Traveling with Oils or Pastels

"Asilomar Overlook"  9x12" Pastel

Painting at Point Lobos in 2014

I just can't sit still! My thoughts are all a jumble because of an upcoming trip to the most beautiful area I have ever seen and painted: California's Monterey Bay and it's vicinity. I guess I'd call it excitement!

Part of my excitement stems from all the things I have to remember to pack. I have to take into account all the painting supplies, it's portability and weight, and my destinations. Not to mention all the personal belongings I have to lug around just to take care of my personal health, but I digress. Did I mention clothes? Oh yeah...one probably shouldn't paint naked, but I would guess it's been done before, although I'd prefer clothes on. Yes, most definitely would, especially clothes for the type of weather.

So, to keep my mind from stressing out and overthinking the trip, I have made lists to keep me organized. Ahh, I can now relax a bit and just enjoy the process. Sometimes I may consider packing all of the items, but there may be times when I will need to edit because of the location, the method of travel, access to extra supplies and what I am willing to do without. It's kind of like camping but for artists.  Here is a list of items that I have put together for you to consider:

Oil Painting

Pochade Plein Air Box  I use an Open Box M
Brushes  I love using flats of various sizes and one very soft Bright Rosemary brush
Brush cleaner/Murphy's Oil
Brush holder
Tripod   I use a Manfrotto befree
Gamsol odorless solvent
Gloves  I use latex free gloves
Baby wipes
Plastic grocery bags for trash
Paper Towels with a bungee cord
Wet Panel Carrier. I use a RayMar panel carriers that are lightweight.
Backpack to hold all of this stuff with pockets for snacks
Oil paint.  I use Gamblin paints simply because they are made here in Portland and I want to support a local business, not to mention their quality to detail.  However, there are a few other brands that I like to explore the use of. I switch my palette out a lot as I love trying out new colors. I do like using a warm and cool color of each primary plus a few extra convenience colors. Here is a list of what I may pack for my palette:

Cad Yellow Light
Indian Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Cad Red Light
Quinacridone Magenta
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue
Bice  Vasari Brand
Phalo Green
Cedar  Vasari Brand
Raw Umber
Warm White  

Here is my Oil Painting Backpack all ready to go.

Pastel Painting

Open Box M Pochade Box. Check out my blog post on my modified box HERE.  Unfortunately, Open Box M no longer produces this pastel box like this due to it's extensive design.
Pastels   Half sticks in a range of of colors and values
Cotton rag
Gamsol solvent for dispersing pastel for an underpainting
Carb Othello Pastel pencils  Neutral colors work best for sketching out the composition
Pencil sharpener
2" wide masking tape
2  1" wide foam brushes
Baby wipes
Latex free gloves or hand barrier cream
Sanded Pastel    Paper mounted to foam core, museum board or gatorboard  I like using Uart's 320 grit paper in a light beige tone.
Glassine   Tape to the backside of the mounted pastel paper as a protective cover for the painting.
Panel carrier  I two pieces of cardboard taped together like an envelope

Miscellaneous Items

Bug Spray
Sunscreen  I like the spray on kind
Clip on Mini Lights for nocturne painting
Umbrella  I use a BestBrella or the larger Shade Buddy
View Finder
Sketch book and Sharpie Marker
Hazardous Materials Disclaimer Sheets for Gamsol Oil painting products
Folding chair

So that's my list of goodies, and somehow they all have to fit into my backpack. Sometimes I will bring both mediums and that is what I did when I flew out to Door County, WI last year.  It's a painter's challenge in space conservation at best, but I think I've got a good handle on it.  Anyway, like I said, some of the items listed may be left back at home due to what I am willing to do without. After all, it's artist camping at it's best.  

So since I am on the subject of plein air, I have announced a new plein air workshop specifically for pastels.  Pastels en Plein Air will be June 25-28th in the Portland, OR area.  Here are some specifics:  

Fee:  $350
Dates:  June 25-28, 2015
Location:  Greater Portland area
Time:  9:00-5:00 pm

For more details about the workshop, click HERE.


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