In the “The Art of Travel” article in the January 2007 issue of American Artist, watercolorist Gayle Garner Roski explained how art enhanced her traveling experiences, allowing her to better appreciate her surroundings. Here, Roski further describes the travel kit she takes with her on her trips.
by Linda S. Price
|A picture of the travel
kit Roski uses to transport
her watercolor supplies.
During her journeys to exotic locations around the world, Los Angeles watercolorist Gayle Garner Roski always finds time for art. “In the beginning, I would look for the perfect subject,” the artist says. “Now I realize that wherever I am—whether it’s on top of a mountain or sitting in an airport waiting for a flight—there is always something interesting to paint.”
Being prepared to capture these interesting subjects at any given moment requires an organized approach, and Roski has it down to a science. The painting kit she carries with her on her travels fits into a small cooler bag designed to hold a six-pack of beer. All 50 of her colors travel in convenient metal boxes that she designed for that purpose. Before painting, Roski fills the metal wells and lets the paint dry. Then, when she is finished painting, she covers the wells with a napkin to absorb the excess water and paint. Once the paints are completely dry she washes off the entire box with a small amount of water. Along with her paints, she carries five brushes in a pencil case: round kolinsky sables with clear acrylic handles from Silver Brush Limited in Nos. 2, 7, and 12; a flat, 1” synthetic; and a Fritch scrubber for lifting color and creating highlights. Also included in her kit are a tiny spray bottle for adding liquid to her paints, tissues, pencils, and erasers; and indelible ink pens with fine points in black and brown. Roski likes these pens because she can apply washes over them. Her water usually comes from bottles of drinking water, but in a pinch she has been known to draw water from a nearby stream.
2005, watercolor, 30 x 22. Collection Tirage Art Gallery, Pasadena, California.
2001, watercolor, 29 ¾ x 49 ½. Collection Jerry Hadley and Ron Coté.
Roski doesn’t always use a sketchbook, preferring instead to cut up Arches 140-lb cold- pressed sheets into 8 ½”-x-11” pieces that she stores in a box, with the finished sketches protected in a plastic bag at the bottom. She likes this size because it fits on her scanner and home printer and into the plastic sheet protectors she uses when she collects her sketches in a binder.
Not all of the artist’s travel paintings are done on-site, so she carries a digital camera with her as well. At one time she also carried a small printer, but she now uses a laptop computer to pull up images for reference when painting in her hotel room.
Linda S. Price is an author, writer, and editor living on Long Island, New York.