Sunday, August 23, 2009

Packing for Travel

I'm sorry to have been so quiet this past week. I haven't made much in the way of art although I've been in my studio every day, reading blogs, keeping up with email, making a mess and straightening it up, painting paper and spraying, but mostly preparing for vacation travel.

For some reason I simply can't toss a few things into my suitcase and be confident that I'll have all I need when I get to my destination. I have to make lists upon lists to be sure I haven't forgotten something important... and this from a woman who used to teach workshops about planning and packing a travel wardrobe. Yesterday I finally called it quits, culled my clothes down to the bare essentials, put most of the more valuable things like art supplies into my carry-on, pared down the contents of my handbag, and I think I'm ready to go except for the last few things I'll need until we hit the road.

Art essentials for my trip:

So what am I taking in the way of art supplies? an Altoid travel box with 10 colors, a waterbrush plus 4 other rather small brushes, a tiny spray bottle, a tiny bottle of Indian red ink and a dip pen for drawing, my collage/watercolor journal and a few extra bits of watercolor paper, 2 gluesticks and a small bottle of ModPodge with a spreader, small scissors, pens and pencils, eraser and pencil sharpener, a tiny sea sponge, several paper and plastic alphabet stencils, my Moleskine journal and tiny watercolor paintbox and waterbrush in my handbag, a film container with paper clips and brads with masking tape wrapped around the outside, a roll of clear packing tape that tears easily to use for magazine transfers. I'm sure there's more but I can't think what. I didn't make a list for those things. I laid out everything I thought I'd need and put only half of it into a small folding cosmetic bag I found at Fred Meyers. Oh yes, I added a small cribiner, an S hook, and a large safety pen. These are so I can hang up my bag from the airplane seatback in front of me while I work on that impossibly small table. I'd show you a picture but I forgot to take one before packing and I'm not about to undo it now. Maybe I'll remember to take pictures as I work so you can see the process later. Remind me.


  1. I'd love to see the x-ray at airport security!
    Have a great time.

  2. Safe and pleasant travels Jo! I love your mini supply list and I can't wait to see your creations. Your cribiner & S hook/safety pin is a CLEVER idea. I too have tried painting while's not easy!!!

  3. Is there a list (from the airlines) of what type of paints are allowed? I will be going to Mexico in Oct. and would like to be sure what can I put in my kit.

  4. You can take any paints but no solvents. Watercolor and acrylics present no problems... just put them into a tough plastic bag and into your checked luggage along with a note that these are "artists colors". Same with oils. But I'd hand carry oils in a quart ziplock with the same note, artists colors, being sure the tubes are the small size, less than 3 oz. For more information go to The Painters Keys and search for traveling with paints. Never tell a TSI person at security that these are paint... always refer to them as artists colors. If you work in oil you can buy solvents at your destination.

  5. Thank you Jo, I will be taking only the KOI Watercolor kit, and a journal and will take lots of pictures to later maybe doing in acrylics.

  6. You'll have absolutely no problems with taking watercolors. Like you, I take lots of pictures and I try to take time to really study what I shoot so that the memory is sealed. If you can, sit down and do a quick sketch, no matter how critical you are of your skills. this seals memories better than anything I know, certainly better than photos do. Have a great time; let me know about your trip later, please.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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