The 25+ years I spent traveling to become theTravelsketcher taught me to travel light. Five weeks in Europe with a carry-on size roller bag is the norm. I learned long ago that if you are considering packing something, “because I might need it,” you should leave it at home. Large luggage slows you down, makes getting on and off of trains and subways challenging, or climbing the stairs of that quaint hotel in Moustiers-sainte-Marie exhausting, and then the reality is that when you pack for everything, half of what you pack never gets used.
The same logic applies to my travelsketching kit. Like most artists I am attracted to every shiny new object. Yet when I travel, even just around the town I slim thing down. As a result I have two standard kits, the main kit and the never-leave-home-without-it set up.
A travelsketcher should be able to capture the moment in a sketch at anytime. These two options make it possible.
My main kit fits in a small Timbuk2 bag. A few pens, 1 or 2 waterbrushes, a regular brush, an art-toolkit paint pallet, collapsible water container, etc. There is a 3.5”x5.5” sketchpad inside, but it will even hold a larger pad, though I usually just carry the larger one in my hand. The configuration of the bag allows me to keep it on my shoulder and still access everything I need,
Then there are times when I need to travel even lighter. Thanks to Maria at Expiditionary Art, and her new mini-pallet this kit just got kicked up a notch. Everything fits in a 7x10cm Herschel Leather pouch.
My Mini Palette is loaded with 12 colors, plenty. And even though I stuff a small sketchpad in my pocket most times, I do carry a few trading card sized pieces of watercolor paper just in case I need to travel ultra-light. The water brush is actually about ¼ inch too long, so it does protrude a bit, but I can carry it separately, or leave it and use the travel brush.
Packing light does not mean going without, it means freedom. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” or nothing extra to lug around. Enjoy sketching, anyplace or anytime.