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Friday, August 21, 2015

Plein Air Lite: How to Pack Art Supplies for Vacation

'The Perfect View'                5x7       plein air pastel             ©Karen Margulis
I really don't unpack my suitcase. I do take out my clothes but all of the other travel supplies....including my art supplies stay packed and ready to go at a moments notice.  Next Friday I leave for my final adventure of summer.....a Caribbean cruise with my mom and sister. My sister won a free cruise and we are able to join her for the cost of the tax. I can't afford to stay home for that!

If you have followed my blog then you probably know I have made it a priority to downsize my pastel supplies for traveling. I have been through so many boxes and bags and easels that I have lost track. I have come to the conclusion that there is no one size fits all solution for plein air set ups and supplies. Every trip is different. Some trips are not even dedicated painting trips so how do we decide what to bring?

No matter what the purpose of a vacation or trip it pays to keep your supplies light and simple. I call it Plein Air Lite.

Here are some photos of what I am bringing on this cruise. I want to do some sketching/journaling as well as paint some pastel minis.

My pastels supplies
I am bringing a Heilman single sketchbox (Love!) I will be able to paint some 5x7s as well as my minis (2.5 x 3.5) Everything fits into a soft sided lunch box. I have a 5x7 portfolio book filled with paper which doubles as a finished painting holder, a piece of foamcore backing board, baby wipes, a washcloth to protect my painting surface and some mini Bankers's clips to clip my paper to the board.

The small zippered pouch on the right hold the precut paper for my mini paintings and an extra packet of wipes.

The Heilman box along with wipes, towel, backing board and paper/holder  fit in the lunchbox
Along with the pastels I am bringing a small sketchbook and watercolor postcards. I have a set of Caran d'ache watercolor pencils and a water brush as well as some black pens (Le Pen). A cruise ship is a wonderful place for sketching....especially sketching the figure!

The lunchbox with pastels and the zippered pouches all fit nicely in my backpack. I also have room for some art books and magazines. I have all of the supplies I need for a creative and relaxing....and LITE vacation. I can easily throw one of these items into my beach bag when heading to port or a nearby deck chair!

 Today's paintings are plein air studies done on a previous Caribbean cruise. They are done on the upper decks of the ship while sitting in a lounge chair! (available $50 each in my etsy shop)

If this sounds like a good way to paint and relax then consider joining me on my Caribbean Art Cruise in February. There a still a few spots available! Read more about the cruise here.http://www.kemstudios.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-practice-art-and-art-of.html


Denise D. said...

I love these packing posts!
I will be seeing you at your April workshop in DS. Looking forward to meeting you, packed up tight.
Do you have any tips on how not to make mud? Sometimes it's so frustrating!

Karen said...

Thanks Denise! It will be great to meet you in April. I will keep your suggestion in mind about a mud making post!

robertsloan2art said...

What a wonderful kit! I've got two of those little 5" x 7" binders, could easily fill one with precut pieces of sanded paper and maybe actually carry that with me on alternate Wednesdays instead of the big backpack. I love the way your plein air kits always trim down to essentials without really sacrificing a decent palette. Even that single Heilmann Sketchbook has a lovely range in it.