Monday, April 03, 2017

How to Take Pastels Anywhere



'Island Reverie'          5x7    plein air pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $75
The laundry is done and my suitcase is packed for my next trip. That is the life of a #wanderingartist. I was hoping to take you along with me on my last trip but the internet on the ship wasn't cooperating. It would not allow me to upload photos to my blog. This is the first time that has happened so I had to let go and accept that I wouldn't be able to keep you posted.

The trip was an amazing experience for my husband and me. We took a cruise from Manaus, Brazil up the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. After crossing the Equator we continued into the Caribbean with stops at some wonderful islands. I was actually an art instructor on the ship so it was a working trip but we had time to explore and I had time to do some painting.

No matter what the reason for a trip I always bring my pastels. I never know when I will have inspiration and opportunity so I want to be prepared. I have found an easy way to bring my pastels ANYWHERE!


My lunchbox full of pastels and supplies and my portfolio book for paper and paintings

My goal was to have a pastel setup that will fit in a backpack, purse or carryon bag. It needed to be compact and self contained. Something easy to throw into a bag and not so cumbersome that I would feel bad if I didn't get to paint. For the longest time I used a small cigar box for my pastels. It worked fine but I have graduated to the Heilman single sketchbox. It is the perfect size for travel. I fill it with an assortment of pastel bits. They are usually my smaller leftover pieces. I have a range of colors and values that work with any subject I come across. Since I am working small the small patel pieces are really all I need.

I keep the box in a zippered book cover. It has pockets for my paper and wipes. I have also used small lunchboxes which also work well. As long as the case is light and compact it will be good.  In this case I keep paper, wipes and a small piece of foamcore and clips. I don't need tape since I use the clips to attach my paper to the foamcore.

I use the Heilman single sketchbox which is a great size for travel
I bring my 5x7 pastel paper in a Profolio portfolio book. When I am finished with a painting I slip it back into the book for protection.

I didn't get to paint as much as I wanted to on this trip. Instead I was taking photos and doing a watercolor sketchbook. It was a fun change of pace for me but I was happy to have my pastels available!

5x7 pastel

5x7 pastel     Terre de Haut, Isles des Saintes Guadeloupe


1 comment:

Brigitte Courte said...

Thank you for sharing your tips. I was on a caribbean cruises too and I had my pastel with me, but I was overwhelmed by all the impressions, that I only tooks photos. I traveled alone and took excursions from the ship and unfortunately there was not enough time to paint. I should have done better with the teacher (painting in Acryl) from the Ship, but, I have seen too late that was offered.
Next time, when I take a crusis, I look, that you teaching on the ship. 😂