Category Archives: Art On The Go

Art On The Go – What I Learned While Traveling For Two Months

I’m just back from traveling for two months. I enjoyed it, but things did not go as I anticipated. I’m not complaining. I met wonderful people, formed new friendships and enjoyed numerous activities. It’s been great!

Metal art found on an office wall. This is my inspiration for some paper art I am planning on making in the future.

I packed expecting one set of adventures, but fate had different plans. Everything went as planned until the second week in January. Then things got interesting. We stayed with new friends while waiting for multiple appointments for our van which developed a fuel leak. Since most of my art supplies were in the van, which was being worked on, I didn’t get all that much art done. My planned trip to a paper art exhibit Tucson, didn’t happen. Nor did I get to visit Sedona or Santa Fe or Taos.

Hiking in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

We did make it to the Superstition Mountains. Great hiking and wonderful views. Car trouble there, but wonderful strangers to help carry 5 of us out. Lots of wonderful experiences, but not what was planned.

A piece of calligraphy I did with a brush marker and black pen.

What did I learn from this experience? I packed too many art supplies of the wrong type. I was typing to do the same type of art that I would have done at home. Next time I’m going with a couple of journals with watercolor paper and drawing paper. I won’t plan on making boxes on my trip. I’ll keep it simple with watercolors and a few different types of pens and pencils.

Being serenaded by the bird on the top of the Saguaro Cactus.

As I do more traveling, I’m sure I’ll revise what I take on my travels. I’ll keep you posted as to what works for me as I travel.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Art On The Go! – Folding Origami Mandalas

I’m finding that it’s been harder to do art while traveling than I had supposed. As I have written earlier, Paul and I are on a 2 month trip in our 19′ van. It took a bit of preparation to cut and package the few art supplies I could fit between our clothes and food.

It takes 8 pieces of paper 1″ by 4″ to make one origami mandala.

So far, I’ve not been able spend as much time making art as I would like. On days when we drive 8 to 12 plus hours, very little art gets done.

Origami mandalas I’ve made so far on our trip. These will be made into finished pieces once I get home.

We’ve been doing a lot of visiting with family and friends. While I’ve been able to eek out a bit of  time for folding and box making, it’s been in very short periods of time. We’ve also been making new friends, attending numerous potlucks, dancing, trying new foods and restaurants, hiking and so much more. We’ll be visiting Biosphere 2 this next week and probably a number of other places. This is leaving me less time for my art than I expected. But, I am relaxing and enjoying myself.

Sometimes I just have a few minutes, so I can fold just a few pieces and add to my stash of folded paper to make into my origami mandalas.

I’m still trying to get into a rhythm for my days. This traveling is new to me and I’m loving it. I know everything will fall into place eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying to eek out my art in small periods of time.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Art On The Go! – Making Boxes

Traveling for two months in a 19′ van has made it a little more difficult form me to make art than I imagined. Welcome to reality. I haven’t quite found my rhythm yet.

One of the boxes in my series for Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

We visited family over the holidays and I did manage to appropriate a bit of space on a  counter to set up my supplies to make boxes. These are boxes I’m making to leave for people to find. You can see more about that on my blog post: Gifts of Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of Beauty.

One of the boxes in my series for Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

What I have found is that folding is much easier to do while traveling, assuming the paper has already been cut ahead of time. I think that’s because I can fit folding into short blocks of time. Box making, however, takes a bit of preparation.

One of the boxes in my series for Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

Before we left on our trip, I cut enough pieces of binders board to make 30 boxes. I also brought lots of paper for collaging the boxes once I made them.  I had hoped to be able to make a box every other day on my trip. We’ll see if I can catch up to my expectations.

One of the boxes in my series for Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

While relaxing and visiting with family and friends is important, I find that I feel so much better when I make time to do art each day. So, that is going to be my goal for this next week.

Enjoy, Candy

Art On The Go! – Packing My Art Supplies

I’m excited to be packing our 19′ Roadtrek van for a two month trip. This means packing art supplies to keep me busy for two months in a very small amount of space. It’s required me to do a lot of prep work like cutting boards for making boxes and cutting paper the right size for projects. I even had to come up with an alternative to taking along my book press which is too big for the space I have available.

About 500 papers cut 1″ by 4″ that will be turned into Origami Mandalas.

Trying to pare down my supplies to fit into just a couple of small boxes has been a challenge like no other I’ve experienced. Obviously I can’t pack my entire studio, so it’s made me look carefully at each item I’m taking. I only have half of one overhead compartment for all the supplies I’m taking. It’s required me to make some difficult choices.

Binders board already cut and packaged to make 30 little boxes on my trip.

I am going to try and make 30 little boxes on this trip. I think I packed everything I need. PVA glue; check. Binder’s board already cut; check. Wheat starch; check. Container to mix wheat starch; check. Paper for collage; check. Acrylic medium for sealing; check. Brush to apply said medium; check. Wire; check. Beads and such for lids; check. Wire cutters; check. Alternative to board press; check. I hope I didn’t forget anything that I can’t pick up along the way.

What I’m packing in lieu of my book press to keep my lids flat while they’re drying.

My book press would take up too much space in our little van, so I got some counter laminate and c-clamps to use for pressing my boards. I had holes drilled in a couple of them so I can press two boards together when I make the lids. I’ll post photos later of the process.

I’ll be blogging while we’re traveling, although the posts could be a little irregular if we’re not in an area where the internet is available. Usually I post on Monday and Thursday, and I’ll try to continue with that if I can. No guarantees.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Halloween Envelopes

With Halloween just around the corner, I decided I wanted to make and send Halloween envelopes to some young friends. Again, this year, I took my ideas from Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book. You can check out a review I did of his book: Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

I love these dancing skeletons.

I love these dancing skeletons. They go well with the pumpkin postage stamp.

I have been traveling to Junction City, Eugene, and Portland, Oregon for the past few days, and this project has been easy to do while on the road. I brought along some envelopes, black pens and my address book. I purchased the Halloween postage stamps in Eugene.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

I took three of the photos as my friend, Sharon’s house in Portland, Oregon. I usually photograph on a white background, but Sharon has this absolutely wonderful fall tablecloth which I couldn’t help but use for my background. I love how things seem to work out serendipitously.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

I love making Haunted Houses, but I must admit that they take an awful long time to complete. The skeletons took much less time, and I think they look great! I think I’ll be making a bunch more of the skeleton envelopes this year.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

There are so many ideas for making all sorts of Halloween drawings in Ed Emberley’s book. I think it’s perfect adults as well as children. I know that my adult friends have loved receiving these envelopes in the past.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

I should have started making these envelopes a month ago so I could send them to all my mail art and other friends. Maybe next year. So much art to do and still only 24 hours in a day.

Enjoy, Candy

Art On The Go! – Tea Bag Folding

Another trip this past week in Josie, our new-to-us camper, gave me a little more experience in organizing and making art while traveling. With limited space, I had to pick my project carefully and decide what to take on this trip. For this trip it was cutting and folding tea bag wrappers.

This tea bag rosette was made from 8 tea bag wrappers like the one in the photo above.

This tea bag rosette was made from 8 tea bag wrappers like the one in the photo above.

My friends have been graciously saving and giving me their tea bag wrappers for a number of months and I have amassed a rather large number of them. I decided to take a stack of the tea bag wrappers with me and cut them into 2″ squares as well as start folding them into rosettes. I wanted to try a new fold I had found and see how it looked when folded.

I have great friends who have saved their tea bag wrappers for me. I now have a great treasure trove of many varieties of tea, many I never new of before.

I have great friends who have saved their tea bag wrappers for me. I now have a great treasure trove of many varieties of tea, many of which I never new about.

This trip was easy to pack for because I didn’t need to do any prep work other than gathering the supplies and putting them in the van. I just packed a small cutter, some tea bag wrappers, the new instructions I had just found and a little glue. It all fit in one small bag.

This is the portable cutter I took with me. It was easy to cut 2" squares from tea bag wrappers.

This is the portable cutter I took with me. It was easy to cut 2″ squares from tea bag wrappers.

I enjoyed playing with the tea bags and the new fold. What I found was that cutting and both folding use similar muscle groups. For future trips, I’d like to include more variety in what I take with me to work on while traveling.

This photo shows the original tea bag wrapper and how it looks cut into a 2" square along with a sample of the completed rosette that is made of 8 of the 2" squares.

This photo shows the original tea bag wrapper and how it looks cut into a 2″ square along with the completed rosette  made of 8 of the 2″ squares.

It’s going to take lots more trips to get through all my tea bag wrappers. I have some ideas I want to try out along with different folds and color combinations.

I didn't know there were this many different Stash teas. I love all the different colors of the wrappers. I can see a rainbow in my future.

I didn’t know there were this many different Stash teas. I love all the different colors of the wrappers. I see a rainbow in the future.

For more information about tea bag folding (including links to instructions) see my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes

Enjoy, Candy

Art On The Go! – Origami Mandalas

This past week I received an order for a number of Origami Mandalas. I also have sold a number of them from my studio. So, on my 4 day camping trip this week, I decided to try making Origami Mandalas in our new-to-us little RV while traveling and camping. (See Josie’s Story – Introducing Art On The Go! for details on our new-to-us little RV.)

I was able to fold a lot papers for Origami Mandalas on my latest camping trip.

I was able to fold a lot papers for Origami Mandalas on my latest camping trip. The key was having the papers cut and ready to be folded. Not much space is needed to fold.

My origami mandalas are made from paper scraps that are 1″ by 4″. Even after using paper scraps for the paper wrapped pencils I made last week, I still had enough smaller scraps left to make quite a few origami mandalas.

Here I'm working on deciding color combinations for the Origami Mandalas.

Here I’m working on deciding color combinations for the Origami Mandalas.

I cut the papers for the origami mandalas and took them with me on our 4 day camping trip. I folded every day. What I discovered was that I need to have varied tasks and not just fold all the time. My muscles got tired easily when I was only doing folding. When I started doing other things, like sketching or gluing, I could work longer than when I was just folding. I think this is because at home I’m getting interrupted a lot more and move around more than when I’m traveling in a tiny space.

For some reason I am drawn to the color green for healing, as in this Origami Mandala.

For some reason I am drawn to the color green for healing, as in this Origami Mandala.

For my next trip, I will take more of a variety of projects with me. I will include some folding, but I’ll also have other projects that use other muscles. Our van is quite small and I don’t move around in it as much as I do at home, so I’m going to have to consider that when picking what to take with me.

I'm drawn to the color blue for dreaming, as in this Origami Mandala.

I’m drawn to the color blue for dreaming, as in this Origami Mandala.

Storage is at a premium, so planning ahead is essential. While I plan on taking multiple projects, what I do take has to take up as little space as possible.

Another green for healing in this Origami Mandala.

Another green for healing in this Origami Mandala.

One of my projects for this next week is to make a list of the things I do on a regular basis that might be appropriate to take with me when traveling. I’m going to include everything from parts of projects to entire projects. I’m thinking that most will require prep work before I go, much like the cutting of the 1″ by 4″ strips for folding my Origami Mandalas did for this trip.

Blue again for this dream Origami Mandala.

Blue again for this dream Origami Mandala.

For links to instructions to make Origami Mandalas and other rosette and mandala folds see my blog post: DIY – Tea Bag Folding & Paper Origami Rosettes.

Enjoy, Candy

Josie’s Story – Introducing Art On The Go!

A few years ago Fred purchased a Roadtrek RV with money from an inheritance he received from his mother. He named his new Roadtrek Josephine, in memory of his mother. After a few years of traveling all over the country, Fred decided to sell Josephine and spend time with his new grandchild.

This is Josie on her maiden voyage with us. Larger than our old VW van, but still limited in space for art supplies.

This is Josie on her maiden voyage with us. Larger than our old VW van, but still limited in space for art supplies.

Around Mother’s Day, my partner, Paul, decided to purchase Fred’s Roadtrek with money Paul from an inheritance he received from his mother. We flew to Arizona and Paul bought Josephine, who with Fred’s permission, is now called Josie.

Although the actual sale occurred 4 days after Mother’s Day, we have decided to celebrate every Mother’s Day by taking Josie someplace special in memory of both Fred’s and Paul’s mothers.

Josie is only 19’ long, so she can fit in downtown parking spaces. I confirmed this when I met my sister-in-law and niece for pizza in Redlands, California on my trip back to Oregon from southern Arizona where Paul purchased Josie. Luckily there was diagonal parking in Redlands, so I didn’t have to try my hand at parallel parking. I’m not quite ready for that yet.

Josie is definitely larger than our old 1987 VW camper, but there’s still only so much room available for things like art supplies. I have one cabinet in Josie dedicated to art supplies. Unfortunately, I only get half of that cabinet because Paul seems to think he should get some space for his art supplies too. Since he’s the one who purchased Josie, I’ve decided to relent and give him some of the space.

This past week we spent 3 days learning a few of the intricacies of how use an RV. We feel we’ve barely scratched the surface. We have figured out the basics, like the refrigerator, stove, water and sewer. We’re still struggling with some of the electric. And we made numerous trips home to get things we forgot or didn’t know we needed. Luckily we were smart enough to camp only a few miles from home.

Our first visitor while camping, Sammy the Snake.

Our first visitor while camping, Sammy the Snake.

Now for the art part of this story, which starts with space constraints. It’s really, really hard not to have my entire studio at my fingertips. It means I have to plan ahead before we head out on a trip. I have a spontaneous nature, so this is a bit difficult for me. I figure others may suffer from the same condition, so I’ve decided to add a new category to my blog posts called Art On The Go!

Paul is working on his jewelry in the shade of Josie's awning.

Paul, working on his jewelry in the shade of Josie’s awning.

It is under this new category that I will talk about the art I do while traveling as well as tools and materials I use while traveling. I’ll try new things and tell you what works for me and what doesn’t. I want to encourage others to chime in with suggestions.

Happy Creating, Candy