Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pedaling and Painting

3x9" pastel on primed paper
As if plein air painting didn't have enough obstacles I'm still trying to figure out how best to pack my bicycle with all of my gear. The idea behind biking and painting is that it will allow me to go more places. I'm always up for a good hike but sometimes a long walk on a hot day can zap all of the energy you need for painting. There are also nice places that you can't get to by vehicle, so biking seems like the ideal thing to do. 
The trick to all of this is to minimize everything. Scale back all of the equipment you take and organise, organise, organise. This is my setup I used. My super fun Dahon bicycle, my pastel box (the paper and board are inside the box), extra box of Terry Ludwig turquoise set, tripod, backpack which has my oil paints, canvases, sketch book, watercolour sketch box, bug spray, sunscreen, tripod for oil box, mini fan, water, masking tape, camera, phone, and some other miscellaneous items such as acetaminophen and Altoids, you know, for when your bad breath gives you a headache. It sounds like a lot but it's really not, it's all scaled back with the exception of the extra pastels. I could have left those out but I had room so I took them. The bungee cords held the pastel boxes and easel securely to the bike rack and the backpack didn't weigh that much to wear.  The results were great. I was able to cover more ground, get different views and didn't feel completely exhausted by the end of the day. I've tried to do this a few times before and each time it was somewhat of a failure. I think this time it worked simply because I scaled back and only packed the necessary items. If you like to bike and like to paint I'd highly recommend giving it a try. Maybe take your bike and a sketchbook first and see how you like it. 
3x9" pastel on primed paper


  1. I enjoyed meeting you and the day. As you refine your setup, it's going to be great. Loved both pieces you did.

    1. You too and thanks! Sometimes I think it's just as much fun tinkering around and refining my setup as it is to paint.

  2. You might add a pix of your rig on your Plein Air Force page. I think a lot of painters, particularly in urban areas would be inspired to do likewise.