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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting Ready for IAPS part 2 ... Supplies

'Taos View'         8x10       pastel        ©Karen Margulis

So you are going to  IAPS this June.  Tickets are booked. Room reserved. Registered for classes. Now comes the tricky part.....packing pastels for travel. If you are attending demos only then you don't need to worry about packing supplies. But you will want to leave room in your carry-on for the goodies you will buy at the trade show (candy store) 

Each instructor has their own supply list so go to the IAPS convention page and print out your supply lists.  If you are driving to Albuquerque you will have it a bit easier but you will still want to organize and condense your supplies so it will be easy to haul around. The hotel is big!

NOTE about easels.  You will need to bring your own easel. I use a Bristol easel which fits into a travel  case. It is a good lightweight portable choice.

If you are flying it is going to take a bit of planning. The most important thing that you can do is plan to take your pastels with you in a CARRY ON bag.  I never put pastels in checked luggage. Not only does your luggage get thrown around (not good for pastels) They will inspect them! You want to be present so they don't open your box upside down! 

A backpack size Heilman box is good because it will fit into a carryon bag. But you really can make due with a smaller box. I have a small wooden game box that I fill with smaller pieces of pastels....I get a lot of pastels in a small box which fits into a messenger bag along with my other supplies.

A Travel friendly pastel set up

small box of assorted pastels fits into a small messenger bag
In my bag I can fit my pastel box, a pack of paper, a pad of tracing paper for finished paintings, a pouch for misc supplies such as clips, tape, baby wipes, pencils, sharpener.  I can also fit a small piece of foamcore backing. If I need a larger size, I score it, fold it and tape it together when I arrive.

This set up works well if you are able to paint small (no larger than 9x12).  If you are going to paint larger or bring a bigger easel then you will need to check your other supplies (not your pastels!!)  I have a nice rolling duffel bag that fits my easyL easel and tripod as well as larger papers and support board.

There is about a 95% chance that your pastel box will raise red flags and need inspection by TSA agents. The pastels resemble ammunition so they will likely want to inspect the box. Allow extra time to go through security. Here is a bit of advice.

  • Put a note on the box calling them artist chalks and directions on opening the box such as this side up or lay flat to open.
  • When they take the box to inspect....do not touch your box. (I made this mistake) Ask them to see the note about opening the box. They got really testy with me when I trued to show them how to open the box but I am sure they wouldn't appreciate the mess of pastels all over the place!
I encourage you to see my first post about preparing for IAPS HERE  You may also like to read my post about preparing for a workshop HERE  (Links coming)


Beena said...

I wish I could go! If I could, I'd be inclined to take enough money to just buy a bunch of pastels while I'm there for the workshop, then ship 'em home to myself. No worries with them in the luggage or carry on. Any excuse for new pastels for me, though (wink)! I hope you take lots of pics and post them, Karen!

HappyPainter212 said...

I have been looking for a good easel for en plein aire. I don't see how the pastels are available to use on the Bristol easel. Do you use a table also?
Just wondering how it works for both pastels and the painting.

Sherry Schmidt said...

Beautiful piece!

Karen said...

Thank you! Yes I do use a small folding table when I use the Bristol easel!