Monday, April 26, 2010

Portable Art for Small Spaces

Working in small spaces was the theme this weekend as I took my collage supplies back to the dressing room of the Show Stoppers dance competition in Fort Lauderdale.

While my daughter danced her heart out, I was in the audience. However, anyone who has been to a competition weekend knows, there is a lot of down time spent in the locker room.

The key to working in small spaces is to compact your supplies into a workable and portable format.

My Art on the Road Supply List
  • Gallon Zip Bags - packed with a wide variety of textures and patterns, divided by color
  • One or two old books -  pertinent material to your subject matter
  • Bag of Postage Stamps - I collected mine on eBay
  • Scrap Box - for all the pieces you tear that are too small to go back in the Zip Bags, keep adding them to the scrap box. I use a shoe sized plastic box with snap lid. Sometimes the scrap box has just the tidbit you are looking for
  • Small plastic container - filled with Acrylic Gloss Gel Medium (the glue) and a tight-fitting lid. I keep this inside the scrap box for double protection.
  • #8 Filbert synthetic brush, my favorite for glue
  • Coffee Cup or other vessel for water - When you have to stop your collage work here and there, it's best to put the brush in water while you are gone, to prevent the glue from drying out
  • Tote Bag - hold it all together in something you can throw over your shoulder!
  • Small Prepared Panels - I brought three 12x12 wood panels that I had primed with clear gesso and painted  birds on, ready to collage. Keep it to a size that will fit in your lap.
I managed to finish three collages over the weekend from Friday morning to Sunday night. I would be much more efficient if I were in my studio, but I did not have to abandon art making for the weekend, just because I was out of town and away from my studio space. 

We also visited the Boca Raton Museum of Art (Elvis at 21, Photos by Alfred Wertheimer, and remembering Stanley Boxer, A Retrospective) while we were in South Florida, and Gallery Center. I always take the time to visit a gallery or museum when I am in a city away from home. You never know when you will get the chance to go back!


  1. I would never in a million years have thought of taking paper painting portable. Wow. What a great idea. And the dancers were enthralled too! Who was the person at the top of post?

    I brought info about you, your blog and your work to Mt. Dora Art League last week and pushed again to get them to contact you for a workshop!!! Hope you hear from them!!!

  2. Why Ginny, that's me! :) Dividing the papers by color in big zip lock bags was really helpful, then keeping a scrap box for small pieces. AND keeping to a small size piece that you can fit on your lap, in the tote bag, and does not get in the way! The onlookers were very interested, and that does not bother me. If you are someone who does not want to answer questions, you probably can't do art in public!

    Thanks for promoting me!

  3. wow art on the go your fantastic. I go to an art group and try to take everything i think i will need but i always get there and need something else..
    please may i ask if you know of anywhere to get good bird references to give your style of collage a go? its Janet from the UK i recently bought your dvd..ty janet

  4. Jan, I use the "great google" to get good references for birds. I usually will get several views of the same bird and then do a sketch that represents the bird in the best pose! you can also take your own photos or use bird books.


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