My art kit is modified every time I head into the field. I thought I’d share some of the variations I’ve used and experimented with.
This kit was the one I used around the world. It’s a durable tacklebox that my mother bought me at Fred Meyer, and carries my paint brushes, watercolor palette, water jar, extra ink, and all sorts of goodies. Since traveling around the world, I’ve added velcro tape (a wonderful invention) to anchor my palette and water jar to the box lid. This means when I’m in the field, I can get out what supplies I need, close the box (so nothing blows away), and can keep track of what is out. The velco has been particularly useful for when I’m working on boats and on steep slopes (such as glaciers…) when my supplies could be easily lost.
Thinking about weight and portability, I got excited this past winter about art kits made from Altoids tins. They’re small, inexpensive, and well… cute. I made one for my trip to Antarctica using Sculpey clay for the palette, which worked well except that is was dense (check out my Feb 1 post). It was too heavy for backpacking so I explored other ideas. I found half pans for sale at Daniel Smith and began supergluing them into the tins (after I painted the interior for a nice white palette) which is lighter and yeilds a lot of possibilities. Above is a kit I made for the Girls on Ice program and below is a pencil box I’ve modified into an art kit.
I cut a yogurt container lid into a shelf and can carry some extra materials.
On the note of half pans, here is another Altoid kit I’ve made using velcro instead of glue so I can change out the colors.
These have all been fun, but are best for around town sketching. I’m still trying out what is best for the mountains. This Sunday I’m heading for a week to the Cariboo Mountains in British Columbia to work with a scientist on a glacier monitoring trip. We’ll have a lot of gear to carry, so I’m considering what the lightest and most efficient art kit will be for me. So far, I have a 9″ x 4.5″ tackle box that fits my paint brushes (the ends of which I’ve cut off), some pens, pencils, erasers, and clips. I can carry a small palette and water container separately. This afternoon I’m driving up to Mazama in the Methow Valley to drop my boyfriend Darin Reid off for an Outward Bound course (in addition to being a wonderful web designer, he’s a kayaker extraordinaire) and will test out my new kit before I head up north.
The box is only half of the puzzle- I’m still working out what paper to bring. This weekend before I go, I’ll try and share the variety of portfolios and paper packets I’ve used in the field.
7 Responses to “Art Kits”
I love seeing what other people use. I haven’t yet tried making an Altoids tin kit myself. I’d have to find someone willing to eat the mints first. :) I like your velcro idea. I haven’t seen anyone do that before.
I’ve given up on carrying little water cups for rinsing brushes and use water brushes in my travel kits (obviously don’t work on large paper away from home) and keep the cups and brushes for larger at-home stuff.
i up cycled old magnetic cards super glued to pans
Maria, based on your Daniel Smith lecture, I made myself a portable kit from a metal Rotring box. Not quite as large as your 7″ x 2″ pencil box watercolor kit, but it still fits 3 drawing tools and paint. I can send you a couple photos if you are interested. The box, a hand+book journal co. sketchbook, and my Canon ELPH camera I’m set to go.
I’m so happy you’re enjoying your paint-box! Having portable art supplies is key. Enjoy!
Shades of Fall: North Cascades Institute Workshop | Maria Coryell-Martin: Expeditionary Art
[…] media and everyone will receive a custom pocket-sized watercolor kit (view examples of mine here). Learn more and register online at the Institute’s website. No comments on Shades […]
Love your small kits. On the pencil box kit, I don’t know if I’m OCD or what, but it drives me crazy that all the little trays aren’t facing the same direction. lol That won’t stop me from copying your ideas though. ; )
Thank you! These are some of my earliest experiments. You can see how my Art Toolkit evolved and developed further and finally the Art Toolkit and Pocket Palette in my shop.