Monday, May 30, 2011

When An Artist Packs

Traveling with an artist is not like traveling with a normal person.

Priority is given not to clothing, jewelry or sporting equipment, but to art supplies. Sketching pad, pencils, erasers, camera, lenses, —these have become standards, but we must add to the list. With new technologies, new things are added to the pack.

This brings up the question, what do you Pack when you travel?

Real essentials, sketchpad, drawing pencils, watercolors, are still basic but now many of us add Now memory cards, laptops, CD’s and DVD’s.

“I Told You To Pack Light”

On my recent trip to visit family, the watch word was “Pack Light”. We were traveling by car, and with family, including a dog, space was tight. Add to this were gifts for distant family members. I have a small overnight case for those non-essentials like underwear and cosmetic, and a duffle bag for what I truly can’t live without.

My packing List

· 1 sketchpad, 9x12 medium weight

· Pencil case containing drawing pencils, HB, 2B, 4B & 8B

· 3 erasers, white vinyl, pink pearl and kneaded

· Fine tip drawing pens

· Blending tools

· Eraser shield

· Pencil sharpener

· Small set of CP

· Small palm sized sketchpad

· Journal

· DSLR camera, lens, memory cards, in case

· Laptop with CD and DVDs. In case with cords

That’s all. A rather modest list if I do say so myself. Still, I get those looks from family when we are loading up.

So I think more about pencils than toothpaste. Heck, I can buy toothpaste everywhere, but you can’t always locate a really good pencil!

PS. Leave a comment with your packing list!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring, and a Young Artist's Fancy Turns to Plein Air


And a young artists fancy turns to…

....…plein air!

Actually, even not so young artists get the itch to get out of the studio and out into the warm air and paint, draw, photograph anything that is not inside!

So it was with pencil in hand I left home early this Wednesday planning to spend a little time wandering Ritter Park.

Ok, so the day was a little gray. Well, a lot gray, but it is early May, after all. But I was optimistic. The park would be green, and the dogwoods would be blooming.

Rainy Day in Ritter Park

Alas – by the time I had run a few errands, it had started to sprinkle. Just a fine mist, but water was leaking from the sky.

As I rounded to corner onto Ritter Park, the deluge began. Not just a light sprinkle. This was what the faucet salesman call “rainforest” when trying to sell a fancy showerhead! But cold, very cold.

I did take comfort in the fact that I was not alone in my disappointment. There was a line of cars, each filled with persons (human and canine) dismally eyeing the skies, looking longingly at the paths surrounding Ritter Park.

Sketch from Ritter Park
S. Tschantz

Now Ritter Park is a favorite of artist and joggers alike. It runs for blocks along a creek, and into the hills of Huntington WV. It has jogging/walking paths, playgrounds, tennis courts and picnic shelters. It also contains a rose garden. One of the best rose gardens in the country, and May is usually when it starts to come to life. But that will have to wait for a let up in the monsoon like rains we are getting this year!

From Day spent at Ritter Park
S. Tschantz
 Perhaps later I will get in my day of plein aire!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2012

It’s Arrived!

My sketchbook for the “2012 Sketchbook World Tour Project”.

For me, its just in time. Monday I am taking off with my Mom and older sister to Northern Illinois for a visit with my other three siblings. We have not gotten together for years. Last time we were all together was when my Father became seriously ill, just before his death. That meeting was so overpowering sad, that it almost does not count. This get together is long overdue! We need to get together in a happy sense.

Long Trips and Short Phone Calls

Each person who signed up for the project got to choose a theme for his or her sketchbook. I chose “Long Trips and Short Phone Calls. Seemed like a theme I could relate to, since I am the worst person for phone calls!

It’s a 2 day trip to my younger sister’s house. I guess that does qualify for a long trip. And I seldom make phone calls of more than 15 minutes. I am like my dad in this, as I really don’t like to talk on the phone. I can never think of anything to say until after I hang up.

The Price Of Gas

The price of gas will certainly affect this trip and any future trips I might contemplate. Today it hit $4.29, soon to be $4.50. At these prices the car that once took $20 to fill up now takes $50 or more. How far can you afford to travel when your money is eaten up like this? Like artists are so over paid as it is!

I find I have second or even third thoughts about running up to the store, much less taking an actual trip. I think if my younger brother didn’t already have his tickets, we all might re-consider this!

But I am glad we are not. Yes, it is going to cost more than we thought when we set this up months ago, but we need to see each other. Phone calls and web cam visits just don’t satisfy my growing need to actually see people I am related to. But I need to get what I can from this trip, as it is likely the only one I can afford to make this year.

Plans on Hold

I had planned on attending an oil painting workshop next month at Cheap Joes. I went to one last year, and found it really both fun and educational. Yes, I learned a lot from the teacher, but I got as much from other attendees. Simply being with 20 other people who shared my passion for oil paintings was stimulating artistically. But I don’t know if I can swing it this year.

Another trip in jeopardy is our autumn sojourn to New England. I have been over much of this country, but never to New England. We (hubby and I) had planned on taking two weeks this fall and driving to straight to Maine, then taking our time to drive back. But now, two weeks of driving? That is going to cost a small fortune. A fortune I just don’t have.

My Sketchbook
Trips and Phone Calls

So it looks like my trips will transform into phone calls, and how do you draw a phone call?


For those interested in joining me in this project, here is the link to Art House and the project page:Art House & the Sketchbook Project