I leave for Pembrokeshire, Wales in a few days and I'm madly scrambling to ... do everything. I travel only with a carryon, which makes it rough if you want to make art! This time I was able to order some things from Amazon.uk that I couldn't pack and have them sent to the place I'm renting...things like a jar of matte medium, and some giant Derwent graphite blocks (man, are they heavy and messy! Not sure they'll be my faves, but wanted to try.) And a pair of foldable hiking poles, which for me can be classified as art supplies! ( TSA won't let you pack those in a carry-on.) And a couple of other things. I'll order some gesso when I get there.
I'll have to send home the poles and whatever else I want to keep and use after my time there. Luckily, there's a very nice postmistress in St Davids who will help me accomplish this in a reasonable way. This reminds me that I FINALLY got out of my state of denial with regard to the size of drawings and paintings I can work on while traveling... especially, since, as I said, I pack only a carryon. I'm restricted to about 9" x 11" paper and just a few watercolors as paint. But that's okay. I happily use these sketches as source materials in the studio when I get back.
Here are some shots of what I'll take with me. My travel palette has two new colors: Daniel Smith cerulean blue (Wales seems to call for that opaque and granulating oceanic blue) and Daniel Smith German Greenish Raw Umber. That last works well, combined with other colors, for rendering the rock outcroppings I love to look at and draw.
I'm taking three (!) sketchbooks, if my carryon will let me. First is one made of Khadi paper, a rough, tough surface useful if you want to paint with mud, sand, and the like.
Second is a new Seawhite accordion sketchbook, pictured below in its case next to the one I used last fall, an old one I'd ordered from Seawhite of Brighton a few years back. Note the diminishment in size, which made me a little sad. Here's the one from last fall, all spread out:
And here it is side by side with the new one:
Third one is a new Stillman & Birn Beta, the ultimate in sketchbooks, for my tastes.
Just to round out the picture of my gear, here are my hiking boots, which I have to wear on the plane and trains since my feet are big, which make the boots bigger than they might be on others. I got them for my Alaska residency and I took them also to Wales last fall and I wear them gardening around here in areas where copperheads thrive. They'd just about fit in that much-talked about carryon, if I packed nothing else with them. My feet and I will be the absolute picture of travel chic!
I had hoped to be finished with some of the Copper Mountain paintings I've been working on before I left for Wales, but this is not to be. There are four out of the eight or so that are ALMOST finished, but clearly I can't rush them. I work on them every day, but there you are. They have a mind of their own. To tide them and me over until I get back, I have made pots of the colors I've mixed for each painting, so I'll be able to take off running with them when I return.See you in Wales very soon!