Getting ready for a recent road trip up the coast and out to the inland regions of New South Wales made me think about what to pack in the way of art gear just in case I got inspired to paint a quick scene or two. Now I had to think carefully about this. Owning a small car I knew that I just didn’t have the room to take EVERYTHING that I have in art supplies. And of course having been a plein air painter for some years now I just knew that I would only need to pack lightly. It also meant that I could sneak in some supplies without my husband noticing seeing as this was supposed to be a non painting holiday …yeah right!
Deciding on Art Supplies
Right off I decided on what medium I would like to paint in. Due to the nature of watercolour I chose that to take along on the trip . It is such an easy medium to take when travelling. All you need is a travel set of paints that you can hold in the palm of your hand, a brush or two, a pencil, eraser, a collapsible water container, a watercolour pad and something to hold it all in so that it will be easily found when inspiration hits.
Here is my watercolour travel kit. A brush pouch like this is great for keeping brushes and small supplies neatly together. It is amazing how much you can fit into one of these. In this brush pouch I can fit my favourite Neef watercolour brushes, a pencil, eraser, a pencil sharpener, a collapsible water container, a small journal for quick sketches and my Winsor and Newton travel paintbox, along with a small pack of tissues and travel handy wipes.
Finding the Perfect Bag
I rummaged through my closet and found a cross the body bag that fit my supplies perfectly. I even had room to add a box of tube paints, some watercolour pencils and an extra mixing tray.
I decided to take my favourite Arches block pad. I will be buying one a bit smaller so that it can also fit into the one bag. By using a block pad you don’t need to take a backing board and tape and there is no need to stretch the paper, saves a lot of work and space huh?
If you really needed to you could take an easel and camping chair, but I was determined to travel light this trip and it wasn’t too difficult to find spots to sit and just paint at a picnic table for example.
It did work very nicely … my husband didn’t grumble too much when I got out my art gear… then again I didn’t grumble when he got out his guitar!
Kathy Karas is a visual artist and teacher living and painting in New South Wales, Australia. Kathy works in a wide selection of media including oils, acrylic, watercolour and pencil drawings. Her style has evolved over the years to modern impressionist and most recently she has developed into contemporary work.