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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

How to Pack for an Epic Painting Road Trip

'Dancing at the Magic Hour'         5x7      pastel
available $75
 It seems like I am always packing. And it never is the same. Different trips requires different packing strategies. Especially painting trips. When I travel by plane I have to really pare down my supplies. It is challenging when flying to teach a workshop. I have it pretty much down to a science.

Car travel is different. There is room for more stuff yet it is still important to have it organized. I have been thinking about how to pack for my upcoming road trip to the Plein Air Convention in Tucson. Marsha Savage and I will be driving from Atlanta to Tucson to attend the 5th annual convention. We both went to the first convention and we are excited to go back. Along the way we will be stopping in Texas to teach a 3 day plein air workshop.  (our trip has it's own blog. Please visit www.twowanderingartists.com to follow along)

So not only do we need painting gear we need teaching gear in addition to clothes and toiletries and the usual travel necessities. I began my packing by laying out everything I thought I might need.

What a mess! I needed to consolidate and organize. I decided it would be more efficient to have my gear in smaller 'themed' bags rather than putting it all into 2 larger suitcases. Not only will small bags be easier to carry and stuff in the nooks and crannies of the vehicle, they make it easier to find the stuff you need. I labeled my bags so I know what is in them!

The most important thing to organize were my painting supplies. It was important that I pack my gear so that it would be easy to quickly set up and paint and easy to carry around. Of course I went with my favorite set up for plein air pastels:  a double Heilman sketchbox and easel mast, a lightweight tripod, painting support board from Easel Butler, assorted papers unity portfolio books, wipes, sketchbook, garbage bags and other miscellaneous comfort items.  All of this fits nicely into my Orvis backpack.

My pastel gear and my Orvis backpack.....the best system yet!

Below is a photo of my bags...all ready to go.  From the top right I have a small bag with my oil painting supplies and extra pastel paper....just in case. Under that is my bag of supplies for our workshop....this bag will be a lot lighter after I pass out the goodies!  Next is my suitcase with clothes and shoes....we need hiking boots and cowboy boots! My pastel backpack in underneath. On the top left I have a small bag of overnight stuff....toiletries, change of clothes so I don't have to drag my suitcase into the hotel on our quick one night stays. I also have a bag of snacks. :) and finally I have an Orvis bag for miscellaneous essentials such as sketch supplies, camera, iPad, nature guidebooks, etc.

My family used to call me the bag lady. I am known for loving bags of all kinds when I don't have to cram everything into a suitcase for a flight.....I love the flexibility of being a bag lady again!


Sue Marrazzo said...


Mary Williams said...

I am so excited to read about your trip. Have a safe trip and I will see you in Dripping Springs:)