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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Saga of the Right Backpack

'Friends Upon the Marsh'           9x12          pastel        ©Karen Margulis

Just call me the Bag Lady.  I have a slight obsession with bags, luggage and containers.  I have countless bags and more suitcases than I care to admit to. Yet I am always on the lookout for the next best bag.   Give me a reason for a new bag and I am on a mission.

This week I had a reason for a new backpack. I decided to purchase Stan Sperlak's "Gogh Box" travel pastel box. Here is a sneak peek at the box. I will be taking it for a test run next week during my trip to Pawley's Island....so look for a complete review soon.

Stan Sperlak's Gogh Box pastel plein air box

The idea behind the Gogh Box is that it holds everything you need for plein air pastel painting...pastels, drawing board, paper, finished painting holder with room for extra supplies.  I made a similar box for my Southwest trip and it was great but perhaps a tiny bit too small. This box looks perfect.

But I needed a backpack to put it in for travel. It would be fine to throw the box in the car for a plein air outing but for longer trips I wanted a backpack that could serve as my carry on.  (I will be going on a big adventure trip this summer so I am getting ready)  This backpack needed to be roomy but light, It needed a padded section for my iPad. Plus a little extra space for toiletries and other travel essentials.

The old back back (front) and the new one 

So off I went to REI with my coupon and tried out backpacks for for over an hour.  I finally settled on one by Northface. I got it home and didn't like how it wouldn't sit flat on the floor.  This would never do so I made plans to return it. I decided to take out one of my old favorite backpacks that had seen better days.  All it needed was a good washing.

So I emptied the pockets to get it ready to throw in the wash.....and surprise!! In my secret stash pocket I had stashed some cash.....$130 in cash! Wow...that backpack could have easily been donated to the Goodwill if I didn't need to find a new bag! I had not used in in over a year!

Here is the Rest of the story.....My Gogh Box arrived and didn't fit in the old backpack....but fit beautifully in the new one that I had not yet returned....and with the box inside the backpack sat nice and flat. It is perfect!  So I got a great new backpack and found some cash for my trouble!

About today's painting:  This is the demo from last night's pastel class. It is 9x12 on Uart paper done with a value block in using a 305 Nupastel.


David King said...

I'm all to familiar with the saga of the search for the perfect backpack, I have yet to find it myself. Congrats on finding the "lost" cash, what a great suprise.

Karen said...

I sure hope this is the right one. I have a few trips coming up to give it a good trial before my big trip this summer...and the lost cash paid for it so I'm happy!

Anonymous said...

You really made out--new pack, new box, new money!

Karen said...

I hope so Patti! I will be giving the back pack a good trial run!

robertsloan2art said...

That rocks! I'm so glad you did search all the pockets and found that unspent money. Makes for a much jollier trip, especially since the new box fits the new bag so well.

I'm like that too, always trying new bags. I overestimate what I can carry, then get frustrated if I don't bring enough supplies. Lately, I've relied more and more on what I keep in my vest of many pockets. I know I've always got minimal supplies.

Karen said...

Robert I love the idea of the vest with pockets for gear!!

Mermaid Sue said...

I have a very similar post on my blog - and I went to REI too! LOL
This (and the previous post) are two of the ways I pack. A friend even invited me to Salmugundi club to show my pack and easel.

Thanks for showing how you travel. I'm always looking for new ways to pack.

Karen said...

Hi Sue,thanks for sharing your post! Your packing job is very inspiring! I looked at that same pack too but I needed the padded section for my iPad. It is also a bit bigger than I wanted so I will have to be careful on how I pack it. Off tomorrow to give it a try!

Mermaid Sue said...

yeah, this pack has few other compartments...though the ipad could go in the area i put the camelback in. It'd be right against your back, so, safe from bumping, but not easy to get to. I was aiming for one the size you have, but the boxiness of the easel ruled those out. It is sort of heavy, but I can walk quite a distance easily.

I have found that it's helpful to have some pockets in a jacket or pants that the wallet and camera can go in and be easily accessible.