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Friday, November 08, 2019

Two Easy Ways to Transport Plein Air Pastel Paintings

A collage of plein air paintings done on a trip to Pawleys Island several years ago

It is always fun to come home from a painting trip and unpack the finished paintings. I like to lay them all out on a table and look at them as a group. Sometimes the paintings I really liked aren't as good as I remember and others look better than I thought.  It is a great way to relive the trip!  Painting a lot on a trip is great but how do you keep them safe when you are finished and while you travel?

I have tried a few methods of transporting finished paintings but have settled on two favorites.  I used to use a folder that I made from card stock with leaves of glassine stapled together. It was too flimsy.  Then I tried using two pieces of foam core with glassine sheets held together with binder clips. It was too bulky and it was difficult to look through the paintings without taking them all out.

'Marsh Impressions'        5x7     pastel  plein air  sold

Now I have settled on two methods for keeping my paintings safe.  I rarely paint larger than 8x10 so these methods work well. If I decided to paint larger I would probably bring a foamcore sandwich.

  •  For the 8x10 or 5x7's I like to use an inexpensive pad of tracing paper. I just slip the painting in between the pages. They stay safe and clean and if I want to look back through them I can do it easily.  I take the aded precaution of using a small binder clip to close the pad so paintings don't slip out. I also like to slip the pad into a clear poly envelope....the kind that have a string tie.

  • For anything smaller than 5x7 I find a small magazine or even better a local travel guide magazine. These are small and portable and readily available at stores and visitor centers. The glossy magazine pages don't harm the painting though I don't store them in the magazine. I remove the paintings as soon as I can when I return home.

UPDATE to this post from the archives: In addition to these simple methods I also like to use Profolios by Itoya which are portfolio booklets that I fill with my papers and finished paintings. It serves double duty!!

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