synthetic mongoose is as close to the real thing you can get.

Bellaskye
06-26-2010, 10:55 PM
I buy the Escoda fake mongoose, I love them!!!

GhettoDaveyHavok
06-26-2010, 11:36 PM
The things that are done for some of our paintbrushes... :(

winecountry
06-27-2010, 12:17 AM
Thanks Ron... very good thing to bring up....
Kerry which ones do you like?

I just got some from Rosemary and Co. Shiraz (http://www.rosemaryandco.com/shiraz-c-118.html?osCsid=dea394eaa979de366239adbeff8755d9) which I'm really loving, have enough heft to shove the oil around, but spring and flex for a more sable like application too. She has synthetic mongoose too, called Eclispe (http://www.rosemaryandco.com/eclipse-new-c-232.html?osCsid=dea394eaa979de366239adbeff8755d9) I have really been happy with all their brushes and the shipping is minimal.

Lets put some of our favs up here for people to check out.

KerryOriginals
06-27-2010, 12:41 AM
Colleen, the brushes I currently love...for most block in work, and, some larger detail work (remember, 90% of my work is less than 5x7") I like the Silver Brush Bristlon series. These brushes resemble hog bristle but are more springy and smoother and don't 'shed'. They hold up excellently to solvents and do not split, curl, or otherwise fall apart. The size 0 and 1 filberts are my fav and I DO wear them out! :) For finer detailing on miniature works, I'm still looking for my perfect brush, but, have found Princeton's Umbria to hold up well to solvents and are long wearing. My only issue is that thier 000 is more like a 1, they just are not quite fine enough. I make do with them though, because unlike tacklon, they do not split n splay when used with solvents. I've also had good luck with Princetons 6600 series (mongoose synth, I think). Still sampling brushes, but, I tend to shy away from the really expensive ones. I'll leave them for if I can't find anything cheaper first! lol!

llawrence
06-27-2010, 07:23 AM
I really appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Dana Design
06-27-2010, 11:05 AM
I buy the Escoda fake mongoose, I love them!!!


Do you notice any difference in the brush stroke and paint holding qualities? What about edges? Do they hold for a good long time?

Dana Design
06-27-2010, 11:34 AM
Ok, finally got my courage up and read the article and watched the vids. I will never purchase another mongoose brush. Thanks, Ron, for educating me.

Now I need a good substitute in synthetic.

monkhaus
06-27-2010, 01:51 PM
Well, beyond not purchasing mongoose brushes I think it's a good idea to contact the manufacturers of them and tell them why you won't be purchasing them anymore (for those who have). They need to know.

Thank you Ron!

WFMartin
06-27-2010, 03:08 PM
Just a couple of thoughts. If I felt that Mongoose brushes were worth all they are cracked up to be, I'd probably buy them, no matter what particular propaganda had been thrust upon me. However, I am not much of an advocate for the use of natural hair brushes, anyway (by the way, why are we not as sympathetic for pigs, as in "hog bristle brushes"? Aren't they "cute lil' animals, too? At least when they are young). I have discovered that most of the synthetic bristles are by far more useful for oil paint than most natural bristles seem to be.

Also, if I were to own a "pet mongoose" for the purpose of using hair harvested off the animal, it seems to me that the very last thing I'd care to do would be to kill it.:confused:

Mike Finn
06-28-2010, 01:36 AM
Horses for courses..

If you need soft gradations and blending then the recommended brushes are sable. If you want to see the brush marks for a painterly effect then use bristles. If you want to do both with the same brush then use mongoose.

Now in some countries, like mine, products from threatened species are BANNED, so the imitation mongoose does the job nicely..... GREAT all round brush.

Mike Finn

Ron Francis
06-28-2010, 03:37 AM
I forgot to mention that it seems that mongoose hair for brushes only comes from India and maybe Nepal, although this really needs to be confirmed.

I'm disheartened that, although only 15 people have voted so far, more than 50% have said that they would still buy mongoose brushes.
It seems like such a small thing to do to protect an endangered species.

sidbledsoe
06-28-2010, 07:01 AM
I just cast my vote for no mongooses for me, no way, no how. For this type brush I use Winsor Newton's Monarchs:
"Winsor & Newton's synthetic mongoose fiber offers better durability than natural mongoose. This unique synthetic fiber is so much like mongoose, it even has the tapered point and surface texture of the natural hair. It is stiffer than sable, but softer than hog bristle, perfect for acrylic and oil painting."

(When Riki Tiki Tavi mongoose is gone he won't be coming around for to kill your snakes no more)

JTMB
06-28-2010, 05:03 PM
One country's endangered species is another place's enemy. Mongoose (mongeese?) were brought into the Hawaiian Islands to deal with rats (which in turn were non-native and brought themselves in on trading ships). The only problem (as with almost all introduced species) is that things weren't quite that simple. The mongeese discovered that eating native Hawaiian bird species (many of which didn't fly because they never had predators and didn't need to) was much easier than catching rats, and promptly eradicated a number of species which are never to return. It's too bad the harvesting of mongeese can't be done in Hawaii, because they are a continuing nemesis there. I know this is an unpleasant topic to some, but introduced species (such as European Starlings into the US) cause terrible ecological havoc because native species have not evolved defenses against them in many cases. My expertise is (North American) birds, and there are several well-known situations where a species of bird has been saved from extinction by directed and intelligent management (meaning destroying) non-native species that are the root of the problem. When I saw this thread, knowing the situation in Hawaii but not in India, I was astounded to see that the mongoose was endangered there.

I do own 'mongoose' brushes - but they are of the synthetic variety.

Ron Francis
06-28-2010, 07:57 PM
John,
It's a similar story here.
Australia has been devastated by rabbits, foxes, feral cats and cane toads, all of which were introduced.

Unfortunately, the species of mongoose in Hawaii is not suitable for brushes (according to someone on another forum) otherwise there could be a burgeoning industry to be had.
[Edit] after a little research, I found that the species on Hawaii is indeed different. Herpestes javanicus.
In India they arethe Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), Striped-necked Mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis), and the Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi)

winecountry
06-29-2010, 02:16 PM
Ron try this post on the Animal and Wildlife forum, you will find kindred sprits there for sure, and the painters there will welcome the info.

Mark Sheeky
07-03-2010, 01:07 PM
I was aware of this Ron and have brought it up on here before...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=591577

I don't use Mongoose brushes. I would use animal hair if the animals were treated to a reasonable and sustainable standard but I avoid animal products from countries where standards are minimal or non existant, China, India etc.

Mark

charlestoncaine
07-05-2010, 03:30 AM
Can't they just shave the little critters and give little wooly vests until they grow their hair back. Farmed mongeese? sounds better.
I've had a few mongoose brushes over the years, they wear pretty quickly so I think the synthetic alternative is the best option anyway.

Bordelon
07-06-2010, 09:48 AM
I started using Escoda synthetic mongoose brushes and love them. Since they are more than I usually pay for my
brushes, I used a gift certificate and bought a Brush Mate brush cleaner to clean them properly - a great investment. SBB

Snail
07-10-2010, 12:45 AM
I also use the Escoda synthetic mongoose brushes and love them.

Yes, it would be wonderful if we could treat animals humanely -- or compassionately, that's probably a better word... wonderful for them and wonderful for us! Thanks for sharing this.

2linda
02-26-2011, 01:20 PM
After a ten year painting hiatus I am looking for new brushes and was considering Mongoose. After reading your post I am horrified that I even considered it. Thank you!

terrapin52
07-23-2011, 10:30 AM
I'm going to see if I can acquire an Escoda mongoose brush, but if they can't produce the same results, I'll go back to my real mongoose and probably purchase more since it looks like the squeeze is on. The very top echelon of american oil painters uses them and probably knows a little more than we do.

sidbledsoe
07-23-2011, 11:20 AM
The very top echelon of american oil painters uses them and probably knows a little more than we do.

Check out Ron's work who began this thread, (oops he is from Oz).

donn_granros
07-23-2011, 11:46 AM
didn't see this thread the first time around. I could not justify buying a Mongoose brush. Trekkel and others make perfectly a fine synthetic Mongoose and if that doesn't work something else will. If ones skill as a painter is totally dependent on brush type and material then in my view you are not much of a painter at all.

Art is an affirmation of life and creativity and I don't think the process would mean nearly as much to me if I didn't at least try in a small way to not cause harm to another creature.

monkhaus
07-23-2011, 11:52 AM
Thank you Donn. Well said.

llawrence
07-23-2011, 01:41 PM
Art is an affirmation of life and creativity and I don't think the process would mean nearly as much to me if I didn't at least try in a small way to not cause harm to another creature.I agree Donn - much of my philosophy as an artist is evolving around consideration for materials, including brushes. I'm always happy to read statements such as yours.

As a note to all, beware of reassurances from folks in art supply shops. They sometimes don't know as much about their products as perhaps they ought to. The nice folks at our local art store had never heard of this issue, and when I asked if a particular natural-hair brush they had in stock was mongoose hair, they informed me that it was not. I nearly bought it, and I'm glad I didn't. I came home and looked up the company, and sure enough it was real mongoose hair.

This is a protected species, and trade in its produce is illegal in India, and for good reason. In my opinion buying and using mongoose-hair brushes is on a par with buying and using ivory. There is so much about our art materials that is out of our control, since they exist on the fringes of global demand by much, much larger industries than ours. This is one issue, on the other hand, upon which we could actually have an impact. Don't buy or use mongoose-hair brushes, please.

dustonpaper
07-23-2011, 03:19 PM
I have had a lot of interest in them, not only but also because one of my favorite living masters, Morgan Weistling, promotes them.

Now that I know that Ron, I will stay away from them. Thank you for that information.

I do not really need them, Synthetics work very well for me when I need a light touch for highlights and all my heroes, from Anders to Zorn, with Boldini, Sargent and a few others in-between ;) all used bristle brushes for most of what they did, so I should be fine with them,too. And though I value pigs as high as any other animal, including my more than 7 Opilions who share my single room flat watching me paint, hogs are not really an endangered species at this time.

What about Kolinski ? I think the best one is from russia and folks there might be poor enough to not take care about the environment and animal rights. I thought for a long time about the fate of the original owners of the brushhair in my watercolour brushes, but was unable to find info. I really hope that the animals for Kolinski brushes are bred for that purpose under acceptable conditions. But considering that we humans are the worst animal on this planet (we are a pestilence to it even, a cancer to the planet) this is probably naive thinking. I have tried most synthetic on the market here, but for Watercolour I did not find an alternative that comes even close. They just do work well with watercolour.

mariposa-art
07-23-2011, 03:26 PM
I didn't know about this, and in fact just recently started using Mongoose brushes. In my case they are the W&N synthetic ones. I tend to opt for synthetic anyway. Though I did order some mongoose brushes from another brand recently—not sure if they are synthetic or what. In any case, it'll be synthetic from now on. The W&N ones I've been using are awesome.

dustonpaper
07-23-2011, 03:27 PM
And I wanted to add:

Support synthetic brushes ! Try to work well with them. I am sure Rembrandt would have tried them if he had the opportunity.
When painters support synthetic brushes then the industry will recognize this, invest more money into research and therefor we will get better synthetic brushes. Cannot be that hard to develop something that imitates nature well enough to paint with for a species that went to the f$%§"$ moon.

llawrence
07-23-2011, 05:03 PM
But considering that we humans are the worst animal on this planet (we are a pestilence to it even, a cancer to the planet)Humans are not a pestilence. Our culture is. There's nothing wrong with humans, as your choice about mongoose brushes proves. As Daniel Quinn is fond of pointing out, homo lived on this planet for literally millions of years without trashing the joint. Which means that humans are not inherently irrational and destructive, and that we can change the way we are doing things. And, as Gandalf might say, that is an encouraging thought.

Doug Nykoe
07-23-2011, 06:07 PM
The very top echelon of american oil painters uses them and probably knows a little more than we do.

Good point and probably maybe best to leave the Mongoose brushes in the hands of the pros that really do understand its significance and realize it’s just not practical for them to not use this particular brush. Just like it’s not practical for many of us not to drive our cars to our pleinair excursions or work etc even though humans and animals all over the world are paying every time we turn the ignition (http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/oil_spills.htm) but we have to use our cars, don't we and the pros have their needs as well and so it goes.

But for beginners and hobbyist it’s not practical for them in most cases… so switch to synthetics with my blessings.

oCDs01-711
07-23-2011, 08:15 PM
Sadly a couple of months ago, I purchased a few at a good price. However, since then, I have read about mongoose brushes :eek: and those who are concerned, count me as one. It was after that I discovered W&N's Monarch synthetic mongoose brushes. They are wonderful. :thumbsup: Just what I was looking for blending in wmo.

I will always purchase synthetic brushes from now on. Thanks, Ron.

mariposa-art
07-23-2011, 08:39 PM
I love (LOVE LOVE LOVE!) my snob paints, but when it comes right down to it, if I have to use synthetics but replace my brushes more often, that's fine with me. I'm not going to say I don't have any natural brushes in my collection because I'm pretty sure I do. (It sometimes gets confusing for me to figure out what is what. When I go brush shopping my biggest concern is is it for oils? Sometimes I can't recall if it's synthetic or not.) But, I hear that synthetics are in many cases good, and often cheaper, and cheap is good! LOL.

I can't say I'll never ever ever get a natural brush ever again (because one may slip through the cracks, or for whatever reason) but all I know is that I look for synthetics first and will continue to do so. Especially mongoose synthetics.

llawrence
07-23-2011, 09:04 PM
What's wrong with natural brushes? I think they're the sustainable choice, personally. Just not natural brushes from protected species.

dustonpaper
07-23-2011, 09:14 PM
The very top echelon of american oil painters uses them and probably knows a little more than we do.
Sorry, no offense, but this argument is rather pointless. There is a lot going on behind the curtain of instruction-videos and product reviews that has to do a lot with money. Not accusing anyone specific, but that is just the way it is. This whole "endorsement" is very common. I once bought an immensely expensive signature guitar to find out it wasn't any better than other ones way cheaper.
If you look at history you will find that painters back then usually has way worse materials. Look at the brushes in old self portraits by painters. They do not really look that good.
These for example are Phillip de Laszlo's brushes:
http://www.worldofportraitpainting.com/specialfeatures/laszlo/brushes.jpg
http://www.worldofportraitpainting.com/specialfeatures/laszlo1.htm
Very usual bristles, quite used.
James Gurney:
http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2008/08/brushes.html

What I learned in the past with many hobbies is that materials are the less important facts of great work. A good guitar-player will rock on an old rusty guitar with only 3 strings left. And a good painter will paint a great painting with a few cheap colours and a rag if necessary. I have the impression many hobbypainters care way too much about materials, mediums etc. instead of getting more skilled at painting.

Ron Francis
07-23-2011, 09:29 PM
The very top echelon of american oil painters uses them and probably knows a little more than we do.Good point and probably maybe best to leave the Mongoose brushes in the hands of the pros that really do understand its significance and realize it’s just not practical for them to not use this particular brush. Just like it’s not practical for many of us not to drive our cars to our pleinair excursions or work etc even though humans and animals all over the world are paying every time we turn the ignition (http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/oil_spills.htm) but we have to use our cars, don't we and the pros have their needs as well and so it goes.

But for beginners and hobbyist it’s not practical for them in most cases… so switch to synthetics with my blessings. I think that original quote may be a bit misleading.
I'm sure that there would be very many top echelon painters around the world who don't use mongoose.
You can take this comment with a grain of salt, but I can't see any effect in any of their paintings that can't be achieved without mongoose.
A good artist can make something beautiful with an oily rag.
You can drive to your pleinair excursion in a Porche or a Volkswagen, you get there either way. (And I'm in no way saying that mongoose is higher quality and you can do as much with less.)

Doug Nykoe
07-23-2011, 10:49 PM
I think that original quote may be a bit misleading.
I'm sure that there would be very many top echelon painters around the world who don't use mongoose.

Of course and it’s always their choice and whatever gives them those particular results that they are after. Some say they hold the mongoose as if it’s just about to fall out of their hand to get that just right soft mark and the Mongoose really performs when I do that too.

I tried Maries synthetic Mongoose and was surprised how well they performed (#2 long filberts) but I use them for a lot of the grunt work as well as the Chinese bristle brushes at the beginning to the middle…ish of the painting then switch to Mongoose so I have taken some of the burden off of these creatures. But the synthetics are in no way like the real Mongoose. So I do what I have to do. Those synthetics I got from Mary I had to order ten more because I really liked the fluid way it makes its marks and can be very useful but they are just too stiff for some to a lot of my brush manipulations.


You can take this comment with a grain of salt, but I can't see any effect in any of their paintings that can't be achieved without mongoose.

Yes, a grain of salt because we just don’t know what’s inside the minds of others and what they really used to get the effects they were after.

A good artist can make something beautiful with an oily rag.


I agree and with a stick too and Farrah Fawcett did some nice painting with her body or at least the procedure was nice to watch but again that’s their choice but for me it’s what I feel I need and I have bought a lot of varieties of brushes out there over the years and these the Mongoose are the best brush I have. So I will continue to make use of them like we make use of our cars because it’s just practical and gets the job done for me.

I guess you’re trying to do your small part in the world to make it a better place Ron, well; I am too but not here or in this case. Anyways Ron that’s all I want to say about this because it’s a matter of taste and practicality and getting the job done as well as possible.


~

dustonpaper
07-23-2011, 11:19 PM
There are a lot of ways to achieve a result and those who claim there is only one way just lack the skills IMHO. As Ron said, a good painter will achieve great results, no matter what materials he uses. You never hear great painters complain about materials, they just use what they have to their advantage.

Red 9
07-23-2011, 11:32 PM
No, I wouldn't buy a mongoose brush.

There are a lot of ways to achieve a result and those who claim there is only one way just lack the skills IMHO. As Ron said, a good painter will achieve great results, no matter what materials he uses. You never hear great painters complain about materials, they just use what they have to their advantage.

Well I don't think that's fair to say it's a lack of skill either. I have favorite pencils, favorite erasers, favorite papers, favorite brushes, etc,. It has taken me a lot of time and money experimenting to find the tools that are just perfect for me. So I can certainly see how an artist who is accustomed to using mongoose brushes wouldn't want to so easily give them up. And when your art pays the bills, I'd imagine it's not such a simple thing to just give up one of your bread and butter tools...

dustonpaper
07-24-2011, 12:13 AM
No, I wouldn't buy a mongoose brush.

Well I don't think that's fair to say it's a lack of skill either. I have favorite pencils, favorite erasers, favorite papers, favorite brushes, etc,. It has taken me a lot of time and money experimenting to find the tools that are just perfect for me. So I can certainly see how an artist who is accustomed to using mongoose brushes wouldn't want to so easily give them up. And when your art pays the bills, I'd imagine it's not such a simple thing to just give up one of your bread and butter tools...

Well, we have different opinions on that. I do not post much here and I know not really that much about painting. But what I see here very often hobby painters (I am hobby painter as well) who break their head about materials but often did not even master the most basic drawing skills (not directed at anyone personally, just a general observation). People should paint more instead of searching the secret tool that will make them paint like masters. An inventive painter will find a way to get any effect done. I think it is wrong that for example at Rosemarys&Co's website well known painters endorse mongoose as if it is the secret to success. This is irresponsible in my opinion. Folks who do not know much might think that some materials might be the secret to painting. Materials are not the secret to good painting, and that is a fact proven over and over again by artists in the history and in the present. The "bread and butter" of a painter is not in his tools. Sorry if I offend anyone, but that is my opinion. After researching quite a bit more about the mongoose hair trade this evening, I am convinced it is the right thing to say no to mongoose brushes.

Ron Francis
07-24-2011, 01:23 AM
No, I wouldn't buy a mongoose brush.
Well I don't think that's fair to say it's a lack of skill either. I have favorite pencils, favorite erasers, favorite papers, favorite brushes, etc,. It has taken me a lot of time and money experimenting to find the tools that are just perfect for me. So I can certainly see how an artist who is accustomed to using mongoose brushes wouldn't want to so easily give them up. And when your art pays the bills, I'd imagine it's not such a simple thing to just give up one of your bread and butter tools...
I actually agree with this, and it is part of the problem.
Imagine going to an atelier and part of the training was to, at some point, blend with a mongoose.
This would become part of their technique and after years of doing it, may be difficult to find an alternative.
That being said, it comes down to what you think is important in life.
The choice is easy for me because I have never used mongoose and have absolutely no difficulty blending as smoothly as I wish, but I understand the difficulty for others. I do use sable though, which is softer I believe, and they aren't protected, but I am using more and more synthetic and finding that they often out perform natural hair.

mariposa-art
07-24-2011, 02:26 AM
I seem to have a small talent for adapting to many techniques and tools. (At least many of my art teachers thought so, as they sometimes were surprised how quickly I caught on to some new technique or medium they were introducing to us for the first time.) But still, I'm ambivalent about the idea that artists should be able to adapt to any tool. True, someone with solid drawing, composition, and color skills will be able to do more with a rag than someone without those skills. But yet some tools are downright frustrating. A really limp, noodley brush (like some cheap ones I got at Dick Blick once) is really difficult to deal with. And, I confess that I am not taking to WMOs, even though I got a set with great confidence. (And I haven't given up quite yet.)

As for mongoose—it may be that the subtleties between synthetic and natural are lost on me, but I love the synthetic (W&N Monarch) just fine. Of course that may well have to do with the kind of work I do. But I'm not absolutely certain that it won't make that much of a difference to someone else (How would I know?)

But at the same time, I agree that some of us are guilty of being a little too focused on the materials but not the technique. I hope I don't stray too far down that road. I hope not—after all, for years I got along okay with cheap student brushes and paints. Only recently I decided to learn how the other side (artist-grade) lives. But yeah, I think we can sometimes get too caught up in that. It's good to remember that the great Richard Schmid uses paints like W&N and Lefranc & Bourgeois.

I'm just rambling, sorry . . .

blackdogpaint
07-28-2011, 04:48 PM
I bash my own.

kidding...

It's a complex world, isn't it.

I used to fly-fish and tie flies. There's a "big" industry in raising special hybrid roosters for their neck and saddle hackles. They're not "harvested" like wool, they're just killed and the whole back and neck complete with feathers is stripped off. When these come from China or elsewhere, you can only imagine the conditions.

It's enough to make you retire to a cabin in the woods with an Underwood typewriter.

tomasis
07-28-2011, 05:17 PM
As I have said before in another thread

I personally feel that it is really no problems buying natural mongoose so long animals are not killed for brushes. Rosemary said it was grown from German farmers, but Ron Francis say it is not reliable claim. I choose to trust Rosemary as she seemed to be nice woman, I dont imagine her "swinging around with her axe". How come that sables are ok to buy when it is same conditions and we have not any proof of Rosemarys "illegal activity". For me it is ok when some dont choose to buy those brushes.

However, I see brushes as most important tool. I could live with crap paint, but good brushes make whole difference. I have tried synthetic mongoose (Eclipse serie, only flat that is not that long unfortunately) it was way too stiff, it packed there like millions hair, difficult to wash. It didnt work for me who wanted long brush,( no filberts, thx). Those brushes ended up as "sketch pens" in my collection.

But when I used natural Mongoose hair (long flat #279), my jaw dropped, it was so darn good! I understand Schmid, Lipkings admiration! I use only natural hair as Hog bristle and Mongoose, as sable is seemed too unstable, wears out fast and expensive. I have looked at W&N synthetic ones , but those are very expensive to be synthetic.

Synthetic are not environment friendly as natural hair IMHO! I think another serie Ivory from Rosemary is pretty good, good balance between hog and mongoose. I could use them as only choice.

As I said before, Im very demanding regarding specific brushes that suit for my painting. I say why not buy mongoose natural if it can last lifetime when it is properly taken care of. If one painter doesnt see difference from synthetic and natural, he can send those "crap" to me as Im enjoying the huge difference! :D

tomasis
07-28-2011, 05:31 PM
You can drive to your pleinair excursion in a Porche or a Volkswagen, you get there either way.
sure one gets there from A to B.

The experience in a Porsche is very intimate and intense that you never forget in your life :) The point is that one doesnt get there as for fulfilling the goal but making the whole process not less important, because we live just one time under our lifetime.

as car enthusiast, I have spoken :D

Ron Francis
07-28-2011, 07:11 PM
Rosemary said it was grown from German farmers, but Ron Francis say it is not reliable claim.
I have never said that claim was unreliable. In fact, that is the first time I have heard that claim.
Can you tell me where you got that information from please?
Both through email and this forum, Rosemary didn't answer my queries as to where the mongoose comes from, and that is why I was sceptical.

tomasis
07-28-2011, 07:24 PM
I have never said that claim was unreliable. In fact, that is the first time I have heard that claim.
Can you tell me where you got that information from please?
Both through email and this forum, Rosemary didn't answer my queries as to where the mongoose comes from, and that is why I was sceptical.

yeah that is why it is unreliable claim ;)

Ron Francis
07-28-2011, 07:36 PM
I'm afraid that I don't understand your response.
I repeat, can you tell me where you go that information from please?
That is, can you provide a link to where Rosemary makes that claim?

tomasis
07-28-2011, 07:41 PM
I'm afraid that I don't understand your response.
I repeat, can you tell me where you go that information from please?
That is, can you provide a link to where Rosemary makes that claim?

I dont remember where I have read. maybe from her catalog, or it was internet.

What I meant that my claim about german source is not reliable. Neither one can assume anything when one doesnt say anything. So it is only "?" so far. Suspicions, yeah.

EDIT after "google" it seems she mentioned only Sable being sourced from Germany, so I got mixed up :D

Ron Francis
07-28-2011, 07:56 PM
I dont remember where I have read. maybe from her catalog, or it was internet.

What I meant that my claim about german source is not reliable. Neither one can assume anything when one doesnt say anything. So it is only "?" so far. Suspicions, yeah.

EDIT after "google" it seems she mentioned only Sable being sourced from Germany, so I got mixed up :D
Thanks for that.
She did make the claim here on WC that the hair was harvested from mongoose that was killed for food. But she didn't respond when I asked if she could say which country it was. The reason this is important is that I thought that Indian mongoose was the only one suitable for brushes. Of course I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

tomasis
07-28-2011, 08:04 PM
Thanks for that.
She did make the claim here on WC that the hair was harvested from mongoose that was killed for food. But she didn't respond when I asked if she could say which country it was. The reason this is important is that I thought that Indian mongoose was the only one suitable for brushes. Of course I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong.
yeah, if she really knew that it'd come from Indian one, I would be disappointed on her.

Interesting you said that those are killed for food, I can imagine how hard life it is there in India, I also think it is not only a specie but thousands are disappearing from nature for example Amazon forest.

At least as consolation for me myself, I think I make paintings for raising concern for environment/awakening of humanity for what it's have been offered for other's survival. Pretty much "give and take" process. (Samsara thing)

ops too much off topic. Good night for me.:angel:

dustonpaper
07-29-2011, 04:16 AM
Here is an interesting video of national park sheriffs or something in india hunting mongoose traders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJYAswzwIDo

I stand by my opinion that a good painter can use everything to paint, he will adapt. Ron said earlier that this is a problem when a student learns a technique bound to a tool like mongoose brushes from his teacher ... bad teacher I say, a good one will show several ways to achieve a result (and good teacher will not say anything about blending at all, Sargent didn't blend a thing in his whole life) and who says there is only one way either doesn't know or maybe gets something for endorsing a product. I get a bit emotional when it comes to this topic, as I am firmly convinced that it is a fix idea that tools make a good painter, they just make his life a little more convenient in some cases. I am far from being any good myself, but I try on purpose to use the most basic tools to achieve good brushwork and I am convinced this is a good approach. If a tool doesn't work like I think it should I search the mistake in my skills, not in the tool. Simple hog hair, which is what all my idols used, is fine if they do not lose too much hair (a few hairs are no problem, Sargents paintings have them embedded as well). I hope hogs are not in danger of extinction, I guess the hair is taken from animaly bred for that purpose or maybe for their meat (which, I admitt, is often very cruel as well for the animals, especially in China where the best brush hair comes from I think). The hog hair brushes also get better with use and when cared for well, they get softer. So I rotate a few of the brushes for every sitting to get a few new ones to shape. I rarely use brushes smaller than 7mm wide and often don't even touch the canvas with the hairs, trying to get the paint applied in a broken pattern that lets the lower , still wet paint, look through the little holes ... that creates good edges that look from a distance more realistic than any other way to paint. It is a technique used by the late Rembrandt:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_cmA-5-MVbmM/TGqmowGc6II/AAAAAAAAAhw/jGsFCn209ng/s1600/Rembrandt+Washington+portrait+detail_edited-1.jpg

Or Frans Hals:

http://www.esacademic.com/pictures/eswiki/70/Frans_Hals_-_Lachende_jongen.jpg


And after that, the academic painters went two steps back, creating horribly boring history works wich are finished in detail to the point all expressive has been painted blended out of them. Only in the middle 19th century, people like Courbet or later Carolous-Duran (Sargents Teacher) laid out the path and in the end of the 19th century this was brought to perfection by people like Sargent, Boldini, De Lazlo , Zorn and a lot more less well known names. And no mongoose had to lose hair for it, at least I see no evidence anyone of these mentioned painters used mongoose, and I spend a lot of time and money (books, essays written by conservators etc.) to get information about that to find out which tools they used. None of them ever used anything special, no secret mediums, no alchemy. Tools do not make a good painter and it is best to get that into mind right from the start, not to be lead to the wrong path. I only recently came to that point and now finally I begin to have fun with my hobby, because all I did the 2 years before was worrying about my tools and paints and grounds and mediums and I worried how the crap (sorry, thats what it is) I produce might live 500 years. My idol Sarget set me free of that, his paintings cracked in his lifetime and all he said was "I have always been so much more interested in my effects than I have in how my pictures would last". But it goes too much off topic now, sorry, it's them emotionals :evil:

That some contemporary painters endorse mongoose like it was some magic tool that will make paint better just by spending the money is irresponsible and a lie, there always are several ways in every situation in painting and in life. The money is better spend in a few travels to museums and study some real paintings instead.

tomasis
07-29-2011, 06:44 AM
dustonpaper, sure.

One gets VW car and use it for a purpose. If it makes him happy, it is fine! There are some people who want Porsche, Ferrari. Do those people drive worse than VW drivers? It is not necessarily true in that case if they use those cars in tracks while racing.

I spent much money on digital paint stuffs. If I spent the same amount of money on oil paint, it could last for the whole lifetime :cool: Money is not object. Oddly mongoose brushes are not expensive, just slightly above Eclipse & Ivory. Some prefer Old Holland and crap brushes & canvas, other - Claesens and viceversa.

You missed that some artists used Sable brushes for blending or something else in old times, Mongoose is kinda exotic animal, none you could see in Europe.

Rembrandt did blend, he glazed over layers to get optical effects. It is not that cause I use as motivation doing that technique myself.

Your way speaking of some particular artists doesnt apply for everybody. As you mentioned about Sargent's curiousness, we are keen to experiment with new stuffs.

It is why we are here in Mongoose thread. It is year 2011, we dont look back what Masters did and we'd copy what they did, we move on and create our new ways doing our own stuffs.

I hear every time that it is painter, not tools. I could paint well with .. um.. poo poo.

As conclusion, you got a bit too excited and lost logical thinking. Sargent's words "I have always been so much more interested in my effects than I have in how my pictures would last" contradict your whole message. Schmid, Lipkins are good painters and use tools what it suits them. See VW vs Porsche above.

donn_granros
07-29-2011, 08:27 AM
Seems to be a lot of ambiguity still on the Mongoose front. This says to me 'use synthetic Mongoose or something else'.

dustonpaper
07-29-2011, 08:43 AM
I basically find even the existence of something like a Porsche, which serves no real necessary purpose except imaginary prolong certain male body-parts, a little unmoral to begin with ... at least as long as there is suffering on the planet that should be dealt with. But that are pholosophical questions which have nothing to do with oil painting. Especially with oil painting there is no way to be completely environmently-neutral, but I see no harm in trying to do what is possible. Saving a few mongoose will not save the world, but if it is one tiny thing a painter can help change, why not. There is not much a normal person can do to change something, so he should be happy to find something where he can take part in a change, no matter how small.

They are not really expensive indeed. Which means even more people are able to buy them so more mongoose will get into trouble. As the video I posted showed they trade with quite some amount of brush/hair ... just one example a few years ago they found 25kg of hair

http://mangoosehair.blogspot.com/2008/01/httpwww.html
quote:
"The district police have seized around 25 kg of mongoose hair and arrested five persons, including the owner of the factory engaged in making brushes used for painting and white-washing."

That must have have been quite a few animals, hair does not weight that much and 25kg of hair is a lot.

... But to be fair: in India itself it is used to paint, another video in the same youtube channel shows that, so it could well be that less mongoose is used here in the west than there. Probably the good quality goes here and the rest they use themself.

Sorry, about the Sargent thing. I see it is wrong to project what I like and consider good painting cannot be reflected on others.

Nothing is wrong to experiment with new stuff. Though there will be no revolution in oil painting when it comes to technique. All has been tried, all has been done when it comes to the way how to apply paint (not talking about subjects or composition, only of the very way to use paint). From photorealistic finishes where every hair is painted to very rough painting with thick impasto work, all has been done. And all this development in oil painting happened long before mongoose. It is a concious choice what is more important, to have a little convienience while painting or help stopping mongoose hair trade.
I even like some abstract art and I consider digital painting as crafty as any other way of creating a 3-dimensinal thing on a 2-dimensional surface. And with digital painting I can even very well imagine that it is necessary to use the newest tools, because they really bring something new (higher resolution, better touchpads or something I guess). But I see no way a mongoose brush can do what other more animal-friendly brushes cannot do. I have no doubt they are fun to work with. But I would be very surprised if anyone can prove that they do something magic that cannot be achieved in any other way. Natural hair brushes other than mongoose seem to be a renewable resource.

Many are not independent of influence from the masters they admire, I sure am not. That's why I say especially the well known Painters like Lipkin and Schmid should not endorse these brushes. It is part of the problem. I have some of their videos and learn from them, but in that case I oppose.

People see that their favourite painters use these brushes. Then someone who is still at the point to think he might become a better painter if he gets the tools their idols use ... he buys all the same stuff he sees in his favourite painters books and videos ... then he gets used to them and finally another type of brush will feel weird and he will think "I cannot paint without my mongoose".
I might be just to concerned about environment, animals especially. It is funny how Morgan Weistling uses only walnut oil to clean his brushes, wears a glove and tries to use only non-toxic materials as far as possible, but has like 30 mongoose brushes at his desk.
The well known painters in their books and videos could at least say that these brushes are not very animal friendly and that the aspiring painter should first try to get the maximum out of the basic tools until he is skilled enough to even feel the difference a mongoose brush makes, that would be good teaching in my opinion.


You say
dustonpaper, sure.
It is why we are here in Mongoose thread. It is year 2011, we dont look back what Masters did and we'd copy what they did, we move on and create our new ways doing our own stuffs.
I though this thread was about bringing the illegal mongoose hair trade to attention and discuss alternatives, pro's and con's for mongoose. If I was mistaken and this thread is about how wonderful they are and how absolutely necessary to paint well, then I sure am wrong here.

Don't you agree that it is the painter and not the tools ?

Indeed I lost it a bit, sorry for that. Sargents quote was more related to my story about how I worried about the wrong things in the beginning. He probably would have used mongoose if he liked the way they worked. But that he (so far as the researchers can tell) did not use them and neither did many other great painters who used only ordinary tools and paints should encourage us to search ways to do to ourself.
I guess I said all I have to say about the topic, no mongoose it is for me. My old shaving brush (about 40 years ald, my father used it before) is the only thing mongoose I have. And though the hair seems great and I can imagine they work very well as oil painting brush, I find that I can achieve the effects I'm after with other choices. Mongoose brush hair are not to buy here anyways. I would have to research it further, but it could even be that I can get in trouble with law when I ordered some from abroad and customs open the package and see that it is mongoose, but I do not know for sure.

tomasis
07-29-2011, 12:29 PM
dustonpaper, it is sensitive topic yeah. To discuss about mongoose, elephant ivory, rabbit glue, lead white is not always fun, entertaining. Do I like to cook chicken? It is only disgusting but I still eat it. Do I watch American movies there people are killed, big explosions, Rambo like guys firing with guns, blod floods in big red pole? I try to avoid to watch it.

There are always solutions for example grow mongoose at the same way other do with sables. It is brushmaker's responsibility to get material from clean source. Im really divided to two persons: artist and human being. I want best tools but at the same time, sustainability of environment. I happened to chose Mongoose because it is cheaper and more wear resistant than sable. Sable are more expensive, but Im prepared to pay more if I get "Eco" mongoose with a proof that it is really ecological. Mongoose and sable are different enough to make a choice. I understand your point re amateur. Chungking/Hog brushes are priced at lowest level which is fair.

Sure, painter is what it matters, not tools. But as in business, there are choices, why not make a choice. None forces me use that specific type of brush like synthetic. If African policemen burn lots of elephant ivory as warning for illegal trade, why waste it, I would ask African fellow to collect those wonderful pigments and send to me in 100 kilo parcel. You dont like fast cars as Porsche, too bad. I happen to be a pistonhead. Driving electric sport car fast is same thing or just build a copy of Lotus Seven Roadster which uses small 1.5-2litre motor. Earlier our Swedish "Indians" damaged tires of thirsty large SUVs in protest due environment waste but now we have environment friendly cars that look like SUV but consume gasol much as smaller cars. Should we drive around old cars and pollute with unclean exhaustgas because owning the same car is more enviro-friendly?

You have to be little careful and push your agenda gently ;) I also care about environment but defend the right of artist to have many choices as possible.

tomasis
07-29-2011, 12:30 PM
I got reply from Rosemary recently that she gets Mongoose from Canada. It has nothing to do with illegal trade in India.

:angel: :wave::clap:

dustonpaper
07-29-2011, 03:20 PM
I got reply from Rosemary recently that she gets Mongoose from Canada. It has nothing to do with illegal trade in India.

:angel: :wave::clap:

Thank you tomasis, that indeed is good news to hear and hopefully true.

What I wonder and searched in the internet without success is the history of mongoose hair as artist brush. Does anybody know more about that ? The earliest reference I can find is from the 1980s, but not really informative. When did it appear on the market and which where the first better known painters that used it ? Just curious to know about that history.

Off Topic about the ivory:
I find it very good that the Africans burn the ivory. The people there (the ivory hunters) and the people here who are interested in it must learn this is not wanted. As soon as you begin to say "let's not waste it" folks will see there is a market, just because people want it, and the trade will never stop. The line has to be drawn somewhere. Though it can be suspected that a lot of these burning actions are media events. I am pretty certain quite some ivory gets through with the authorities looking away. There is some terrible corruption in these countries especially.

I think you still can get some genuine ivory black from Kremer:

http://www.kremerpigments.com/shopus/index.php?cat=010402&lang=ENG&product=12000

At least in the German page for their order number 12000 they say it is genuine:
http://kremer-pigmente.de/12000.htm

But you should check with them and ask to be sure if it is genuine. If must be something special I think, because the price is a lot more than their regular PBk9. I see no use in getting used to this genuine pigment. Too rare. Kremer says on the german page the supply is limited and that new supply is not likely. I try to get used to materials that have a foreseeable future so I can still get them in 20 years, especially because I use large amounts of colour for my practicing lately, my master said "The thicker you paint, the more colour flows" :cool:.

My last post here really now, I promise, all has been said and to hear that at least Rosemary buys the hair from a alleged good source is sure good to hear for those who like them. I still wont use them, hog hair is fine for me and was all my idols used. Though I feel tempted to buy one, just to reassure myself that I am right and that they are no magic tools.

tomasis
07-29-2011, 03:35 PM
they are no magic tools.
none has said that except trolls ;)

re ivory, I have no need but curious how blue tone I can get so I emulate with "payne grey mix". The point is that my side as artist crave for rare unique items as lead, ivory, vermilion (that contradict to my personal beliefs as illegal trade and environment issue) but there my requirements are lower for paints than brushes. Funny when I got know about the event in Africa re ivory burning, my first thought immediately is: "how nice if I did get that 100kg genuine ivory" :evil:

As conclusion, we have different priorities and I hope we all are happy with our choices! btw hog is my most favorite tool due Im fan of thick paint.

Lets keep on topic :thumbsup:

dustonpaper
07-29-2011, 03:47 PM
none has said that except trolls ;)

I can't keep my promise not to reply in that case and feel like I have to apologize. to all of you. If I appeared as troll, then I am mighty sorry for that. I was referring to the reviews on mongoose brushes by the well known painters especially, not what posters here said. I always try to speak my mind as I just think and take not much consideration how that appears to others. It is why I visit a discussion forum. There would be no use in a place to discuss when all agree to each other. My thinking and opinions are subject to change.


As conclusion, we have different priorities and I hope we all are happy with our choices!

Sure, that is a good conclusion.

Now I really need to switch of my computer, I don't want to make the impression of being a troll. Maybe WC is just not the right place for me.

tomasis
07-29-2011, 04:00 PM
dustonpaper, take it easy, it was fun to discuss with you. I dont think you made wrong impression. Im not even sure how you interpreted things. Hope all is fine! (Id love see scanned version of your Sargent book if Ive missed) have a nice evening

I admit I wrote so much things here off topic

dustonpaper
07-29-2011, 04:43 PM
dustonpaper, take it easy, it was fun to discuss with you. I dont think you made wrong impression. Im not even sure how you interpreted things. Hope all is fine! (Id love see scanned version of your Sargent book if Ive missed) have a nice evening
Thank you Tomasis, I enjoy discussing as well and a nice evening to you too. It helps all of us to discuss and very often I write something on a forum and when reading it myself later I see the flaws in my thinking. It is like a snapshot of the current view of things and helps to correct oneselfs thinking to read it later, just like a diary I suppose.
I just took a look at your blog and like what I see. The Sargent copy in digital media (?) looks really great and all the rest as well.

Aynother off-topic, but I hope a last one off topic will be accepted by the mods (if not just delete please): Since you asked about the Sargent book, I decided not to scan it but to type it. I have no own scanner and that one at work is about as slow as my typing. I wanted to make an own thread about it when I was finished, but since I'm so happy now that I know at least one person is interested in it, I just post what I have so far for you, the first two pages only, it are only 40 pages, so I will be through pretty soon if my time allows, dayjob and all:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/61225484/John-Singer-Sargent

If you find mistakes, typos or something else and want to let me know maybe best is PM me so we don't derail this thread from the topic any further.

llawrence
07-29-2011, 05:46 PM
I got reply from Rosemary recently that she gets Mongoose from Canada. It has nothing to do with illegal trade in India. I'm interested in pursuing this. Importation of live mongooses into the United States is absolutely illegal because they can be so destructive. Exceptions are made very rarely for zoos only, I understand. I was unable to find anything on Canada law on the subject; but considering the widely-known dangers, I'd be more than a bit surprised by some mongoose farm being allowed in the middle of the Great White North, from where they might easily escape and infest North America.

Based on this, and lacking further information, I'd guess that this Canada source is simply an importer, and that their mongoose animal products ultimately derive from the same part of the world as all the others - namely India. I could be wrong, of course. Did Rosemary give you any more information than this?

Ron Francis
07-29-2011, 07:17 PM
I'm interested in pursuing this. Importation of live mongooses into the United States is absolutely illegal because they can be so destructive. Exceptions are made very rarely for zoos only, I understand. I was unable to find anything on Canada law on the subject; but considering the widely-known dangers, I'd be more than a bit surprised by some mongoose farm being allowed in the middle of the Great White North, from where they might easily escape and infest North America.

Based on this, and lacking further information, I'd guess that this Canada source is simply an importer, and that their mongoose animal products ultimately derive from the same part of the world as all the others - namely India. I could be wrong, of course. Did Rosemary give you any more information than this?
I was wondering about this as well and couldn't find much about it.
What I did find was ...

Mongoose is not native to Canada according to National Geographic
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mongoose/
There is only a map there showing their range
Wikipedia confirms it.

I was wrong saying that the animal was harvested for food earlier, it is harvested for it's fur.
Here is a quote from Rosemary at http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=591785&highlight=rosemary+mongoose
it is not an endangered species - the pelts are used in the fur trade but not the high street fashion stores for people who live in minus conditions and wear to keep alive. We only use the tails which are a byproduct and were thrown away until fairly recently.
and
the mongoose tails are a byproduct and rest assured no animal is killed to make the brushes here!
It does seem that the animal is being imported into Canada.
It is listed as "threatened" at the National Geographic site, and they say this ...
However, in their natural environments mongooses are currently threatened themselves due to habitat loss.
So I guess Rosemary is correct in saying that it isn't "endangered'.
I did ask Rosemary at the WC link if shy could tell us what the country of origin is, and what the species is, but she didn't reply.

tomasis
08-01-2011, 07:32 AM
Got recent email from Rosemary (today is Monday! :D)

She wrote that the Canadians grow the hair.

it ends speculation about India trade. Sure some people can hire private detective guys to find out if it is True.

tomasis
08-01-2011, 07:45 AM
dustonpaper, thanks! I look forward for a written copy (I appreciate your effort for the community)

lawrence, now you know.. let me tell you: I forbid you to get any Mongoose brushes :D Kidding...

have enjoyed of them in a few months (most are 279# long flat with a few short flat and eclipse) :cat:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Aug-2011/955791-DSCF3348.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Aug-2011/955791-DSCF3349.jpg

kate252
08-01-2011, 09:35 AM
no way would i buy these-

kate252
08-01-2011, 09:41 AM
i think is just safer to stay away from animal fur altogether- i dont beliee in animal cruelty or irresponsible endangering of species- if theres even a hint that this is going i would stay away- cant afford the friggin things anyway- and im glad- they have no place in my house.

llawrence
08-01-2011, 10:05 AM
She wrote that the Canadians grow the hair.

it ends speculation about India trade.I'm afraid it does not - though I'm glad you got the specific reassurance of the retailer, it's an important piece of the puzzle. But off the top of my head I don't know how many times I've personally received reassurances from retailers, or seen the word "genuine" on a product, which turned out to be incorrect. Nothing against Rosemary. I will do a little fact checking as I can and if I find anything out I'll certainly post it here.

This is the kind of question - sustainability of art materials - in which I'm most interested, and I like to know.

tomasis
08-01-2011, 10:18 AM
yeah it is kinda hard..

If I use hog bristle, I'd be accused that I use animal "fur" . If I use synthetic, I use environment unfriendly. Etc.

It never stops there, and concerns about other things are much bigger as industrial production that stays for big part of pollution, our meat eating etc.

However, Im happy to move on forward and I hopefully have contributed enough to the thread here. and Im out here.

Now it is time to paint with my lovely Mongoose brushes and leave other with their decisions ;)

llawrence
08-01-2011, 11:36 AM
If I use hog bristle, I'd be accused that I use animal "fur" . Hogs aren't threatened. Indian mongooses are. I don't know why the distinction is difficult.Im out here. That's unfortunate. I hope you check back in to see what I'm able to discover, if anything.

sidbledsoe
08-01-2011, 11:45 AM
Don't know the reason for posting the pics, other than to defiantly show closeups to those who choose not to use them, I myself have never used them and now I know that I don't even like looking at closeups of real mongoose brushes.

tomasis
08-01-2011, 01:10 PM
Hogs aren't threatened. Indian mongooses are. I don't know why the distinction is difficult.That's unfortunate. I hope you check back in to see what I'm able to discover, if anything.
well, the common point about those hair that both animals are killed after for other purposes. When I look at my brushes, whether hog or mongoose, I know hair belong to killed animal somewhere.

Endangered specie or not? Any animal doesnt reserve to be slaughtered whether it is rare or common.

From National geographic link as Ron Francis posted

"In the 1800s mongooses were introduced to several islands in Hawaii and the West Indies in order to control the rodent populations on sugarcane plantations. Today this effort has come back to haunt these islands as mongooses threaten the survival of various native species, particularly birds. However, in their natural environments mongooses are currently threatened themselves due to habitat loss."

Is it that endangered specie? I think Eco chain is broken and an argument doesnt matter much regarding "endangered". I think the more we human beings spread more, cutting forest, eco chain is not working longer. Almost mongoose could be our pets instead. Some korea guys eat dog as food.

As for my presence in the thread, I'd love to participate but Im afraid that I'd make things worse and get the thread derailed. I tend to philosophize too much and hence write much off topic.

tomasis
08-01-2011, 01:15 PM
Don't know the reason for posting the pics, other than to defiantly show closeups to those who choose not to use them, I myself have never used them and now I know that I don't even like looking at closeups of real mongoose brushes.
It is alright with visual torture for some. This is really small issue compared to real pain of hogs being slaughtered.

I defend the animal that happened to be "common". How many hog brushes sold in the world? Huge number, I imagine.

The point is that taking any brush is equally right and wrong. The matter is to give tenfold back to raise the issue of our human over consumption and unhappiness, lack of knowledge.

sidbledsoe
08-01-2011, 01:52 PM
However, Im happy to move on forward and I hopefully have contributed enough to the thread here. and Im out here.
I love my synthetics, all I use now, they are the best.

llawrence
08-01-2011, 03:26 PM
When I look at my brushes, whether hog or mongoose, I know hair belong to killed animal somewhere. When we buy mongoose hair brushes, we are increasing the amount of money that can be made from a slaughtered mongoose. Therefore, basic economics, more mongooses will likely be killed.

I didn't understand some of the rest, but okay, be well...

tomasis
08-01-2011, 03:47 PM
I love my synthetics, all I use now, they are the best.

yeah you pollute down environment so much, your dirty petrol user :) kidding :D

tomasis
08-01-2011, 03:50 PM
When we buy mongoose hair brushes, we are increasing the amount of money that can be made from a slaughtered mongoose. Therefore, basic economics, more mongooses will likely be killed.

I didn't understand some of the rest, but okay, be well...
yeah exactly, it applies for all animals including hogs.

if mongoose are rare, prices would be high "expensive". so are economics. If we look at sable, it is expensive. It is never meant for new beginners, amateurs that would buy those brushes at first hand. :thumbsup:

I know I babble too much sometimes it doesnt make sense. I try avoid write next time :lol:

DISCLAIMER: dear Wet canvas visitor, artist ,, please dont buy any Mongoose brushes, it is deserved for the ONE coldhearted human being in the world called tomasis with cat avatar. (i know im a big egoist and believe im better than lipkings)

Ron Francis
08-01-2011, 08:09 PM
From National geographic link as Ron Francis posted

"In the 1800s mongooses were introduced to several islands in Hawaii and the West Indies in order to control the rodent populations on sugarcane plantations. Today this effort has come back to haunt these islands as mongooses threaten the survival of various native species, particularly birds. However, in their natural environments mongooses are currently threatened themselves due to habitat loss."

Is it that endangered specie? I think Eco chain is broken and an argument doesnt matter much regarding "endangered".

Tomasis,
Just to clear that up, the mongoose in Hawaii is a different species than the one in India and the fur is not suitable for brushes. I would happily use mongoose (if I had a use for them) from Hawaii if I knew they were culled humanely.

Although there is still a question mark over this issue, we should give Rosemary the benefit of the doubt. This thread would have been much less cumbersome if she had returned my email or responded to my question in this forum a long time ago. I think a public statement would carry much more weight.

boomerbeach
08-04-2011, 07:46 PM
I think the cheapie "mongoose" procured via our U.S. web art places may be raccoon! :D Who knows? In any case, the new syn mongoose by Escoda is pretty amazing... Bottom-line: One often has to pay for quality!

Goldeelocks
08-04-2011, 07:55 PM
Not every animal gets slaughtered to get it's hairs, more importantly, only part of the fur is usable for brushes, usually only the tail.

Ox and Porks are used for animal consumption, sables and badgers are not, but they are also not bred just for their hairs.

I don't have an issue with hog, otherwise it would simply get destroyed, for the rest I buy synthetic. If you're going to categorically be against natural hair, then you better be a vegetarian too or you're living in a glass house throwing stones.

http://www.cites.org/ for more info, without the fear mongering
Ox and Pork

Ox and Pork
Sable, Squirrel, Badger, Polecat, Pony, Ox and Pork.

midcoast
08-05-2011, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the info!! I actually prefer faux-mongoose-hair brushes over everything else anyway, but it's sure good to know this!

Nancy

Goldeelocks
08-05-2011, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the info!! I actually prefer faux-mongoose-hair brushes over everything else anyway
Me 2. The only difference there is, it seems, is that sable or mongoose or kolinsky etc hold a tiny bit more water, but it shouldn't influence your actual paint stroke. Pretty sure not a single painter would be able to tell the difference between a stroke from a natural or synthetic brush.

This reminds me sort of like draftsmen who need Tombow pencils and won't use anything else, even though conté has been used for centuries, suddenly the only right pencil is a Tombow.

murphe
08-11-2011, 05:26 AM
Tomasis,
Just to clear that up, the mongoose in Hawaii is a different species than the one in India and the fur is not suitable for brushes. I would happily use mongoose (if I had a use for them) from Hawaii if I knew they were culled humanely.

Although there is still a question mark over this issue, we should give Rosemary the benefit of the doubt. This thread would have been much less cumbersome if she had returned my email or responded to my question in this forum a long time ago. I think a public statement would carry much more weight.

Wasn't it you who posted the link at the start of this thread about the "documentary" and species of Mongooses being used - Herpestes auropunctatus? Followed by the info that herpestes javanicus was the species introduced in Hawaii? Then that someone in some other forum said this wasn't suitable for brush use?
From a quick search it seems herpestes javanicus IS auropunctatus and searching for herpestes javanicus auropunctatus or the Small Indian Mongoose will show this and will also show that the ones introduced into the Islands have become larger in general so could therefore produce even longer hair for brushes.

It also seems none of the three mentioned species are endangered and are all given Least Concern status, just like Sable (and Humans it seems!)

sidbledsoe
08-11-2011, 11:00 AM
According to this page (http://www.perlgurl.org/archives/2006/05/the_mongoose_a_maui_menace_1.html), the mongeese in Hawaii are originally from India.
In Hawaii they have been devastating and have no natural predators. Humans really are the ones to blame. If they are going to make real stuff, I wish they would start right there where it could help out the other wildlife.

Ron Francis
08-11-2011, 10:33 PM
According to this page (http://www.perlgurl.org/archives/2006/05/the_mongoose_a_maui_menace_1.html), the mongeese in Hawaii are originally from India.
In Hawaii they have been devastating and have no natural predators. Humans really are the ones to blame. If they are going to make real stuff, I wish they would start right there where it could help out the other wildlife. Ah Sid, you're making me re-research this stuff.
The mongoose in Hawaii is the 'Small Asian Mongoose' (Herpestes javanicus).
Also known as the Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Mongoose, or the Javan Mongoose.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Aug-2011/153476-220px-Small_Asian_Mongoose_area.jpg
(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Asian_Mongoose#Introduction_to_Hawaii
Yes, they originally came from Calcutta but the hair is not suitable, or not as good quality, as the Indian mongoose.

The species in India that are being harvested for brushes are the 'Indian Gray' or 'Common Grey Mongoose' (Herpestes edwardsii).
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Aug-2011/153476-220px-Indian_Gray_Mongoose_area.jpg
From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herpestes_edwardsii

I don't remember where I got the original information about hair quality, ... possibly a link from someone at RP, but Wikipedia at least shows that they are different species. The javanicas is only about the size of a squirrel, so maybe it is too small?
It would be an easy solution to harvest them from Hawaii if it was usable.

We in Australia should have a fox and rabbit (and cat) fur industry as they have devastated most of the smaller natural fauna here.

sidbledsoe
08-12-2011, 12:26 AM
Good researching Ron, yeah I don't know anything about the suitability of Hawaiian type for brushes, it could also be very different even if they are descended from the same species because of the change in climate (though Calcutta and Hawaii are nearly the same latitude) or other environmental factors.
(Now watch out for the cat lovers :crossfingers: :eek: )

Ron Francis
08-12-2011, 02:00 AM
(Now watch out for the cat lovers :crossfingers: :eek: )
LOL. I do love cats (as well as most other creatures) but the feral ones here have wreaked havoc on the native wildlife.
The funny thing is that you can own cats without any restriction, but you need a permit to have anything native. Seems a little backward and ineffective to me.
But I digress.

Ron Francis
08-12-2011, 04:10 AM
Wasn't it you who posted the link at the start of this thread about the "documentary" and species of Mongooses being used - Herpestes auropunctatus? Followed by the info that herpestes javanicus was the species introduced in Hawaii? Then that someone in some other forum said this wasn't suitable for brush use?
From a quick search it seems herpestes javanicus IS auropunctatus and searching for herpestes javanicus auropunctatus or the Small Indian Mongoose will show this and will also show that the ones introduced into the Islands have become larger in general so could therefore produce even longer hair for brushes.

It also seems none of the three mentioned species are endangered and are all given Least Concern status, just like Sable (and Humans it seems!) I'm sorry, I didn't notice this question earlier.
Yes you are right, the Small Asian Mongoose mentioned above is:
Scientific name: Herpestes auropunctatus
Synonym: Herpestes javanicus
These are the ones imported to Hawaii and are squirrel size according to what I have read.
It would help if you included links to your findings.
I could only find this site that uses the term 'Least concern' for its conservation status.:
http://www.theanimalfiles.com/mammals/carnivores/mongoose_indian_grey.html
I don't know anything about the site but it does shed some more light on the subject.
Earlier I posted a link to the National Geographic site that says they are currently threatened in their natural environments due to habitat loss.

At the start of this thread I thought they were endangered and I apologise for misleading anyone, it is confusing, however my reaction to killing mongooses was mainly due to the way they were killed.
The bashing and arrest videos were enough for me to bring it to the attention of artists here. I'm certainly not an authority on mongooses.

From the original link at the start of the thread:
The three species of mongoose recorded in wildlife trade in India – the Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), Striped-necked Mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis), and the Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), all of which are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. <snip> in October 2002 the government upgraded the Mongoose species, to Part II of Schedule II of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. This completely bans the use of any of mongoose and its parts or derivatives for any purpose. The penalty for hunting, trading and possessing this animal or any article derived from it is imprisonment of 3 to 7 years, a fine of Rs.25,000 or both.
If you doubt the Protection Act quoted, I suggest you write to the author of the article here: [email protected] (if it is still current.)

Note that auropunctatus is included in this list.
At the time I didn't know that it was the same species as javanicus.
Edwardsii has a smaller range though (Southern India and Sri Lanka) according to Wikipedia.

llawrence
08-19-2011, 07:31 PM
Okay, I was able to find out some but not much.

I emailed the company, mentioned this discussion thread, and asked some questions. Rosemary confirmed that their source for mongoose products is a friend from Canada, but will not give out details for fear of some sort of unspecified action from competitors. She did seem passionately sincere about not using products from mongooses in India.

About the same time I made some inquiries about Canadian law. It turns out that it is indeed quite illegal to import any live mongooses into the country. In fact it's at the very top of the list of controlled imports:

Canada prohibits the importation of the following goods: any live specimen of the mongoose family ... I asked the company about this, and Rosemary responded that their source has a special permit to raise live mongooses in Canada. I wasn't able to find out how rare or difficult it is to get one of these special permits there; but I know that to get one here in the U.S., you pretty much have to be a zoo. However, Rosemary mentioned that her source has been in business for 47 years; if true, then it is possible that his business was grandfathered in at the time the import control was implemented.

No judgments here on any of these communications one way or the other. You can each form your own conclusions; or, better yet, do your own research and see if you can find out more than I did. I do have to note that it is illegal to import live mongoose animals into Canada and the United States for a reason, and that is that they have the potential to be extremely devastating if they were ever released into the wild here, accidentally or otherwise. If there is someone raising mongooses in Canada, then it is a somewhat disturbing risk they're taking, and I hope they cease operations quite soon. Rosemary mentioned something about an impending retirement; so hopefully they will.

Ron Francis
08-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Thanks Lawrence!

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 01:57 AM
Check out Richard Schmid and Jeremy Lipking's work. No introduction required.

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 02:02 AM
Check out Ron's work who began this thread, (oops he is from Oz).

Check out Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, and Morgan Wiestling's work, too name a few. No introduction required. All use real mongoose.

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 02:49 AM
didn't see this thread the first time around. I could not justify buying a Mongoose brush. Trekkel and others make perfectly a fine synthetic Mongoose and if that doesn't work something else will. If ones skill as a painter is totally dependent on brush type and material then in my view you are not much of a painter at all.

Art is an affirmation of life and creativity and I don't think the process would mean nearly as much to me if I didn't at least try in a small way to not cause harm to another creature.

I'm sorry but tree huggers and nature freaks have chosen the wrong hobby/career if they are oil painting. We add massive amounts of garbage and pollutants into the environment and cause more harm with our demand for our materials and tools. Consider the amount of paper towels, solvents, and harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, sulphides, etc. which go into the landfill and water supply as a result of just a single painting, assuming you don't scrape it and start over. Trees are destroyed to produce your stretchers, frames, brush handles, turps, varnishes, masonite... The petroleum industry provides the VAST majority of the raw materials you use, e.g. waxes in your paint, mineral spirits, paraffin-based cleaning supplies and emulsifiers, plastics for containers and nylon for your WONDERFUL synthetic brushes. Thank Exxon Mobil and BP for your animal-friendly brushes. They've done so much for the environment and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Go ahead and reply with a remark about water-miscible oils and non-toxic pigments. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

This is a reality check for you. What are you? You need to decide before you try to change others' behavior and make ridiculous statements about bringing "harm to other creatures." How about rats? Or, do you just want to protect what you consider "cute" animals? When's the last time you ate meat? Did it come from the magic meat gods who fill up the grocery store and McDonald's with it? As stated previously, these animals are raised in farms and humanely killed and are not endangered. Illegally killing endangered or threatened species for any reason or buying products which contribute to this should be harshly punished and should be enforced on both producer and consumer.

That said, I will own a small amount of mongoose brushes which I will care for and keep a very long time. Maybe half a mongoose will have been sacrificed for me. I can live with that if it, assuming this was done legally. I will probably be tortured in hell for eternity by hairless, angry mongooses. (not mongeese, by the way)

Ron Francis
08-29-2011, 03:26 AM
Check out Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, and Morgan Wiestling's work, too name a few. No introduction required. All use real mongoose.
Yes, they are wonderful painters. But what point are you making? That they paint well because they use mongoose?
Now if you can show us some of your work and explain why you need mongoose, that may mean something.

I also think your attack on Don is way out of hand because he simply doesn't want to harm another creatures. "Tree hugger? "Nature freak"? Telling him to grow up?
Your message would be much better received without the insults.

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 03:34 AM
Yes, they are wonderful painters. But what point are you making? That they paint well because they use mongoose?
Now if you can show us some of your work and explain why you need mongoose, that may mean something.

I also think your attack on Don is way out of hand because he simply doesn't want to harm another creatures. "Tree hugger? "Nature freak"? Telling him to grow up?
Your message would be much better received without the insults.

Sorry if I insulted anyone. My comments were directed at everyone, including myself who may have become somewhat deluded about our own morality.

dustonpaper
08-29-2011, 04:05 AM
Consider the amount of paper towels, solvents, and harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, sulphides, etc. which go into the landfill and water supply as a result of just a single painting, assuming you don't scrape it and start over.
How do any of these go into the landfill ? I hope you do not imply you throw any of that in the normal garbage ?! I do not know how it is where you live, but around here it is illegal to throw that stuff in the normal garbage, there is a special container for this at the wasteyard and for those who do not live near a wasteyard a "poison mobile" (literal translation, no idea how to say in english) comes every few weeks where one can dump this stuff.

And yes, I'm with Ron, please show some of your artwork, which hopefully rivals that of Schmid and others you mentioned. Maybe finally someone can explain what makes these brushes do something that no other brush can do, because that seems to be the claim by some users (not Schmid or Lipkin though, they just say they like them, not that is is a wonder brush).
And trust me on that: Schmid and all the others you mentioned painted great before they used mongoose and they can paint great without mongoose. In fact in the video I saw from Schmid he uses them not very much at all, but that will be differeent from painting to painting. Also I wonder how the old masters right up to the early 20th century could paint without mongoose, because as far as I know Mongoose brushes are not that long in use ... as far as my reseach took me they are a 20th century thing ... but I could not find enough data on that.

By now I have a real mongoose and a synthetic one, out of curiosity because of this thread and while they are both fine brushes, they are just tools and I do not see any reason to buy more.

Ron Francis
08-29-2011, 04:41 AM
Sorry if I insulted anyone. My comments were directed at everyone, including myself who may have become somewhat deluded about our own morality.
Apology accepted (from me anyway).
The way I see it, we are all damaging the world and I believe that it is unavoidable because there are way too many of us. But there are some that don't care and others that do and try to limit the damage they cause.
I thought that your words were harsh, but I can see by the content that you care.

According to Matthew D. Innis
Tony Pro, as well as other prominent artists including Richard Schmid, Jeremy Lipking, Nancy Guzik, Morgan Weistling, and Michael Klein (http://underpaintings.blogspot.com/2009/07/color-palettes-michael-klein-b-1980.html), have long kept Royal & Langnickel's long, flat, sables in their quiver of brushes. These brushes, the series 5590, offer a distinctive calligraphy in their stroke which has been prized by many oil painters,<snip> no other brush could do what they do, <snip>
He goes on to say that Pro, Lipking and Weistling have substituted them with mongoose because they don't shed hairs like the langnickels.
Innis at least thinks that they (and the langnickels) have a quality that other brushes don't. I own neither.
http://underpaintings.blogspot.com/2010/02/of-brushes-dvds-and-painting-like-pro.html

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 04:57 AM
Yes, they are wonderful painters. But what point are you making? That they paint well because they use mongoose?
Now if you can show us some of your work and explain why you need mongoose, that may mean something.

I also think your attack on Don is way out of hand because he simply doesn't want to harm another creatures. "Tree hugger? "Nature freak"? Telling him to grow up?
Your message would be much better received without the insults.

I also don't appreciate you characterizing my comments as an "attack" to goad other users. You created a straw man with your original post about mongoose brushes, and you appear to be doing the same thing here.

One valid question however, is WHY we use mongoose brushes. They hold a lot of paint, come to a very sharp point, provide an oh so delicate touch with plenty of snap. Other brushes have some of these qualities but only natural mongoose brushes provide all of them in one brush. The shaft of the hair is rigid while the very tip is very soft.

Others have commented that they've never used them and never will. So be it. At least now you know why some do.

Right now, you can get the Langnickel Royal Sable (mongoose) brushes on sale at Hofcraft. 5590 are the long-hair, long handle flat brushes. They tend to shed though because of Royal poor epoxy quality. Pay extra and get them from Rosemary if you want to avoid this problem or be very careful with your Langnickels. Make sure you get the long-haired brushes. I think it defeats the purpose of having mongoose brushes, otherwise.

It's nice to know the Rosemary Brushes are made and sold legally. We can now put this non-issue to rest. Thanks, guys! Great research. I'll post a picture of my mongoose brushes in a later post.

dustonpaper
08-29-2011, 05:02 AM
I'll post a picture of my mongoose brushes in a later post.

I think we all know how they look like. Better show something of your magnificent works, that would be way more interesting. Since you talk like a professional I expect nothing less than works that are really really good.

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 05:07 AM
I think we all know how they look like. Better show something of your magnificent works, that would be way more interesting. Since you talk like a professional I expect nothing less than works that are really really good.

Oh, a comment from the guy who doesn't want to bring harm to any animals. I'll show mine, if you'll show yours.

dustonpaper
08-29-2011, 05:13 AM
Oh, a comment from the guy who doesn't want to bring harm to any animals. I'll show mine, if you'll show yours.
I posted some of my stuff here, you can search them in the user profile. But beware, I'm not a great painter, it is my hobby and I do it for fun. Anymore comments to you will be useless, you are obviously not interested in any serious discussion. Have a nice day.

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 05:22 AM
What painter would boast that they are "great" or "magnificent." I certainly wouldn't. My work is not amateurish, either, though. Don't sweat it. For a video of mongoose hair in action from someone I would consider magnificent, watch this and notice how smooth these brushes really are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8Hpm_wGR0c

dustonpaper
08-29-2011, 06:47 AM
watch this and notice how smooth these brushes really are

Sure they are smooth ... as I said I have one (only one, to see for myself what the fuzz is about). They are good brushes for sure.
Nice video btw.. The brushwork reminds me a bit of Zhaoming Wu, who does not need mongoose, not in his videos at least.

I actually am thankful to Ron to bring the topic to awareness, because before his thread I did not know that mongoose animals are somewhat rare and ill treated and that it is illegal in India to be used for hair. What I wonder is why the folks in india not just breed them for brushes, can't be that hard to do that and obviously there is a market for it. I have no problem with natural hairs, they are a renewable source ... I have a problem with illegally obtained ones. And I do not want to accuse brush manufacturers of anything, but they really cannot know for certain where the hair comes from, they have to trust their suppliers or have to breed mongoose animals themselfes.

But this topic has been beaten to death for me now, all that is left is a energy wasting useless conversation. If you like mongoose nobody will stop you from using and nobody will force me or others to use them either. Each to his own pleasure I guess. Happy painting to you, I need to get on with my dayjob now :wave:

terrapin52
08-29-2011, 07:06 AM
I agree. If suppliers are selling these illegally, it must stop, and I guess it's up to concerned people to ask these questions or it will go on.

I think the only thing left in the conversation is the fact that certain quality tools and supplies make painting more enjoyable. I enjoy using these brushes which makes me more likely to paint and more likely to produce works of art that are pleasing to me and hopefully other people. In that way, they make me a better artist, and therefore they do make a difference.

Over and out.

KaikaisCanvas
08-29-2011, 07:19 AM
But this topic has been beaten to death for me now, all that is left is a energy wasting useless conversation.

You posted some time before me, so I am going to add some more useless conversation: Oh joy!! :clap:

One way to help deciding what brush to use, imo, is, to explicitly outweigh 2 factors: human interest versus animal interest. It has been said above already I think, I am just rephrasing it. Human interest in this case is the value of the brush, whatever he thinks he can do with it that cannot be done with alternatives; animal interest is primarily animal suffering from any procedures performed on the animal specifically for the purpose of gettings its hairs. Or:

Human interest would seem to be expanding the palette of brush stroke or paint application technique options. It can do something other brushes cannot, according to a user.

Animal interest would seem to be primarily any maltreatment related to keeping it, suffering etc. Could be from not being able to execute its natural behaviour (caged) up to actual physical maltreatment.

If a supplier tells me the hairs on their brushes are not from a certain “morally contaminated“ stock, I would have to decide to believe the supplier or not.

So, if human interest is large (someone really relies on them) and animal interest low (humane treatment as far as it gets), one will be more prone to easily buy them. If human interest is small (someone’s technique can do with other brushes the same) and animal interest is large (physical maltreatment) I will certainly not buy them. If both human and animal interest are large, and the buyer is aware of this (!), he would have to decide how badly he wants/needs those brushes and/or if alternatives are available. In this case, get mongoose brushes from Rosemary. I think in the case of Rosemary animal interest can be deemed acceptable or minimal for painting with it, if you know you want them for a specific purpose.

I guess there are plenty of factors complicating one’s decision (if any): pricing, availability, willingness to use alternative brush strokes on your painting, brush longevity, alternative mongoose brush supplier, alternative animal hair brushes (no animal welfare issues, are we sure??), alternative synthetic brushes (mineral oil, but we do need mineral oil), if animals are kept for hair production only or also for other purposes (e.g. meat, pet food) or are used during their life for additional purposes (livestock ploughing the land, horses/donkeys for carrying freight), bred animal vs. wild animal, endangered species?, ....

Actually I have not used mongoose brushes myself yet, mainly because of their price. That is a point where they cannot beat synthetic brushes.

The above way of reasoning can be used for any brush of course, not just mongoose.

Well. I've dumped my pile. .... AMEN!.:wave:

KaikaisCanvas
08-29-2011, 07:20 AM
Hey, that was my 100th post!!

sidbledsoe
08-29-2011, 08:13 AM
watch this and notice how smooth these brushes really are
what i saw was dripping fluid paint, now try to use that same paint with a palette knife.:D

llawrence
08-29-2011, 11:50 AM
A final revision: I was mistaken when I posted before that importing mongoose animals into Canada is "absolutely illegal." I received a later reply from a Canadian agency, and it turns out that it isn't illegal, simply tightly controlled. With permission of the writer, here is the main part of the message:
In fact there are live specimens of the mongoose family in Canada, and they are still being imported. However those are typically being imported by zoos. The import is not really prohibited... in fact it is really more controlled. The concern is that elements of the mongoose family are an injurious species and can cause some harm to native species in Canada. Therefore, a request must be made to Environment Canada before they can be imported, and we will allow it, IF our criteria are met. - With thanks to the official at Environment Canada who made this helpful reply. I maintain that keeping live mongoose animals in North America is a really bad idea - but I see no reason to doubt the word of Rosemary Brushes. If you like 'em, buy 'em up while they're still available (Rosemary hinted their source may not be in business much longer), and please don't buy mongoose brushes from other sources.

Unfortunate how discussions like this wind up devolving. Now Ron's original post is being characterized as a straw man. Sad. If some of you folks don't give a damn, please understand that others of us do. Giving a damn does not equate to using a straw man or any other logical fallacy.

fxoflight
08-29-2011, 12:23 PM
Rosemary & Co brushes are a by-product, made from tails. They try to be kind to the animals they rely on.

Ron Francis
08-29-2011, 09:41 PM
Rosemary & Co brushes are a by-product, made from tails. They try to be kind to the animals they rely on.
According to Rosemary, the animals are killed for fur and the tails are a by-product that used to be thrown away. I don't think she has anything to do with how the animals are treated or killed.

You created a straw man with your original post about mongoose brushes, and you appear to be doing the same thing here.
I did mistakenly say that they were endangered as was implied by the original article I linked to :
"Demand from the brush industry is driving this ‘friend of the farmer’ to extinction. The result being that the common Indian mongoose is not common anymore."
And I have since corrected that.
I fail to see how it could possibly be seen as a "straw man" argument.
Maybe you could be more specific as to where I misrepresented anything or quoted out of context?

what i saw was dripping fluid paint, now try to use that same paint with a palette knife.
Sid, please don't use palette knives. They are made from mammoth toe nails and buying them will cause them to become extinct in Australia.

llawrence,
A huge thank you for that clear and level headed research! Much appreciated.

Like it or not, there is a huge trade in illegal mongoose hair, and if the video at that original link is indicative of how the animals are killed, it is appalling. If you are confident that Rosemary & Co are not part of this, then I would urge you to buy from them if you want to use them, or at least find out from the company selling them where they are harvested from.
I have found that companies I have asked didn't know where they came from as they just buy from a distributor.

charlestoncaine
08-30-2011, 09:23 PM
I'm sorry but tree huggers and nature freaks have chosen the wrong hobby/career if they are oil painting. We add massive amounts of garbage and pollutants into the environment and cause more harm with our demand for our materials and tools. Consider the amount of paper towels, solvents, and harmful chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, sulphides, etc. which go into the landfill and water supply as a result of just a single painting, assuming you don't scrape it and start over. Trees are destroyed to produce your stretchers, frames, brush handles, turps, varnishes, masonite... The petroleum industry provides the VAST majority of the raw materials you use, e.g. waxes in your paint, mineral spirits, paraffin-based cleaning supplies and emulsifiers, plastics for containers and nylon for your WONDERFUL synthetic brushes. Thank Exxon Mobil and BP for your animal-friendly brushes. They've done so much for the environment and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Go ahead and reply with a remark about water-miscible oils and non-toxic pigments. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

This is a reality check for you. What are you? You need to decide before you try to change others' behavior and make ridiculous statements about bringing "harm to other creatures." How about rats? Or, do you just want to protect what you consider "cute" animals? When's the last time you ate meat? Did it come from the magic meat gods who fill up the grocery store and McDonald's with it? As stated previously, these animals are raised in farms and humanely killed and are not endangered. Illegally killing endangered or threatened species for any reason or buying products which contribute to this should be harshly punished and should be enforced on both producer and consumer.

That said, I will own a small amount of mongoose brushes which I will care for and keep a very long time. Maybe half a mongoose will have been sacrificed for me. I can live with that if it, assuming this was done legally. I will probably be tortured in hell for eternity by hairless, angry mongooses. (not mongeese, by the way)
Ditto+
Oil painting is an eletist sport and has never had a 'green'(arguable I know) element.
I don't know of any ecomomy that can afford to support a western painting industry that did not rape nature.
Most who take up oils do it later in life when they can give the time(kids grown up, retired etc)
It's not an inexpensive hobby, takes a lot of economic indulgence to happily afford it.
Professional painters are obsessed and would give up their non dominant hand before giving up their favorite ingredients no matter how environmentally detrimental.
Those that indulge in the high end business of art collecting broardly leave a big carbon footprint behind their lives.
So to wax precious about the environment and indulge in oil painting is paradoxical I believe.
However harm minimization is a good tennant to follow at every turn.

Ron Francis
08-30-2011, 10:13 PM
I agree, although I don't know how much pollution is caused by artists compared to other industries.
Statistics would be good.

I'm not sure that dwelling on this is helpful to this thread as it is specifically about mongoose hair, but I believe it is an important issue.
Rather it being in this obscure thread, maybe it would be better to have a thread of its own?
"Painting and the Environment" maybe?
I think it would be good to discuss what harm is being done, and ways to minimise it.

Dana Design
08-31-2011, 11:11 AM
And I also agree that we've covered this subject quite thoroughly thus I'm closing this thread.

Thanks to all who have participated.