Monday, April 29, 2013

Back Home

Please check out the travel blog to read about my trip and see the art I created:

Oh, and the wacky suitcase had a handle break on the way home. It can easily be replaced, if I could find a similar handle.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Leavin' on a Jet Plane, Part 2

I've been asked about the other stuff I am taking and to help me in the future to remember what to pack, I decided to add to this post subject.

The suitcase I use is a large 25" or 27" (can't recall now) hard-shell in a wacky design. If you've ever shopped at TJMaxx or Marshalls, you've undoubtedly seen this type of luggage in a wide range of wild designs.
I picked this one last year for several reasons: it had to be large enough to fit my tripod inside, it had to be hard sided to protect my art supplies, it had to be a roller bag, and most importantly it had to have a distinctive design to be able to find it on the luggage carousel! This piece came through the trip with flying colors. You're wondering why I have a picture of my suitcase? Have you ever had the airline misplace your bag and all you could say to describe it was, "It's a black, fabric bag... ". Now with the wacky design it is very easy to spot. I took a photo of it with my cellphone, so if it gets lost, I can SHOW them what to look for, instead of trying to describe it.

The stuff inside here includes the tripod and most of the art supplies from yesterday's post, minus the Heilman box. The key to what clothes to take is to be able to have enough options to layer depending on the weather but not have way more clothes than you'll ever wear. Because this is a painting retreat, it will be pretty casual and I won't need any fancy clothes but I will look acceptable enough for some nicer restaurants.

1 short sleeve/2 long sleeve cotton T-shirts
1 short sleeve/2 long sleeve 'performance' fabric T-shirts
1 pair of jeans  1 pair of yoga pants
socks and underwear, nightgown
windproof fleece vest; packable rain coat (wind proof); hats, gloves
hiking shoes, Crocs

(I will be wearing on the plane - long sleeve T-shirt, lightweight fleece hoodie, jeans, Nikes.)

Comfort items:
Hair dryer, brushes, hair washing/fixing stuff
Soaps, creams, etc.
1 travel packet of Tide (W&D at the rental)
Earplugs & Melatonin - if I have trouble sleeping.
Travel coffee mug (what?? yep, like my coffee to stay warm instead of in a ceramic mug)
Water bottle (refillable instead of paying for bottled water)
Extension cord (used for hair dryer, multi-outlet to charge electronics, etc.)

And full it weighs 43.5 lbs!

The electronic items will be distributed between the carry-on and the suitcase, depending on the regulations/convenience: camera; charger, batteries, memory cards, iPod and charger cord, iPad and charger cord, Bluetooth keyboard and charger cord, earphones. GPS and car charger cord, phone charger cord. GHEEZ! What DID we do before electronic devices?

The carry-on will hold my Heilman box, small purse, medicine, glasses, sunglasses, watch, snacks, electronics, magazine, and travel pillow. Don't forget the cash and credit cards and travel documents!

PHEW, I need a vacation!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Leavin' On a Jet Plane.....

I'll admit, I have temporary OCD. Generally, I am not an obsessive person, organized yes, but not obsessive. But packing for a trip is another matter, especially when it involves taking art supplies and been in the planning for a year! Some other artists do posts of what supplies they take along when flying to a plein air painting retreat/workshop, so I thought I would too.

Because I am flying and this airline charges for checked baggage, I wanted to get down to one checked bag. I have a carry-on business style backpack that works really well for under the seat (Samsonite Xenon I like this much better than standard backpacks because it sits 'up' on the flat bottom and doesn't fall over. The middle section is really deep and holds my Heilman backpacker size pastel box perfectly, with room for lots more stuff. The back section will hold a laptop. Once I get to my painting location I use this for my art supplies while in the field. I generally switch out all the stuff I needed on the plane and add the art supplies I had to put into the checked bag.

Here's a list of the art supplies I am taking (in suitcase and carry-on):
  • Heilman backpacker pastel box, easel attachment  
  •  Manfrotto tripod with quick connect attachment
  • folding aluminum camp stool (I can stand for one day's worth of plein air, but 6 days wears me out and I need the option to be able to sit and paint) 
  •  plein air umbrella (this usually goes, but for this trip to Taos, it appears it will be windy there, so I left it out and saved a couple pounds)
  • Gatorboard 9x12" to attach my paper onto for painting
  • a piece of matboard lined with glassine to cover paintings on Gatorboard; rubber bands to hold
  •  9 sheets of Pastelmat in various sizes and colors
  •  10 pieces of my homemade painting surfaces
  •  3 sheets of white/Belgium mist Wallis paper
  •  2 sheets of UArt paper 600 and 800 grit
  • Tracing paper pad - I use this to store and transport finished paintings between the sheets 
  •  Pelikan gouache disks and brush (for underpaintings - love this!)
  • Viewfinder, Ruby film, colorwheel
  • Index cards to use for value thumbnails
  • partial rolls of artist's and masking tape,  double sided tape
  • cheap eyeglasses
  • small scissors
  • fold-up shade
  • mini clamps
  • pencil, Sharpees
  • microfiber towel
  • Nitrile gloves ( Marc Hanson suggested these for oil painting and I find I like them for pastels also, especially when the weather is a bit cool.
  • tiny bottles with SpectraFix, water, Gloves in a Bottle, hand lotion

Here's pics of everything, before I took out the smaller black bag that holds the umbrella and ditched the plastic bin in favor of Ziplocks. I weighed my suitcase with these (minus the Heilman) along with all my clothes and personal items, and it weighed 48.5 lbs! WOW too close to the limit of 50 lbs, and a monster to lift! I have whittled it all down to 43.5 lbs. and have a bit of room for a couple souveniers.

This is quite the victory for me, as last year's trip involved TWO checked suitcases, the backpack and a laptop. I'm taking an iPad Mini for blogging, which will fit into my purse. Hopefully I will be posting lots of interesting things over on my travel blog next week - keep checking there regularly!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Honorable Mention - WAAL Spring Show

I won Honorable Mention for my pastel painting, "Beets Me" at the reception today for the Worthington Area Art League exhibit "New Again"!!! Sorry for the blurry cellphone photo.

It is a wonderful show with great art! There are 134 pieces in a wide variety of mediums. Sixteen pastels were part of the show, and the winners really represented pastels - Best of Show and two Honorable Mentions.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Plein Air - Hogback Preserve

The weather just doesn't seem to want to cooperative on Saturdays. Mid-week, it was 78 degrees and today it was about 40 degrees when we started painting. The Hogback Preserve is a very peaceful place - extremely quiet except for the sounds of songbirds. We also had a reminder of the critters there, as there was a slight smell of skunk, but they stayed away from us and we never saw them.

I decided to use my Soltek today and paint in oils. I was working with a limited primary palette. Because there isn't much color in the landscape yet, I decided to just hone in on the lower part of this interesting beech tree with the splits in it's trunk.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Plein Air Saturday - Olentangy Park

Although temperature wise it was similar to last week, because of a breeze today, it was COLD. Everyone was frozen, but we got some nice things started. I forgot to count the number of artists, but I think we had 12-15. Not all are shown in the photos below. Gary C. brought his propane setup and hotdogs! Man, hotdogs taste GREAT when you are outside and cold. Thanks Gary!

I wasn't too productive. I setup in front of a drainage ditch and started, but was in the wind so decided to move. I then setup down in the gully near Michael in front of a similar drainage ditch. Here I was out of the wind and a bit warmer after I got another pair of gloves and another coat out of the car. I didn't get too far into the painting before the park rangers came and asked me to move because they needed to pull their equipment onto the path. You can see the path with the truck parked in one of the photos. Michael is partially hidden in the trees on the left. I was near there. After they moved their truck into position, I could have moved back, but by this time, I was out of the mood.