Sunday, October 9, 2016

Traveling with Pastels and TSA....

Sometimes traveling with art supplies can be a pain

Painted Plein Air in Douglas , MA.
Shimmery watercolors which glisten in light.
 In my Etsy shop pagibbons

Pastel done plein air last year. Pastel on Rives BFK paper.
In my etsy shop pagibbons
I see that my last post here was March. No no no.  I must be more regular. However, once I closed down my Rhinebeck studio, ( a HUGE financial weight, and time sucker)  allowed me to be a free bird for a while, so that I could really taste what retirement is about.

I have been traveling since April. California. North Carolina. Tennessee. Lake George. Douglas, Cape Cod, Maine. Hard to believe that once upon a time I had a traveling phobia!  I painted a few oil paintings plein air (one of which just sold!) and took tons of photographs for inspiration for winter's paintings.  I made many small post-card size landscape sketches  mostly executed in watercolor which I have listed in my pagibbons Etsy shop.

When I travel, at the minimum I carry is several sets of Kremer watercolors, a pad of watercolor postcards, my Moleskine watercolor books, and some 5 x 5" squares of a variety of papers and surfaces, a few markers and my Pentel waterbrushes. If I am driving, I can also take my oils and pastels, although I discovered that watercolors are far more portable and practical.

While on a trip to Tennessee for 9 days, I had work to do for a show. I was flying, so oils were out of the question (dry time etc.). I packed the watercolors, ink pens, and 2 boxes of pastels. One is a box of Sennielier, which I love for their buttery feel and application.  The other is a divided plastic bead box, each compartment filled with rice and  Diana Townsend pastels.  Both ways I was stopped and thoroughly searched, my luggage flagged.  I think I had some pastel dust on my clothes which glowed, and the pastels apparently contain some chemical components which flag the TSA since my watercolors have never been flagged. On the way back I put my pastels on TOP of my luggage to facilitate their search....

So let this be a warning: art supplies often contain chemicals which show up on the TSA scans. They also contain chemicals harmful to you, but that is for another blog. Pack your art supplies on the top of your luggage, and plan plenty of time to compensate for the delays you may experience!