By Wendy P. Jones
It’s so romantic to see artists standing on the beach or in the middle of a flower field painting. And though I’d love to paint in a stunning spot, I tend to have small windows of time in which to paint. I love to paint, though, so I make it work.
I’ve painted in a parking lot when I was waiting to pick up one of my kids from school. More than once, I’ve painted in the bathtub. I’ve painted in a hotel bed. And I painted in the waiting room of a hospital when my daughter was having surgery—it helped me pass the time and kept me from going insane.
One of my guiding principles is that if something or someone is important to you, you make time. And painting is my happiness, so I’m going to find a way. For the most part, I paint for a half hour here, a half hour there, so I’ve come up with ways to make the best of that time.
Focus not on why you can’t, but on how you can.
Four Grab-and-go Watercolor Essentials
I bring an in-process painting when I’m on the go. The initial stage is the messiest and requires the most water, but a painting that’s in the refinement stage is pretty manageable for wherever I’m likely to end up. As for size: I work on large pieces in my studio space, but any piece 14” x 18” or smaller is a pretty good candidate for mobile painting.
Sometimes, I bring a watercolor kit, but most of the time, I grab the four items below and carry them in a tote or even tuck them into my purse.
- A painting that’s still attached to a watercolor block or is taped to a hard board
- My palette (which I always wrap in a plastic bag)
- A size 10 brush and a rigger
- A travel mug with a lid that has a mouth opening—I usually keep the lid on and dip my brush into the mouth opening
That’s it. Super simple. And that simplicity is how I get to paint often.
I’d love to hear what’s important in your life, and how you’ve found a way to make time for it.