Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Painting in the Car - Tips.

A Decorated Nest

6x6in Casein. Gifted.

My daughter gave me this nest earlier this year.
The bright blue coated wire,
woven into the nest, had caught 
her eye as she was doing yard work.
 I have been wanting to paint it so
 I took it on the trip to paint when we drove 
through a long, boring area.

Before this happens though we go 
thru a really beautiful area called the Hondo Valley.
Some of the Wyeth Family 
have lived and painted there.

My goal, as I pass through, is to capture
shapes and colors only. It is impossible 
to get a finished painting, but easy
to look ahead and gather enough
info to maybe use in the studio. 
Besides...time flies by when I am painting!

On the way there...
snow on way back...

Looking ahead gave me time to get basic 
shapes quickly blocked in.
When we got closer I could see tree shapes
and I scrubbed those in as we whizzed 
past at over 75mph. 
(Memory painting becomes important 
when my hubby is at the wheel!)

I found a wonderful water holder which does 
not splash around during bumpy areas.

The lids are attached (bliss) 
It has two chambers - quite marvelous!
And the lid allows the inevitable
sloshing around without spills.
It fits in the pochade box below.
(See the nest peeking at the side.)

the watercolor container
This box is a treasure for travel.
mine holds a 6x8 board but different sizes
are available.
Shown is a sable travel brush
(with a metal handle)
I rest the box a lap tray. One of those with a
cushion on one side. Comfy and stays put.

I will show the snow study in the next post.


  1. I love that you can paint anywhere. And that you get such wonderful results. Amazing. You drove through a splendid palette, didn't you. Great posting.

    1. Yes - great palette of winter colors.
      You and I both love our colors, don't we? Your latest barn post makes the point.

  2. Great post Julie, I like how the water container fits in the box, makes it more convenient to use.

    1. Thanks Pat, you are right...inside the box holds it steady.

      Your pie painting is so good it made me hungry!

  3. Beautiful! Can't stop looking at the Hondi Valley sketch. Thanks for sharing your tips; I'm just starting to take it "on the road" myself. You're an inspiration.

    1. Hi Melle - thanks for the complement. Hope you find a way to make yourself a road kit.
      You did a sensitive drawing of the hand and it was sweet of you to give the museum a plug.

  4. A wonderful and exciting post!
    You are a true artist, and very talented!
    Thanks for your love of ART...It shows!
    Happy New YEAR, Julie = )

    1. Thanks for such a lovely comment, Sue, it means a lot to me.
      I was thinking how multi-talented you were when I looked at your new ornament. I have loved the whole collection. Your way with collage shows what a good eye for texture, color and design you have.

  5. I love the cool colors of the nest with a little warmth from the blue hanger. I smiled looking at your set up. I have a little Guerrilla 5x7 that I occasional use from the car sorta looks like your big 6x8. Happy New Year to you Julie. I'm going to do Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days in January. I plan to start the year on a good note.

    1. Thrilled to know you are participating in the Challenge. Good for you! I will look forward to seeing what you do.
      I really like your lemons.

  6. Great Post. The birds nest is typically you, and is quite brilliant. Whenever I found a nest in my garden it seemed lined in fur ... from my golden Labrador, Mitzi, who shed everywhere.

    Love the idea of painting on the move, and the water holders sloshing about.

    Father Christmas brought me some Black sable brushes for Christmas.

    Have a Fun New Year, Julie!

    1. I laughed at the fur lined nest. Mitzi's hair. So typical - anything soft.
      This one with the blue wire was lined inside with bits of brown paper bag
      paper which was packed well into shape.
      Your new portrait is a real stunner, John.
      Black sable? is that the brand name or actual sable?

  7. You are amazing! I will never understand how you paint in a matter how much you explain!

    1. LOL...Once you have painted on your knee or at a table then it is exactly the same.The tray becomes the table. I rest it on the open glove compartment .
      It is only a small box for sketches in paint. Next time you sit in your car be aware of how much space in front of you.
      PS...I only paint on long trips on the smooth highways.

  8. Great use of time on the road. I think I might try this but I would have to add, "take ginger to avoid motion sickness". Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is weird because I do get motion sickness if I read, but not when painting.
      Its either the eye tracking movement which makes me sick or I still get sick and don't notice it when I am totally focused on painting.
      Your lemon painting is so full of movement. I think you carried it over from your wonderful water pieces.

  9. The painting of the nest is just beautiful! I see that it's not available...oh the sadness. This was a wonderful post Julie! I felt like I went on a little road trip myself! As usual, thanks for passing on the knowledge!

    1. Hi Kaethe - thanks for the nice words.
      I absolutely adore your red head - I'm Yours! great title.

  10. COOL!! on all counts!!! Love that serendipitous blue wire in the bird nest! And the little box is one I have (and used to use for oils..but now sits in the closet as I've found another I prefer for oils)- but what an awesome kit for water colors...and the water container- that's a pretty nifty find!!! Thanks for all the scoop Julie- I always look forward to what you have to share!!! Cheers for grand new year to come!

    1. You should try the box in the car. You never know. I am trying casein and so far am liking it. More like oils.
      Happy New Year for you too. I am looking forward to more of your flowers. Loved the last ones.

  11. A delightful composition with the nest in the lower right quadrant. Love how you did the leaves - inferred with colors and shapes. That piece of blue wire makes me smile. Oh, the ingenuity of these small creatures!! Thanks, too, for the product information. Very helpful!!

    1. Hello Carol, you always say just the perfect thing to make me feel good about my post... You are as lovely as your paintings.

  12. Wow! That's incredible. I cannot believe you painted it in the car. The nest is stunning and the view ahead is amazing for a moving target. I have the 8x10 cigar box.. Will definitely try this on my next road trip

    1. Good - it makes me happy to hear you will try it.
      I like the way you paint the barn. It does make you feel you live in the country for sure.

  13. This is such an interesting post Julie! I do love the painting done en route! Your driving, or co driving set up is excellent! We have a tiny car nowadays, I doubt I could get something like this squeezed in and I'm sure Hubbie would have a hissy fit! I'm kind of a back seat driver, so probably couldn't concentrate on painting! Saying that, maybe hubbie might be pleased I was doing this instead of telling him how to drive! Ha ha! X

    1. LOL..I do this in a Corolla and an old Sienna van. Only difference is I sit up higher in the van. My hubby likes to see me painting. I think it is because he loves to drive and if I am busy painting I don't say it is my turn to drive.
      I really enjoyed seeing your hare. Fabulous ears!!!

  14. What a gorgeous little painting! And a nifty setup too, lucky girl! My husband would NEVER let me paint in the car. I get away with a sketchbook and pen so I can still get the general idea of things while he drives.

  15. Wow - what a shame, Libby. Your hubby is certainly must have a good reason. Is it only his car?
    Still, if you are sketching at least you are still enjoying yourself with the all important Art.
    I enjoyed seeing the Vanishing Man pics again.

  16. Great tips, Julie!!! I like seeing the photo of the pochade box lid with the painting and the view out the car window. When we travel I almost always do the driving so unfortunately this wouldn't work for me. lol

  17. wonderful work as always...made all the more incredible because it was done while traveling at great speed! thank you too for sharing these great tips and supplies!
    Happy New Year my friend!

  18. Julie you are a marvel! I was gobsmacked to read that you painted this while travelling at high speed! Love the bird's nest and the landscape! I hope you had a happy Christmas!


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