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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Traveling with Pastel Paintings....The Results

'The Trees of Mauvaines'          5x7     plein air pastel    ©Karen Margulis
painting available $75
 The final count is in. I painted 80 paintings while I was in Europe. Some were tiny. A few were large. Most were 5x7 and 8x10. Some were my demo paintings but most were my own plein air fun. I am happy to report that I had enough paper with me and I came home with only a few unpainted 8x10 sheets. I did use some larger sheets of Fisher paper in Finland (supplied by my host Annika) All of the other paper and finished paintings traveled nicely in two small portfolio books.

Portfolios for paper and finished paintings

I have blogged about my system for traveling with pastel paintings before but this long trip was a true test for my system. I am thrilled to report that it was a success. My paper stayed flat, clean and protected as did the finished paintings.

It's a very simple system. I used two plastic portfolio books from Itoya....5x7 and 8x10. Before I left I loaded the plastic inserts with pastel papers. These folders fit nicely in my backpack. When it was time to paint I selected a piece of paper from the folder. The finished painting was returned to the folder.

No worse for wear!
 The question I hear most often is if any pastel dust comes off onto the plastic. The answer is yes. As you can see from the photos there is a slight dust residue. But this is not enough to do any damage to the painting. (see photo)  After all of the travel and jostling around this is the resulting dust....very little!
The paintings stay safe, dry and clean. The bonus is the ability to share the paintings with others while traveling without having to touch them or worry about them blowing away! (and you can wipe down the plastic to reuse the books)

8x10 portfolio
I have used tracing paper pads and folders with glassine paper and sketch pads and pieces of foamcore made into sandwiches. These all work quite well but this is the system I will be using from now on. It stood up to the test!

I will be sharing the finished paintings in upcoming blog posts and in my Etsy shop. Stay tuned!


robertsloan2art said...

Yay! I'm glad this works! I bought an 8 x 10" and a couple of 5" x 7" ones from Blick (the smaller size was being discontinued so I got an extra on Clearance). I've been taking down the pastel sketches from my sketch wall and sometimes removing them from mats that I then store for reuse. Once they're in the pages, they don't move around and it's great.

I've been keeping them for long term storage since this way I can show people, and of course when I get back to selling I can always remove one, mat it and ship it. Then reuse the page. Currently I'm just building up a body of work to supplement old-age retirement.

Marsha Savage said...

Karen, you always come up with the best ideas. I might have to use this for future travels also! Best place to get the books?

Karen said...

Thanks Robert! Although I don't often comment I appreciate your comments and the insight you always give. You add so much to my posts!!

Karen said...

Thanks Marsha. I have been using this method for a couple of years now and always have good results. I get them in different places but not everyone has the 5x7 books. I believe I got the last ones on Amazon. I need new ones so I'll let you know what I find.

Ale said...

So, the painting doesnt get all smudged? Sorry I am asking the obvious question again. Must be the plastic acts much like glassine?

Karen said...

Ale, no smudging at all....the pictures show how little dust comes off.