The duffle bags are out of the closet and the piles of clothes, supplies and equipment are on the bed. That’s as far as I am right now. Hoping all I have to take will fit in. I have splurged this year and bought a duffle on wheels from MEC so that it will be easier to move all this stuff around. The wheeled version will have my personal travel stuff, my clothes for Kenya (most of which I plan to leave there), my clothes for Amsterdam (warm stuff, especially for outdoor sketching), my food (power bars mostly and granola) and my art supplies. The second duffle will have the hooking and school supplies. I can take two 50 pound bags to Nairobi, but there I have to shed one and send it by bus. This is always a moment of panic for me as I see all the donated hooking and school supplies being hurtled away, but each year the bag miraculously appears the next day in Matangwe on the bus. So fingers crossed for this year again.
I have been making decisions about my sketching kit. For the first time, I’ve decided to use a large sketchbook which will encourage me to take a looser approach and fill a page with related sketches, making a kind of narrative. Above is the opening page. Following the example of some urban sketchers I admire (here and here), I’ve sketched much of what will be in my kit. This small palette forces me to limit the paints I take. These are my favourites, especially terre vert, payne’s gray and sepia from Sennelier. I think it is as much the memory of the snooty place on the Seine as it is the depth and richness of these colours.
I have made myself a leather case to hold my brushes. I’m pretty happy with it because it protects the brushes and fits neatly in with my gear. In addition I’ll have a small pencil case, the palette box and a water bottle. I’m trying to keep it simple, so that I’ll have the kit with me all the time. Of course I’d love to have my stool and back board–but not this trip. Anyway, a good excuse for shaky lopsided sketches!