Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kaua'i trip summer 2016

Kaua'i landscape; oil on paper, 12" x 16"
   I just got back from a 3 week long trip to the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, where I was able to do some drawings and paintings. It's been my family's routine to leave Charleston every summer, mostly because it gets so unbearably hot here, but also to introduce our kids to different parts of the world (and my wife definitely has the travel bug!). On these long extended trips I like to bring my painting materials as a way to document a different landscape. It usually requires an entire separate suitcase to pack everything, but after a few years of doing this, I've got the routine down. It usually includes the following:
- Jullian half box French easel. I have the full box that I use at home, but the half for traveling because it is smaller and lighter.
- Best Brella umbrella, includes clamp, extension rods and one umbrella
- oil paint packed in plastic Art Bin container. I separate this out from the easel, because the half box is kinda small and doesn't hold all the tubes of paint I use (about a dozen). I'm always afraid of some leaking at 30,000 feet, so this keeps it contained. I print out the material safety data sheet from one of the paint tubes and put it into the paint box in case something comes up with the TSA bag screening. Oil paint is safe to travel with on planes, but the words 'oil' and 'paint' might raise a red flag, so that shows the flash point and other specs.
- brushes in a separate plastic Art Bin brush container. Again, all the brushes usually don't fit in the half box because of the size, and the container has these foam slots which keep the brushes from sliding around and mashing up the ends.
- box of vinyl gloves
- brush cleaner
- C clamp and bungee cord. usually needed to secure the umbrella or palette on a windy day
- back pack to hold everything
- rags
- roll of white artist tape
- can with lid
- Art Bin container with pencils, charcoal pencil, eraser, X-acto blade, and conte crayon.
- a few smaller sized sketch books; I like the Holbein multi-drawing books for watercolor and multi media.
- the solvents are the tricky part, since they are a volatile liquid and definitely wouldn't pass through bag screening. I have to get this stuff at my destination, and fortunately they had a small art supply store on the island where I was able to get turpentine, damar varnish, linseed oil and copal medium. There was also an ACE hardware in town where I got the rags, a few cans with lids, and mineral spirits for cleaning brushes. I try to research all this prior to the trip, and dispose of it before I travel home.
- for travel, the Arches oil paper works great. The paint dries quickly on it and it can be stacked flat, so it takes up less room than framed canvases. The suit case I use has hard sides, so I slip the paper between 2 pieces of cardboard, which is slightly bigger than the paper I'm bringing, then put the whole cardboard/paper sandwich in a clear bag. I usually tape the paper to a board in my studio, but because of the weight, I didn't bring that. A trip to Walmart and $12 got me a cheap 18" x 24" poster frame which was sturdy enough to use for this purpose.
Iron wood tree roots, Tunnels Beach; pencil on paper, 6.5" x 9"
    It was great to be back in Kaua'i again. The last time my wife and I were there was ten years ago, when our oldest son was almost 1 (he actually learned to walk there!) We had also been there on our honeymoon, so Kaua'i holds a special place in our heart. It's just so breathtakingly beautiful, with brilliant color and flora everywhere. I was really captivated by all the different brightly colored flowers near our rental condo and the gnarly tree roots on the beach. My wife was gracious enough to give me time to paint while our kids played on the beach. She did her own body of work too, using watercolor and collage back at our condo. Unfortunately it rained a lot while we were there, so we were stuck inside too much, but there was always a few hours each day where the weather would clear and we could be outside. There was no shortage of inspiration and we were all sad when our 3 weeks were up. Looking forward to going back and hope it doesn't take us another 10 years to do that!
Kaua'i landscape; pencil on paper, 5.5" x 7.5"
Kaua'i landscape; pencil on paper, 5.5" x7.5"
Iron wood tree roots at Ke'e beach; pencil on paper, 6.5" x 9"
Tree roots at Anini Beach; pencil on paper, 6.5" x 9"
False Kamani tree, Puu Poa beach; pencil on paper, 6.5" x 9"
False Kamani tree, hideaways Beach; pencil on paper, 6.5" x 9"
Tree and rock face; pencil on paper, 9" x6.5"
Kaua'i landscape; oil on paper, 12" x 16"
False Kamani tree; graphite/oil on paper, 15" x 22"
Kaua'i flora; oil/graphite on paper, 22" x 15"
Iron wood tree roots; oil/graphite on paper, 22" x 15"
Plumeria tree and flora; oil/graphite on paper, 22" x 15"
Iron wood tree roots; oil/graphite on paper, 22" x 15"

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