2014 Top Ten Art Supplies and Travel Gear Awards
Happy New Year!
Number One – Awarded on December 23, 2014 – My top ranked travel/en plein air gear of 2014 is ….. surprisingly ……. my striped easel bag. It is incredibly multi-purpose and transportable. Click here to see my blog post.
Number Two – Awarded on December 24, 2014 – Zip pocket cargo pants made by HardWear. Zip pockets are essential! I can’t afford to lose either phone (which functions more for me as a camera than a phone) or art supplies. My phone fits into the left pocket and a small sketchbook, waterbrush, travel brush, extra water, wrist sock and paint palette fit nicely along with my ID and money in my right pocket. The pants are lightweight and dry quickly. When traveling, these are the only pants I bring. As backup, I bring one travel dress to wear when these are drying (after washing if necessary).
The following listing is not necessarily in order of usefulness. They are all indispensable.
I am excluding my camping gear from the listing. It took me a great deal of time to research and determine which camp gear would work the best for me and I was not disappointed by my choices. Visit my camping equipment page for details. The awards are being given for specifically Art Related Gear.
Number Three – Awarded on December 25, 2014 – The SHY Palette. I had my doubts about the SHY Palette. The depth of the palette when folded exceeds my “Travel Light and Small” criteria and the pans are not removable. My doubts vanished when I found it to be fantastic for plein air painting in Provence as well as extremely useful in my home studio.
This is not meant to be a palette that fits into my pocket. The SHY Palette takes the place of my large, John Pike Palette while on the road. It stores plenty of paint and provides multiple areas for mixing. The separate wells help to keep colors clean. In each well I can mix four variations of a hue by using the sides in addition to the base of the well. Sometimes I use a well as a water container or to mix up a large wash of color. When folded it can fit into my shoulder bag or my striped, easel bag (shown above). The John Pike Palette cannot. (I still love the John Pike Palette, just not for travel.)
Number Four – Awarded on December 26th – Pocket Palette created by Maria Coryell-Martin of Expeditionary Art. Genious! I have now adapted her use of magnets to my Altoid Tin pocket painter kits as well as creating a palette to be used in my Color Scheme Game Workshops that allow students to work in a circle and not waste the paint left over at the end of the workshop. Thank you Maria! The tiny palette holds plenty of paint for several days of exploring a new city or mountain. I use only the top seven pans for paint. I use the bottom seven pans for mixing clean colors.
Number Five – Awarded on December 27th – Nested Water Containers. How did I ever live without these? Three separate containers are a must for me. One to clean the ink on my dip pen, one to clean my watercolor brushes and one for sparkling clean water to keep my paints from turning into muddy mixes.
Number Six – Awarded on December 28th – Da Vinci Travel Brush. The tip of this little brush is so responsive that I end up using it in my studio as well as when I travel. This brush is like a great fountain pen. It feels like an extension of my body.
Number Seven – Awarded on December 30th – Wrist Sock for cleaning brushes. I learned about this online and promptly sorted through my husband’s sock drawer, making wrist brush cleaner bands out of every sock that have even a hint of a hole. At first I used them only when painting en plein air and when on-the-go. Now I use a sock wrist band daily in and out of my studio. Genius!
Number Eight – Awarded on December 31st – Alvin Water Color Palette. though this folding palette can be used to store paint, I use it only for its mixing surfaces. It has an extra. clear tray that provides even more room to mix colors and keep them clean. When fclosed it measures 10.75″ x 5″ x .625″. This, combined with my Shy palette allows me to paint large with juicy washes. Great for travel. Fits easily into my day bag when exploring cities.
Number Nine – Awarded on December 31st – An old leather folder that belonged to my grandmother. It measures 7.75″ x 9.5″ x .25″ (when it isn’t holding several sheets of Watercolor paper, safely inside. Fits easily into my shoulder bag, protecting my paper both before and after painting. It also works as a support surface as I’m drawing and painting!