Friday, October 20, 2006

Headin' West -- And Packin' the Oils

This week, I'm heading to Sedona for the Sedona Plein Air Festival. I'm one of 30 artists lucky enough to be invited to this prestigious event. (Check out www.sedonapleinairfestival.com) I'm looking forward to painting the red rocks and the yellow cottonwoods, which are spectacular this time of year.

When I agreed to do this event, which culminates in a Patron's Gala and art auction, I lived in New Mexico -- just a day's drive away. Now I live in the Canadian Maritimes, and from there it's hard to get to Sedona even in one day by plane.

Strange as it may sound for a travelling, professional artist and workshop instructor, I have not yet -- until now -- had the experience of flying my art materials. Typically, my wife and I drive to events and workshops, no matter how far away, since we usually work them into one of our annual cross-country trips. The one time I did fly, I ordered new materials and had them drop-shipped to my destination, and then I shipped them back on the return.

So, with the new, tighter TSA flying regulations, you can understand I was a little nervous about this trip, especially with oil paints. I made sure to stick a sheet of paper with the phrase "Artist's Colours, Made with Vegetable Oils" in the box I packed the oil paints in, along with a sample MSDS (Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheet) and a copy of Robert Gamblin's newsletter on travelling with these items. (See www.gamblincolors.com.) I checked EVERYTHING -- "artist's oil colours," brushes, pochade box and tripod.

I was also worried about luggage loss. So, I made a detailed list of the items I took along with their value, and then I took photos of the contents of the suitcase. Here are the photos:

The good news, the luggage did not get lost. I flew from Portland, ME, yesterday to El Paso*, TX, and now it's now in my hands, and ready to drive with me to Sedona.

I'll post more as events unfold in Sedona.

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*(Why did I fly to El Paso? It has nothing to do with the Rolling Stones, who are giving a concert in town tonight. But wouldn't it be nice to get tickets?)

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