I've been accused, and rightly so, of over-packing my art supplies on my travels.
So this year, embarking on an annual trek 750 miles away, I have endeavored to limit my watercolor art supplies to what I consider to be the absolute bare minimum.
It was actually a really soft lovely leather bag that enabled me to do this. It is taller than it is wide, so I have the ability to put in it my long landscape sketchbooks. It is commodious. It is large enough to contain what I consider my essentials, but small enough to easily carry.
Here's what it contains:
My antique Cadbury candy tin containing a half pan of every watercolor color I like.
A pencil box full of my favorite brushes and pens, including mechanical pencils and extra leads.
A plastic container that doesn't leak for water.
A tiny bottle of gesso.
A bottle of ink.
Five sketchbooks I am currently keeping.
Paper towels, and a tiny container of brush cleaner.
For me, this is the absolute minimum.
I feel somehow freed by this very contained portable studio. Not having access to my great hoard of art supplies constrains me to focus my creative intentions.
Now, I must admit I also packed a very large tote bag of my favorite inspirational books. And my large double tray tin of water soluble crayons.
Having limitations and boundaries can be very freeing, especially if you're the kind of artist that works on many projects. It forces you to concentrate on one type of work, one set of tools and techniques. Your creative mind knows that the focus is specific.
You are working with self imposed limitations.
And the best part is that no matter what, wherever you are, a very quickly assembled studio is immediately available.