by Jan Kraus
Pack light -- But don’t forget the bug spray!
I love to draw and paint plein air (on location) AND I’ve learned the hard way that my personal comfort makes a big impact on how well the day goes. In the past, I carried everything that I thought I “might” want to use including half-sheets of watercolour paper, a 24-well paint pallet and about ten pounds of additional supplies. I suspect I looked like a pack mule. I’m still learning to pare down the amount of supplies I carry “just in case”. The hour-plus bus ride to Wilket Creek for outdoor painting has really helped me edit my supplies. One benefit of limited supplies is that I spend less time deciding what tools to use and more time using the ones that are in my kit.
My little portable chair with handy kangaroo style pouch has really facilitated my decision-making process. It’s lightweight and easy to carry on transit as well as on a hike to my chosen artwork location. If it doesn’t fit in the pouch it’s not going with me. An advantage of the small chair is that the ground is close enough that my tools are all within easy reach. I must remember to stand up frequently or my muscles will complain. The need to stretch my muscles reminds me to step back from my work to see it from a different perspective.
In this pouch I can carry:
A few times this summer I have tossed in a #12 paint brush and carried an Arches 23 x 31 cm cold pressed watercolour block only to return home having not used either one.
My closing words of advice are: “When in doubt, leave it out, except for the bug spray!”