Packing For An Art Workshop

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend a wonderful all inclusive fine arts workshop paid for by my state department of education and private donors. It was held in the cradle of an ancient mountain range along granite boulders and lapping waters.
I was thrilled to be able to attend this year as this is the first time I will be eligible for the art classes since I am an art teacher.
Packing for something like this can be challenging. You get a basic supply list but you dont know your syllabus so there might be other things you want. The workshop is hours away from my home so I have to make good guesses about what I’ll want. I might not use anything I bring as I did pay a studio fee for things like paper and drawing materials.

Using that information I start to make lists. I made a list of ideas of things to draw, things to pack in my suitcase, things to pack in my drawing bag, and things I need to get. Then I get to work planning. I have to find out what the weather will be, what materials I really want to work with and how to keep it all paired down!

I brought my fountain pens- from left a Medium  nib Waterman with black ink, an extra fine Lamy Joy with brown ink, an extra fine nib Cross with black ink and a medium nib Cross with brown ink. I inherited all except the Lamy from my Dad.
Getting ready to fill the pens! I don’t take ink bottles with me. Thanks to Liz Steele I found non-water-soluable ink that was safe for fountain pens. It is deArtremis Document ink and it was a game-changer for my art.

I bought a new apron for the class which I used everyday as we worked a lot in charcoal and pastels. I also bought a new pad of paper that I didn’t use at all because I loved the paper provided for us. (I will use it later though.)

I brought my Molly Mouse illustrations to work on in some down time. I did get to do that one day, otherwise the schedule was very full.

I brought my art stix, but never used them as I had fun with the class sets of pastels instead. I also didn’t use my teacher journal until I got home. At that point I transcribed my notes that I scribbled next to my drawings in my sketchbook. I didn’t have time to use either of the watercolor journals. I didn’t use the bristol paper either!
I brought my Winsor & Newton field box and my Schminke box (both filled with W&N watercolors. In the middle are pencils and things. On the left a Moleskine case holds my headphones and cords. On the bottom are my favorite Prismacolors in a sliding case. On the right in a metal pencil box are my Caran D’ache water-soluable colored prncils. In the lid are my travel brushes: Escoda Reservas, and Da Vinci Kolinsky Sables.

I also had to take rain gear as we walk a ways to get from our lodge to the studios and the restaurant. I brought books for inspiration and loaded my phone with pictures of inspiring things to draw.

Then I was off! It was a long drive so I listened to my favorite true crime and paranoid podcast, The 13 O’Clock Podcast. When I got there I found that the workshop materials were very nice and of good quality. Also, I did not have time to do a lot if extra work, so I didn’t use a lot if what I brought. I’m glad I brought it (for just in case), but I wish I hadn’t drug it all the way to my room from the car!!!

Oh what fun I had with pastels. I hadn’t used this medium since I was a kid. I love chalk and chalkboards, so it was a natural fit! Pastels are reeeeaaallyy expensive. Thats the biggest reason I haven’t used them. But the Prisma set I was using probably isn’t too bad!

What I really loved was the printmaking elective I got to be in. I asked if I could br assistant because I missed the sign-ups. Thankfully my teacher said yes because I learned so much and just became enamored with the tiny 3:1 press we were using! I hope to buy one of my own soon and make prints with my students.

Our class collaborated on a piece together. We had to destroy and rebuild it over and over. Erase, erase!
Here is a close-up of an iris I did with pastels.
I brought some Alice inspiration with me. I also did a lot of work about the patterned windows in the house. They remind me of the looking glass.


It was an incredible week and I can’t wait to share everything I learned with my classes!


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