Biggest mistake first time painters make when traveling overseas...

If you have ever traveled overseas to paint I am sure you can relate to this.

Remember when you dragged loads of your equipment (just in case) in a large suitcase(s) with you? You will have probably said …”Never again will I bring all this stuff.” Right?

I remember my first time with my friend Lisa and we learned when traveling on Ryan air why most Europeans only carry a back pack. The small airlines charge you for luggage by the pound! A very cheap flight can turn expensive quickly.

Our upcoming trip to Greece includes small flights, boats, taxis and lots of stairs so less is more! Let me rephrase that- Less is a necessity!

This will be around my 12th painting trip overseas. It took me about four trips to really learn to consolidate. Trust us when we say take stuff out of your luggage and bring a carry-on and a small bag..

Pack consciously- down to the bare bones.

You may opt for a sturdy carry-on with good wheels if you don’t want to check in luggage. I found one at a second hand store. This way if I get paint on it I won’t feel badly. Even if you are checking a bag, go smaller. Carry your own suitcase once filled around your yard, over grass, up stairs to see how burdensome it might be.

How to minimize:

Select coordinating clothes as suggested below or read this great blog by Lady Light Travel.

Here is a list of clothes I take with me.

First I have three rules: Is it lightweight, wrinkle free & dries quickly when washed? I will be hand washing some things.

1 black casual pants (doesn’t show dirt)

1 black dress pants (or black skirt)

1 other pant to wear when traveling (that matches shirts or blouses). Must be super comfy.

2 wrinkle free blouses (I like white).

Scarf to dress up a blouse or necklace or wrap around your shoulders if it gets chilly at night.

2 blouses/ shirts that go with the pants/skirt

3 casual daytime thin shirts (easy to wash/dry)

1 pair of painting pants/shirt or a smock/apron

Make up, toiletries (creams, lotions are put in zip lock bags in the amount needed for the trip.) Minimum makeup as we barely wear once there. Bring a small amount of Woolite or laundry detergent in a small baggy- double bagged.

1 bathing suit (no towel necessary)

Comfortable shoes ( I wear the heavier pair on my feet and pack a lighter pair.)

Here is the blog by Lady Light Travel with fabulous travel wardrobe tips for packing lightly. There are photos of the clothing at the end. This one is for the ladies however, our gentlemen participants can take the concept and use it as well.

How to place clothes in suitcase.

Lay your clothes flat across the suitcase allowing each article of clothing to hang over the sides. Place each item flat on top of the other. This keeps them from wrinkling and takes up less space than rolling. You’ll see why.

After all the clothes are on top of each other you will want to fold back in the pieces that are overhanging the suitcase in all four directions making a nice compact bundle.

Then carefully take the whole bundle (everything you just folded to fit the suitcase) out of the suitcase and lay the bundle on a flat surface keeping it together.

Using a large plastic bag like one from the laundry or a vacuum bag made for traveling place your bundle of clothes inside it. (A vacuum bags is recommended because it has a zip lock, however, it is not necessary.)

Once the bundle is inside begin to close the bag but first roll the bag from the closed end toward the open end to displace the air. The bag then goes pretty flat. Before the air gets back in, either rubber band it close or tape it closed. If using a vacuum bag just zip it up. Even if some air gets in, it will stay flatter.

Now your clothes are as compact as they can be. Bring a second bag for the trip home if the first one gets damaged. (See Image 3. )

Image 1.  In a carry-on place your clothes flat one on top of each other.

Image 1. In a carry-on place your clothes flat one on top of each other.

Image 2.  The suitcase with all the clothes folded over into one bundle. (My makeup bag is on top of the clothes however, I don’t put this in until the clothes are placed into a plastic bag.)

Image 2. The suitcase with all the clothes folded over into one bundle. (My makeup bag is on top of the clothes however, I don’t put this in until the clothes are placed into a plastic bag.)

Image 3.  Your clothes are compact and nice and secure in this bag. If you need anything for a layover, keep that separate.

Image 3. Your clothes are compact and nice and secure in this bag. If you need anything for a layover, keep that separate.

Image 4 . On the other side of the carry-on I put my art supplies, extra shoes, camera and misc. Any toiletries that doesn’t need to stay in a larger container goes into a zip lock baggy to minimize space. My tripod is 16 1/2 inches long and will go in my other bag with my pocketbook, neck pillow and hat.  (See image 12 & 13)

Image 4. On the other side of the carry-on I put my art supplies, extra shoes, camera and misc. Any toiletries that doesn’t need to stay in a larger container goes into a zip lock baggy to minimize space. My tripod is 16 1/2 inches long and will go in my other bag with my pocketbook, neck pillow and hat. (See image 12 & 13)

Image 5.  I will wear a blouse, sweater, vest, comfortable travel pants, heavier shoes. Wear your hat at the airport if it won’t squish into suitcase. I often opt for comfortable old shoes that I may leave behind if I need extra room on the way home.   Optional: Travel vest.  I find this works for me as my passport, wallet, phone, phone charger, etc is with me at all times. I get cold easily and like having some added warmth on the plane..

Image 5. I will wear a blouse, sweater, vest, comfortable travel pants, heavier shoes. Wear your hat at the airport if it won’t squish into suitcase. I often opt for comfortable old shoes that I may leave behind if I need extra room on the way home.

Optional: Travel vest. I find this works for me as my passport, wallet, phone, phone charger, etc is with me at all times. I get cold easily and like having some added warmth on the plane..

How to Pack your Supplies:

Decide which medium to bring.

All artists need:

An easel and tripod (unless you prefer to sit and work on your lap).

Bring whatever lightweight set up you have or read the blog about easels and tripods for suggestions.

My Color and Energy 80 piece pastel set fits nicely in the carry-on but I have opted to place it right in my Gorilla pochade box. (See images 4, 7 or 8.)

Make sure your easel and tripod set up has the quick release and make sure you have both parts with you. Here is the link to the small portable tripod I just bought.

ALL PARTICIPANTS BRING:

White charcoal pencil

SMALL Pencil sharpener

Kneaded eraser

pencil (or charcoal pencil)

Choose either:

Pastel Supply list (Click here). Scroll to bottom.

or

Oil Supply list (Click here). Scroll to bottom.

All supplies are available at the A & F store in Sarasota . www.in2art.com (Call 941-366-2301 and ask for the Linda Richichi sets.)

Image 11. Cut canvas and tape down in layers.

Image 11. Cut canvas and tape down in layers.

When traveling and working in oil, you may opt to paint on panels or canvas taped to a styrofoam board as pictured. Panels add weight to your pack however, I will be taking panels.

If you opt for canvas tape each piece to the board one at a time on top of each other. As you paint, simply peel off the top canvas and set it to dry. You can work on the next one below it. Bring extra pieces of styrofoam cut slightly larger than your piece of canvas and some push pins that have some height. Pin the wet canvas on the new piece of styrofoam on all four corners and stack another styrofoam on top to protect it. The push pins keep them apart and a rubber band around them all to keep them togther.

Remember when working on canvas, you need to leave at least 2” around the piece for stretching or you can opt to adhere the dried painting canvas to a panel with adhesive once back home. Paint 11” x 14” or smaller for ease in carrying your finished pieces home .

Image 7. Pastelists:  The Color and Energy Pastel Set & supplies fits in the other side of my carry-on. (If you bring this box, make sure you secure it with several rubber bands in case customs opens your luggage.)  Oil Painters:  pack your tubes in a zip lock baggy and mark that they are artist tubes-   DO NOT  BRING ANYTHING THAT IS FLAMMABLE LIKE GAMSOL, or mineral spirits, etc. We will find some on the island to use and provide it to you.

Image 7. Pastelists: The Color and Energy Pastel Set & supplies fits in the other side of my carry-on. (If you bring this box, make sure you secure it with several rubber bands in case customs opens your luggage.) Oil Painters: pack your tubes in a zip lock baggy and mark that they are artist tubes- DO NOT BRING ANYTHING THAT IS FLAMMABLE LIKE GAMSOL, or mineral spirits, etc. We will find some on the island to use and provide it to you.

Image 8 . I’ve moved my 80 pieces of pastels from the Color and Energy set into this small 5” x 7” Gorilla pochade box. If you are bringing oils, your small oil tubes may fit in your easel box. I’ve divided the colors into lights and darks. To keep larger panels hooked to this small box you will need two large rubber bands to connect to the back and corners behind the panel and box.  I will also bring a super lightweight over the shoulder bag to carry my supplies around when in Greece. This may be helpful when going home if you decide to check in your carryon on the trip home. Pack it in your suitcase or pocketbook or brief case on the way over to Greece.

Image 8. I’ve moved my 80 pieces of pastels from the Color and Energy set into this small 5” x 7” Gorilla pochade box. If you are bringing oils, your small oil tubes may fit in your easel box. I’ve divided the colors into lights and darks. To keep larger panels hooked to this small box you will need two large rubber bands to connect to the back and corners behind the panel and box.

I will also bring a super lightweight over the shoulder bag to carry my supplies around when in Greece. This may be helpful when going home if you decide to check in your carryon on the trip home. Pack it in your suitcase or pocketbook or brief case on the way over to Greece.

Image 9.  Canvas taped to styrofoam board.

Image 9. Canvas taped to styrofoam board.

Image 10.  Tape blank canvases on top of each other. After painting, peel the top layer off.

Image 10. Tape blank canvases on top of each other. After painting, peel the top layer off.

Image 12.  Everything will fit into my carry-on and bag (I will bring a smaller pocketbook than pictured here).

Image 12. Everything will fit into my carry-on and bag (I will bring a smaller pocketbook than pictured here).

Image 13.  All in the two bags, even a rolled up hat.

Image 13. All in the two bags, even a rolled up hat.