Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dealing with Travel

Travel can be a big hassle. Friday and Saturday we have been traveling and settling in--and I have had my share of painting problems. But I have also had some opportunities. So let me take you through a few issues and ideas to keep in mind when traveling and how to prepare to be ready to paint when you arrive.

We spent nearly the entire day traveling from Washington to Santa Fe New Mexico on Friday--and did not get in until late. The kids were antsy--the food was terrible, and it was mostly an organizational nightmare. But, I am always on the lookout for something useful for painting. And it came in the form of a thunderstorm in Dallas. My wife had run to the bathroom with the kids and I looked up to see a great sky scape outside the airport window, so I took a few shots for the reference file later. You never know when you will need a great sky shot for a painting later on, which demonstrates one of the principles of the sixtyminutepainter--always be on the lookout for something that will inspire or getting you going later.


Anyway, the key to painting and traveling is simplification. I recommend taking the minimum you need to paint. I decided that I would get my canvas/panels here is Santa Fe, as well as a couple of tubes of paint. I also decided that I would paint with water-based oil paints. I have been using Holbein Duo paints for a few years and find these are great for traveling or making quick studies. They are good quality and are available widely.

Keep in mind, these days the TSA will confiscate paint if you are not careful--so I recommend clearly marking your tubes of paint "artist paint--do not confiscate" or in my case "water-based paint, do not confiscate". Artist paints are allowed in luggage, but the TSA guys sometimes don't discern between artist paints and others, and I have had several people tell me their paints had be taken. A 120ml tube (or larger) of cadmium yellow can cost a lot of money--so beware.


Anyway, here are some pictures of the setup I am working with in Santa Fe. First I pack simply, a couple of brushes, knifes, and paint. It all fits into a pretty small package, which I seal up tightly in case there are any leaks.




My wife was very generous a couple of years ago and bought me a pochade box easel, which is very portable and useful. This year I decide I would go with the minimal, the easel from the pochade box (without the panel carrier), the box itself, and a tripod. The paints, brushes, easel, and knifes all fit into one box (including my wife's watercolors)!



Here is the easel attached to the tripod. I put the box and tripod in my luggage--so there was nothing to carry--which is very important considering I was carrying car seats, luggage for the kids, etc.
You don't need something as fancy as this--an old cigar box can be adapted in a similar manner. If you want more details, send me a note. If your interested in the one I use, here is a link to the manufacturer, Open Box M.

More later, the sixtyminuteartist.

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