Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unfurling with Travel and "Mail-Art"

Leslie here.  I am currently in Amsterdam with my husband.  I'm tagging along while his company is doing a trade show.  I love the city of Amsterdam, no matter what the weather.
When I travel to places other than quilt shows and mixed-media events (where I take everything but the kitchen sink!) I use only one carry-on bag.  I guess I've had one-too-many lost bag episodes when going overseas and I don't want to mess with it anymore.  Because my packing space is quite limited I am forced so severely edit my "stuff", clothing and otherwise.
For this trip I carried more art-making supplies than usual.  I hope to engage a few other people I know into some art making while here so I brought some extra markers, pens, and paper.  I thought it might be interesting to show what I carry, and ask what you take with you when you travel.
Right:  pad of stonehenge paper, 2 sets of Sakura pens/markers
Left:  my clear plastic zipper bag with the following:
gel adhesive (less than 4 oz for travel)
several Copic sketch markers
one good watercolor brush
small travel watercolor set (I removed the watercolors and replaced them with gouache)
graphite pencil/sharpener/eraser
2 pads of 4x6 watercolor postcards
double-sided tape
2 sets of letter stencils
2 sharpie pens

I have an old habit of sending myself (and others) postcards when I travel.  I love opening the mailbox 2 or 3 weeks after I return from Europe to find a postcard from the trip.  It is like a small, freeze-frame memory of the time there.  My friend Billie calls these "exquisite moments".  I like that.
Here is the view of (wet) Amsterdam from the window in front of my 
hotel room desk

an array of my travel art supplies
Here is a postcard of a recent quilt I made using a photograph I took while on a previous trip
to Amsterdam.  It is called "Amsterdam Alley:  The Shortcut Between".
See the photo in the center (transferred onto cloth)?
This quilt is a curator's piece in "The Space Between" exhibition.
Size: 4 feet long by 3 feet wide.  I thought it would be fun to mail a postcard from here with this image!

I would like to know whether you carry art supplies when you travel.  If so, what do you take and how do you make use of them?  Do you use a journal?  Send postcards?  I want to hear from you!
Also, I will be posting images from my trip on my blog, so stop by!


  1. You can tell you really put some thought into your packing. Your gonna have great results for it. can't wait to see what you get. Have fun and share soon. :0)

  2. I love the picture with "alley". You desk looked like my when I was in Paris a few years ago. I enjoyed collecting stuff for collaging and making art while I was there.

  3. What a wonderful adventure and I'm looking forward to seeing more. Enjoy. xx

  4. I enjoyed seeing what you pack for your travels. Lately, I've been taking one sketchbook and some watercolor pencils and a glue stick. I glue in any and all assorted receipts, etc and then draw or color around & on top of it.

  5. I always carry travel watercolors, waterbrush, bristol vellum and Pitt Pens. Can't wait to see what else you do!

  6. Leslie, this is so inspiring. I never seem to be able to get that organized when I travel. I usually end up with a glue stick, some pan watercolors, a couple of pencils and Pitt artist's pens, and a sketch pad. I'm going to "take a page from your book" next time!

  7. what a great idea to send yourself postcards - love that!

  8. Great to see your travel supplies! I don't always take art supplies with me but I sometimes do for pleasure trips where I am staying in one place (vs travelling every day).

    My last vacation to Mexico I did a whole sketchbook on things I observed at the resort (my supplies are also shown on one of the posts).

    Great to see others creating while travelling!

  9. fun post Leslie! Love the shot of your room and view of Amsterdam.

  10. I always carry a journal (usually made specifically for the trip), 4-5 pens, a pencil, my watercolor crayons, a glue stick, and children's scissors (the past few years, they have let me on the plane with scissors! However, when I traveled internationally, I put them in my suitcase just to be safe.)

  11. Oh, my husband was on IBC these past days :) I stayed at home with the kids. I always pack some supplies and my AJ when I travel and when we go to the seaside for summer vacation time, I also pack blank postcards. This year the kids made them almost all by themselves, see here
    Bye, Kitty