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Monday, October 20, 2014

How to be Always Ready to Paint

'Peaceful Oasis'            4x6          plein air pastel            ©Karen Margulis   $40

Sometimes Simple is Best. Simple gets it done. If things are simple and easy to do....chances are we will do them. This is true for painting. We know we should paint more often. We know that painting on location or from life will improve our paintings but we don't always follow our own advice. This is often because we make it too complicated. We have too much stuff. Our supplies aren't organized. We don't have time to get it ready. So we don't. And we go out and wish we had supplies with us.

Keep supplies Simple and Always Ready!

Picnic lunch and a quick field study

This weekend my husband and I decided to take a drive to the mountains in his new convertible. I debated about bringing my pastels. My new Heilman baby box wasn't set up yet. My Gogh Box was a mess from my last trip. I didn't have time or energy to get either prepared. I'll just go and take pictures, I reasoned.

But then that nagging voice in my head reminded me that I would be sorry. I would want to paint if we were in a nice spot. So I grabbed my smallest pastel kit and threw it in the car. I am so glad I did. We picnicked at a wonderful spot with a creek that seemed miles away from the crowds of leaf peepers.

Have a look at my little kit. Everything I need to paint fits in this little case which is actually a book cover. I also have one that fits in a lunchbox. The important thing about this kit is that it is ALWAYS READY! It is always filled with pastels and a selection of papers. It holds enough supplies to paint and transport paintings up to 5x7. It is simple. It is ready. It is small. I enjoyed the time I spent painting the little creek thanks to my kit!

My Always Ready Pastel Kit
I have written a detailed post about this kit here. I also offer a pdf demo showing how I use a small kit to paint mini pastels on the go. Details here.


jytte said...

Dear Karen,

Your travel bag is a great idea. I will try it out.
One question: Did you ever try PanPastels? If not You can find tips on youtube.
Jytte :o)

robertsloan2art said...

I love your little field sketch, it's gorgeous. Such wonderful water.

I keep a set of 12 Color Conte in the pocket of my angler's vest. Same general idea. I wear that vest any time I leave the house. Pocket sketchbooks and precut paper occupy some other pockets. I like to have everything at hand and if I don't carry my backpack I can at least do small studies.

At home keeping my supplies organized, handy and clean helps too. It makes a difference not having to hunt down supplies or clean off a lot of grayed pastels to find the color I need. Maybe not so much for someone undisabled, but everything I do to organize seems to result in more paintings and better paintings.

Redundant small kits like you've got is a VERY good thing. I actually use the small sets at home too, it helps me get familiar with them before I go out.