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Friday, May 22, 2015

Packing for a Plein Air Trip part one

'Desert Oasis'             5x7         plein air pastel               ©Karen Margulis
 The adventures will begin soon. It is time to pack. I don't like to pack for a plein air trip at the last minute. I like to spread out the project over a few weeks. It's is part of the fun anticipation of a trip. I set aside a table in my studio and lay out all of the things I think I need or would like to bring.

Then I go through it all. I eliminate most of it. I keep the bare minimum amount of supplies. I want to travel light and free. I want just enough to allow me to paint quick studies. I want to capture fleeting moments in time. I don't need to bring the contents of my studio with me. If it can't fit in my backpack or carry-on then it will stay home.

As I pack I'll share my process. Packing light isn't for everyone but perhaps you will like some of my ideas. Perhaps you will have tips of your own you'd like to share?

Packing Paper for a Plein Air Trip

Today I am packing paper. I won't be painting anything larger than 8x10 on my trips. I will be gone for a total of 6 weeks this summer so that is potentially a lot of paper.  Since I will have a three day turn-around in between trips I will be able to restock my paper but I am getting it all prepared now.

Itoya Portfolio folders in two sizes....8x10 and 5x7

  •  I will bring an assortment of my favorite sanded pastel papers. Uart, Pastel Premier, Pastelmat, Multimedia Artboard and a few pieces of leftover Wallis paper.
       Tip: Bring paper that you are familiar with. Unless you have a lot of room and want to                     experiment and play it is safer to work on paper you know.
  • I am cutting full sheets of the papers into smaller sizes both 5x7 and 8x10. I use a ruler and scissors or utility knife to cut the paper. (saves money)
  • I am toning some of the Uart paper in my favorite plein air color (more on this tomorrow)
  • I am filling my Itoya plastic portfolio folders wit the cut paper. These folders have plastic sleeves that work great for protecting and transporting paper.
  • I put finished paintings back into the plastic sleeve of the folder. This is how I transport and protect my finished paintings. (yes a little residual pastel dust is left on the plastic but not enough to harm the painting.)
  • The plastic folders are great for sharing your work with others and keeping the paintings safe. 
  • The loaded folders are slipped into my backpack. The perfect solution for keeping both paper and paintings safe!
How to do store and transport paper and paintings on a plein air trip?


Sue Marrazzo said...

Very Pretty

robertsloan2art said...

Love it! There's a lot of fun and anticipation getting ready for a trip. Choosing supplies is just as much fun for an overpacker as a trim n slim painter.

I know I overpack so I tend to limit the size of the bags to reduce weight when I go out. What's liberating for me is to be able to go out just wearing my vest with all its pockets and use the pocket size journals. Now you've given me a thought about those Itoya portfolios.

I bave a couple of them. I bought large to accommodate everything I did. But this is great! I could get those two sizes you're talking about and keep them handy, pre fill them with paper and it'd be so cool.

I think a 5 x 7" one might fit in the big flat pocket on the back of the vest. Which would solve the need to carry paper in something separate. This rocks! Thanks for the idea!