You Binge and Then You Purge

I have a tendency to indulge in art supplies. To amass excess things I may never use and keep them indefinitely. This makes my art studio impressive but overwhelming. To top it off, I lost my studio space with the birth of my son almost two years ago. So, I began to ask myself, “How do I make art with my entire studio in storage?”

It is said the most complicated skill is to keep it simple. But, I hear it’s also the most rewarding. Like being able to carry an entire art studio wherever I choose. Simple? Simple like being able to have my entire art studio wherever I want? That question forced me to redefine my idea of art “studio”.  I’ll admit that I’m just not that good at the organizing with my 18 month old, but my goodness, how do I purge myself of my requirements to make art?

I recall that many master artists sketched in watercolor paints and that seemed like less baggage. Since, I needed to get my art-studio into as small a space as possible — a minimalists’ studio, if you will, I wanted something easy to carry in the pocket of my car door kind of studio or in the magazine rack next to my favorite chair.

I began, like many of us do, with a prebuilt watercolor traveler set. But even my much loved American Journey Voyager set seems, at times, too much. And when I look at my palette, I only really use a few of those colors anyway – a red, a yellow, a blue, a flesh tone, a quinacridone gold and black. 6 colors. At three-quarters of a pound that’s a lot of excess weight.

Could I make this even smaller? Like the tiny house craze, my goal had become de-cluttering and reducing my everyday art studio.

So with a couple of items… I’m de-cluttered and ready to bring my studio anywhere.

Cheap Joe’s Nomad Tins make for a perfect palette.

Some empty watercolor pans filled with my colors of choice.

Magnetic tape makes it easy to switch out my palette with other loved colors.

A trusted travel brush and a pencil for applying marks.
Travel Brush and Pencil!

A favorite block or pad completes my portable “studio.” Now I’m ready to paint anywhere as long as I have a cup of water and some napkins handy.

You can still have your studio. And maybe you’ll say, “this is just one more thing to add to my binging on art supplies.” Fine. It’s just that one more thing. But it’s that one more thing that takes up practically no space in my carry-on. One more thing that gives me a creative outlet which provides me peace of mind.

8 Responses

  1. Jane MASON
    June 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Reply

    Such good tips. Thank you.

  2. Joyce
    June 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Reply

    Love it! So compact. A store card fits as a palette. Line the top with a business card fridge magnet that holds a tiny metal brush. Lot of fun!

  3. Gabrielle Carbonneau
    Gabrielle Carbonneau
    June 16, 2017 at 8:50 am | Reply

    Excellent post! I felt as if you were writing my own story!

  4. 15 Minutes of Painting. | Cheap Joe's Art Blog

    […] I said, I had to step out of my comfort zone – make art in a way I had not before. In my previous post, I recalled that the masters sketched in watercolor… and it seemed like less baggage. So how did […]

  5. Randy Doan
    July 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Reply

    I use the the little tins and empty pans as well. But you might this as much as I do. The pans are empty for your own paints. I carry this, a bottle of water, and a moleskin watercolor pad in my purse for everyday, around town sketching. I love it.

  6. Randy Doan
    July 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Reply

    Forgot to post link

  7. Sue Weber
    Sue Weber
    September 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Reply

    This is so look true!! It also goes so well with the blog, “15 Minutes of Painting.” Creating a simple WC pallet, or a pencil holder to always have supplies at hand is vital to keep the creative self alive and well! I don’t go anywhere without some art supplies on hand. I also never sit on the couch to “stream” without art supplies in hand. I vowed when my husband & son got “Netflix,” that I would not sit without being creative & productive at the same time. Having a small, simple WC pallet & paper allows me to enjoy TV time & there’s very little set-up & clean-up!

  8. Len
    October 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Reply

    Adding a waterbrush in this set would make it even more minimalistic. No need to bring a cup of water cause the brush itself holds water.
    So you have watercolor pans in the tin + a watercolor sketch pad + waterbrush + tissue. Just 4 items at most.

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