Travel Tips for outdoor painters: Part 3

painters travel tips 3-water-carriers-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Travel tips – Part 3

For now, this will be the final issue in painters travel tips. Today’s post is about collapsible water carriers and blu-tac. Well, I didn’t promise excitement every time!

Water carriers

painters travel tips 3-water-carriers-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

Carriers need to be the lightest possible of course! I have moved from clean plastic soda or milk bottles, to hikers’ water carriers. These are not only light but also collapsible so you really have less bulk to carry home. Their bulkiest part is the cap and nozzle. I usually carry enough for painting and a bit to drink. The cap allows for pouring, squirting and drinking. This particular type stands upright when it holds water. I use three or four on one outing, but usually bring a little water home. Three is just right.

These bottles are expensive to buy (about $19AUD) but I managed to find them at a January half-price sale two years in a row! Recently, I noticed some at an Oxfam shop in the UK but didn’t check their price.

painters travel tips 3-standing water carrier-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia


It may not be glamorous, but isn’t blu-tac useful? This is the everyday person’s industrial chewing gum. It has more uses in the field than I can count. Just carry some whenever you go out to paint – simple as that. It does soften and slip a bit in the hot weather, but a bit of hitching overcomes that.

Guessing that you don’t need to see a photo of some blu-tac waiting for use, here is a healthy reminder to end on! I will let you add your own caption…..

painters travel tips 3-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-eat fruit


Picture-plane massacre – a painting demonstration

A picture-plane massacre? How could that happen? This post from the past tells the tale of a painting to forget!

Things have been quiet around the seascapes laboratory lately, but I feel compelled to post the evidence of the recent massacre of the picture plane. Perhaps it was more of a mess-acre. Anyway, just for fun here are some happy snaps.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

As you can see, especially if you click to zoom in, I was at a local kindergarten. Just a few days before an overseas trip and suffering from vertigo I followed through on my commitment to demonstrate what an artist “does”. It was also a good chance for me to try out my new travel kit.

Bending down to set it up made me giddy but that settled enough to allow me to work.

The picture-plane

The picture-plane is actually the painter’s coal-face. It is a word which refers to the painting surface but in its abstract sense. It is on this plane that the magic happens. Or not. In this case it is a handy title, because my work that day wasn’t much of a painting.

In this photo you can get a glimpse of the playground equipment in the background. It fascinated me but also led me on a merry chase as you can see.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

The kindergarten staff said they would like to keep the painting, much to my horror. It was one for the bin. But, they were kind people who appreciated my visit and I think they wanted to give me a boost!

The new outdoor kit

So moving right along, how did the “new” kit work?

As well as the wobbles I had that morning, the paintbox wobbled even more. Desperate to make it stable before our trip, I tried ropes between box and tripod. It was good enough to work with although not really stable. Unfortunately the box weighed a ton and for travel it needed a very big suitcase. A few issues for improvement took my mind off the picture-plane massacre!

That box is still in use in 2017. Still heavy, but now fitting on a stronger easel it is much more stable. I dream of a light, inexpensive paintbox. Dreams are a good start I find. And you?

picture-plane massacre-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia