Sunday, August 4, 2013

Packing Light (for Overseas Painting Workshop)

As our October #Venice workshop gets closer, I start to make mental and physical lists of what to pack (and sadly, what to leave home).  Traveling light is the key, especially in a city like Venice where there are  no cars and walking is the prevalent mode of transportation (unless you ride a vaporetto or a gondola, which have their own issues around carrying heavy suitcases).
Vaporetto - Photo courtesy of
The other day, while visiting Tanger Outlet in Charleston, I wandered into Travelpro Luggage Outlet to see what was new (lighter?) on the market.  After mentioning my preferred budget and requirements for a new suitcase, the nice gentleman that was helping me, pulled out this model below.

24" Walk About Lite 3 (about $85-95)
with Inline Wheels (the salesman said I'd love them, and I think he's right)
It weighs 11 lbs.  That leaves me about 39 lbs for my gear, in order to not exceed the max.
Here's the kicker:  this baby measures only 24"h x 16"w x 12" deep.  I AM taking a carry on with me (it's a converted laptop bag that will house my travel-sized watercolor palette and other inflight necessities).  Does it seem even remotely possible that I can get all my stuff for 2 weeks into this thing?  I told him I'd have to lay out my gear, clothes, etc on the bed and eyeball my pile before I could decide.  But it's my goal to make it work.  I bragged to #KellyMedford, my fellow teacher in Italy, that I was traveling light, and light it shall be!

Note:  I have yet to verify with U.S. Air (which is the airline I'm traveling on) to find out what exactly the maximum size and weight limitations are for carry on and checked luggage, when traveling overseas.  (That's not exactly true...I HAVE tried to read the fine print on their website to no avail and now I have to make myself phone them, or drive out to the airport to ask!  I bought my tickets with "miles" so no travel agent is involved and available to help me).  If anyone out there knows that answer, pleeease send it my way!

In case you're curious about the other watercolor supplies I'm taking with me, you may find my Supply List on my Workshop page by clicking HERE.  If any of you are oil or acrylic painters, don't feel left out.  You're invited too and we'll send Supply Lists for your preferred medium.  Just ask us!

P.S.  The only medium we won't be teaching at this Venice workshop is pastels, but for you pastelists who are thinking of traveling elsewhere with your gear, here's pastelist Richard McKinley's TIPS for traveling light, many of which can pertain to other media just as well.  Wise words!

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Come with me (Helen K. Beacham) and Kelly Medford to paint Venice this October...

Click HERE for details!