Whether you are planning a winter vacation or plotting your summer 2012 adventures, I hope that you are inspired by my friend Rachel Zelkind, who inspires me every time art and travel come together. Have paint, will travel. Bring your gear!
Because I travel often for work and always take paint and paper, I have named my painting kit “The Rachel” in her honor. It consists of three Daniel Smith Travel Kolinsky brushes, an Arches Paper block (postcard, 7×10 or 9×12), 4 or 5 tiny tubes of watercolor, a small pencil, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener, and it fits nicely into my carry-on. Also, it goes right through TSA security.
It helps that I will only paint indoors and know how to ask the hotel concierge nicely for better light in my room by saying: “I am a painter and a reader, and the only good light for either activity is in the bathroom. Can you help me?” That strategy has not failed yet.
Rachel, on the other hand, paints outside and she is always prepared:
“I have in the car a chair of some sort at all times.” She also has a three-legged camp stool that can attach a day pack, which can be used for sitting and can also act as a little table. Not surprisingly, she always has a paper palette pad and a spray bottle for water. The rest, she says, “is just a few tubes of paint.” The chair, she emphasizes, is a must, and the camp stool can go on walks, which is good, because she hikes.
When traveling in San Miguel, her chair-substitute was an upside down bucket. “It’s portable and stuff can be put in and carried. It really makes sense,” she says, and it is not uncomfortable. To her, “It looks more natural on the street than sitting in a chair.”
Wherever you go, and whatever your art — Bring Your Gear!!!!