Thursday, August 21, 2014

All My Bags Are Packed. . .

8/21/14 Platinum Carbon ink, Van Gogh watercolor, Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook
(My faithful Rickshaw finally gets to travel with me.)
Well, not quite all, but my Rickshaw Zero bag is!

During the past two years that my purple Rickshaw has been my faithful everyday carry, I’ve always taken some other bag when I’ve traveled because the Rickshaw just isn’t big enough for all the additional essentials that travel requires. But taking an unfamiliar bag meant feeling disoriented – nothing was where I expected it to be (as if travel isn’t disorienting enough).

Not this time! My beloved Rickshaw is coming with me to Brazil, along with a simple tote for the rest – a sweet solution. As a result, the following are the only sketch-material-related travel prep tasks I had to do this week:

  • I stitched up 10 signatures for the Stefano. Think that’s too many? I filled nine last year in Barcelona and Germany during a trip almost as long. (I’m putting the signatures – along with inconvenient items such as clothes – into my roller bag this afternoon; we’ll see if I have to leave a few of those 10 behind.) (Edited 3:15 p.m.: They all fit! I may have to check a bag on the flight home, though.)

  • To avoid inky messes (like the one I got last month flying to L.A. because I forgot the lesson I learned two years ago), I filled my fountain pens and ink-filled waterbrushes completely. This seems counterintuitive – wouldn’t more ink in the reservoir allow for more leakage? But at high altitudes, air expands, pushing the ink out. If a reservoir is completely filled, there’s no air to expand, reducing the chance of leakage. That’s the theory, anyway. (If that solution happens to fail, I put potentially leaky pens and waterbrushes in a sealed plastic bag.)

  • The supply of watercolor paints, inks and other materials that I carry every day should be sufficient for the duration of my trip, so I’m not taking spares (last year I brought several ink cartridges that I never used). The only exception is one spare cartridge of Platinum Carbon Black, because that’s probably difficult to find in Brazil.

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