Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Being an artist, I've found,  is not just a 'job', nor a 'hobby', nor even an 'activity'.  Being an artist is part of who I am, and like breathing is part instinct & part process and I can't (nor do I want to) do without out it. So when I tootle off  traveling, I take a few tools  to enable me to keep art making, in some form or another.

This morning I calculated that, in my 52 years,  I have traveled by plane 79 times!  Most of those trips have involved international flights.  What an incredible privilege each has been, yet as I am getting older & my tall body is getting wider...I am actually finding flying somewhat stressful...even, at times, near panic attack level!  The fact is that there is a lot of me to squeeze into an economy seat & as I am usually seated alongside at least one other bigger body, flying now tends towards the torturous!

I have, however, found a coping strategy!

 I doodle!

In my hand luggage, I now take a large pencil case which contains; an A5 size blank sketch book, a few copic waterproof black drawing pens of various nib sizes, 3 water pens ( I cannot begin to tell you how valued these are!), a small gluestick,  a 4 layer tower of Koh-li-noor paints and a paper serviette to wipe the brushes on!

When I get to my seat on the plane, this is tucked into the pocket of the seat in front, alongside the packet of mints, which I tend to consume in flight!  Once up in the air, my tray comes down & I start creating a doodle.  Being able to focus on this distracts me from my physical discomfort.  Phew!

It also means that once at our destination, I have those tools ready to sketch, or paint if I should feel so inspired.

Because I am textile oriented within that whole art spectrum....I also like to take something to stitch!  Some people enjoy inflight stitching, but I am too paranoid that I will lose a needle that I just don't even go there!

For the recent two week trip to Tasmania, I had a specific stitch project in mind (I'll post a blog about it when it's finished!) & took a small variety of fabrics, some blanketing & a minimal variety of threads.  In an old glasses case I take scissors, needles & an air erasable pen.

Sometimes very little of my art supplies get used.  Other times they all do! 

Regardless, I am always prepared, so that when that moment comes, that I can wrap myself up in a blanket, sit on a porch in the sunlight, and stitch, whilst robins & blue wrens hop about, and a little Bennets Wallaby nibbles away at a nearby bush... I can!

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