View Full Version : Traveling By Plane With Pastels

Kathryn Wilson
06-23-2003, 03:29 PM
Hi Everyone . . . hope someone in the States can help me with this question. We are going to be taking a trip to the Southwest and I want to take my pastels with me. Pretty much have decided what to take, but was wondering if anyone has taken their plein aire kits on an air trip lately. Just concerned for what happens to your stuff when you go through security. Did they take everything apart? Did you send your stuff through baggage or carry it aboard.

Of course, I can always buy when I get there, but how do you get it home! Was looking at the black paper sketch books spiral bound - certainly can't take my boards with me. Any suggestions? I have the Art Bin Pastel carrier for my pastels, so this shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for any suggestions or comments on a recent trip that you might have.

Vegas Art Guy
06-23-2003, 04:47 PM
Well, make sure that if you are bringing anything that might get confiscated (sharp objects, liquids, etc) either put it in your checked baggage or pick it up when you arrive from a local art store. Last year I brought my portable easel with canvases etc, from Las Vegas to Florida as carry on. My palette knives etc were in my suitcase and I had no problems. I did have to open my easel up to show them what it was... :D I don't know about bringing fixatif with you, that you may want to buy when you arrive. Remember do not get nervous, just smile and show them if they ask... I'm going on a trip tomorrow so my easel is packed and ready to go. And my knives ect are in my checked baggage. Hope this helps.


Kathryn Wilson
06-23-2003, 05:01 PM
Thanks Vegas Guy - no fixative, no knives, nothing sharp. Gotcha! Hope you bring back some stuff for us to look at. Have fun!

Vegas Art Guy
06-23-2003, 06:28 PM
the knives you can pack in your checked baggage, just not for the carry on stuff. I want to see your work as well when you come back.

06-23-2003, 06:46 PM
at least you don't woodcarve. :D

06-23-2003, 06:52 PM
Hi I'm travelling on sunday to corfu.....my pastels are comming in my artbin in my hand luggage.......i have some foam core board to use as protection for my papers and to use as drawing boards.....fixative can go in hand luggage the same as hairspray...and other aerosols do. craft knifes in baggage to go in hold.
Hope this helps

Craig Houghton
06-23-2003, 07:48 PM
You are pretty much free to do what you want with checked-in luggage. It's only the carry-on stuff that seems to be looked over closely. You should definitely try to carry-on the fragile stuff though.

Happy pastelling over there!


Kathryn Wilson
06-23-2003, 07:54 PM
I actually got on-line this afternoon and visited Dakota Pastels and found the perfect (at least for me) way to carry the paper. Art Spectrum is my paper of choice and Dakota Pastels has made up a 3-ring binder that holds 12 sheets of Art Spectrum (4 different colors), with glassine inserts to go between each paper sheet. It comes in 2 different sizes, the larger being 11 x 14 with a landscape format. $35.00 for the larger. Refills on both paper and glassine are available. Only minus, is they don't offer the darker paper that I prefer.

It just seems to me to be a perfect traveling compansion, along with the Art Bin tote, I can easily fit them into a canvas tot and put them under my seat.

Anything I can't take on a plane and I want to take home, I'll ship if I have to.


Deborah Secor
06-23-2003, 10:33 PM
Dakota has some great finds, doesn't it? The paper sounds nearly perfect for you!

I gave up my ArtBin a while back and took up using a flat palette box with foam inside it that I carry like a suitcase everywhere I go. (Well, almost everywhere...) That way I have my pastels all laid out in the same order every time, which I like. I've taken it with me on the plane and had no problem storing it flat in the overhead with stuff piled on top of it. (My Great Americans didn't fit in the ArtBin very well--too fat.)

My problem was always how to carry the paintings home with me without damaging them too much. I finally taped them on top of one another in order of size and found that worked pretty well and was very compact.

BTW I saw a new palette at the IAPS convention here in Albuquerque, at the Great American booth, that's made to fit into the drawer of the French easel and fold open. It looked pretty good. It was quite small when folded up but seemed to accomodate a lot of pastels.

Where in the southwest are you going? (Just curious since I live here. :) ) Have a great trip. I, too, want to see the new work...

Kathryn Wilson
06-23-2003, 10:43 PM
Dee_Artist: Ooooh, I am so glad you responded to my post. I have visited your web site and have been wanting to attend all your classes - but here I am in NC. Oh well, someday it may happen. We are planning a trip to take a look around the SW for retirment purposes. I've been several times, but for my hubby it will be his first.

We picked out 4 trip loops, but for our first trip wanted more bang for the buck scenery-wise so picked Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon deChelly. Next time will be New Mexico!

Another question, I have been looking at the Great American pastels in catalogs, but didn't know anyone who had tried them. Can you describe what they are like?

Going to buy Art Spectrum pastels for the trip - they seem to work best with the paper I like.

Deborah Secor
06-23-2003, 11:43 PM
First off, beware that I have my own signature set of Great American pastels, so I may be a little prejudiced! LOL

I find the GAs to be as creamy soft as the Schmincke pastels. They have a feel that's as soft as talcum powder (that's a description of my impressions, not an ingredient!) smoothed over creamy soft butter. Silky soft.

I'm absolutely hooked on the unusual colors Bob makes. Once you use them you can't give them up--and you can't find them anywhere else. Look for 'Burnt Reynolds' (bet you can guess what color that is) and 'Perry Winkle.' I also like supporting an American enterprise--though I'm not averse to buying German, French and other country's pastel brands too.

If you like soft, soft, soft pastels, the GAs are for you. I started my students painting with NuPastels and GAs, thinking they would do need a mixture. Now I find they do better with the soft ones in the long run, though I still favor a mix of harder and softer ones myself.

I've recently become enamoured of the Pastels Girault. I did a demonstration for them at the IAPS convention last month. I want both kinds in my palette.

Maybe one day I'll do a workshop in NC. I'm sticking close to home for another year or so, until my son graduates from high school, before I start traveling to do workshops but I just love the idea of painting all over this beautiful country. Soon, I hope...

Enjoy your wonderful trip!

06-24-2003, 12:30 AM
You can make your own paper books using the Art Spectrum cut into the size you like the best, then cut glassine the same size, then punch two holes in the side of all this stacked together. Use one of those round rings in each hole. Cut a piece of foamcore for a front and a back so you can rubber band the book to keep it tightly closed while traveling or use a couple of bulldog clips to keep the pages you work on clipped together. This way you you can use any color paper.

If you have a box with the foam still in it, use this for your pastels. They will get a lot of bouncing around and need to be protected.

I have a set of the Great American's too...landscape set, and absolutely love them!!! They are really buttery soft but don't fall apart. I just bought the landscape set of Unison's from Jackson's Art in England!! I'm excited about giving them a tryout in a plein air workshop in July!

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Kathryn Wilson
06-24-2003, 07:28 AM
Dee_Artist: Thanks for the info on Great American - now I can feel confident about purchasing. I am fortunate in that Jerry's Artarama made its home in Raleigh, NC and I can go into their store to try out things.

Another thought, Dee, on classes. Jerry's has been offering tons of classes in Raleigh from some really well-known artists, but only one pastel class and there are very few people in this area that want to teach pastels. My own inspiration, Anne LaPerre, has stopped teaching to concentrate on her painting and I miss going to her classes. You might consider coming here!

Carly: Yes, I had thought about creating my book, especially since they don't offer my favorite colors, although you do get 12 sheets of paper and glassine in between.