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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Packing for a Plein Air Festival

'Passing By'        2.5 x 3.5 "          pastel          ©Karen Margulis

You might think that I am good at packing with all the traveling I do. In reality it is very much a learning process that is complicated by the type of trip I am taking. If I am driving then I am free to take as much as I can fit into the car! If I am teaching a workshop in the US I usually ship a box of supplies including bigger paper and my visual aids. If I am teaching overseas I have to downsize considerably. And pair a workshop with a week of painting in a Plein Air festival and it is a challenge to keep it all light and manageable.

It took me a full day to pack my art supplies for Art in the Open.  I took pictures of my progress as part of an Instagram story (stories disappear after 24 hours) so I thought it would be fun to share them here along with a little explanation. Enjoy!

I am teaching two 3 hour workshops during the festival but I will also be painting everyday. So I'll need enough art supplies. I also want to travel light with only one suitcase and my painting backpack.
I will have my pastel box and paper in my backpack which I will carry on the plane. I will be able to paint even if my suitcase is delayed (I won't say the 'L' word)

I have some handouts and goodies for the workshops. I always carry on the handouts and my folder of travel visual aids so I can teach even without luggage.  One must always be prepared.

To optimize space in my suitcase I put things in baggies and roll anything I can. I will also roll my clothes and put them in packing cubes.

Framing supplies: wire,wire cutters,framing tape,backing paper precut, double sided tape, scissors.This bag has to go into my checked suitcase but I will carry on the frames.

This is a Plein Air Festival and there will be an exhibition at the end of the week. This means I need to have frames with me! I plan to paint small....5x7 and 8x10 do I have three lightweight frames with me. They are wrapped in bubble wrap envelopes. I will carry the frames in the plane. I will be bringing a tote bag on the plane in addition to my backpack. I don't really want the extra bag but I need it this time. I got a fantastic Baggallini tote on eBay which makes it easier:)

Above is a photo of my painting backpack. This is an Orivs Businessman backpack recommended by Stan Sperlak. It is a great bag! You can see that it fits my Heilman double sketchbox, tripod, easel mast (in the blue bag) , bag of painting extra supplies and first aid kit. There is still plenty of room for miscellaneous gear....snacks and water. I love this backpack because it sits flat on the ground.

The new Baggallini tote will not only hold my frames and handout packets but it will hold my comfort items for the flight and beyond. I am taking my iPad mini, camera, notebook, umbrella, travel blanket and inflatable pillow infused with lavender, snacks, miscellaneous comfort items.

One of the most important things to pack for a Plein Air Festival are pastels and papers. It took another full day to choose the pastels for the trip. I'll share that process in tomorrow's post.

NOTE:  I will do my very best to post to the blog while I am away. Sometimes time and technology don't allow it. I will also be posting updates and photos on Facebook and Instagram and I'd love for you to follow along there. Facebook: Karen Margulis  Instagram: @karenmargulis

1 comment:


Very wonderful painting, Karen !!!