Saturday, January 16, 2010

Materials and clothes for a winter workshop or painting trip

Here are the materials you will need for my workshop. Most of you are not in my workshop of course. It would be huge if you were. We would need about five Greyhound buses. But look at the materials list here and you can get an idea of what I think you should have, at a minimum, to paint on location.

Because it is winter painting you will need to have good boots, I recommend these.

Cabela's® Trans-Alaska™ III Pac Boot

Every other part of your clothing needs for cold weather painting is negotiable, this works and that works. However when it comes to footwear I think most of what the average person thinks of as adequate gear won't cut it. Boots that might be OK for shoveling the walk or taking a winter hike will not allow you to stand in snow or on ice for hour after hour without getting cold feet. You have to keep your feet warm.

Here are the sort of boots I recommend for painting outside in the winter. There are a lot of different winter boots available but I think these are the ticket. Cabelas is a reasonably priced gear merchandiser mainly aimed at the hunters, rather than extreme sports, elitest gear freaks.
I think a woman could probably find boots of this sort there also.

If you can keep your feet warm standing out painting everything else is relatively easy. There are lots of good parkas and hats, snow pants and suits etc. But it doesn't seem to me that there are many boots that are as serious as these. I have lent mine to other guys who then bought them the next day. If you are worried about getting cold painting, buy these boots and everything else is just a matter adding layers of clothing. But if your boots don't cut it you can't add another pair.

Here is a link to the page on Cabelas site where you can find them.
Many of you will decide the boots you already have are fine, and they might be, come to the workshop in them and we will see. But if you absolutely want to have warm feet, heres what you need.

You will need a warm parka of the ski sort or a snowmobile suit. You can by a one piece outdoor work suit at Wal-Mart very inexpensively that seem to be fine. Under that I recomed a wool sweater or poly fleece shirt over a cotton shirt. I wear insulated snow pants made for snowboarders but there are lots of sorts of snowpants made for snowmobilers and other winter sports, under that polar weight long underwear, Cabelas is good for this.I wear inexpensive thinsulate lined gloves that you can buy at a Wal-Mart or hardware store cheaply. I have a hat with a brim over which I pull a stocking cap when it is very cold. There is no reason for you to be cold painting outside. It is simply a matter of getting the equipment right.

You will need a a french easel, a pochade ( pronounced "pochade") box and tripod, or a Gloucester easel. Aluminum collapsing easels and little wooden tripod easels are generally not steady enough and they won't hold your palette. I don't recommend them.


In your paintbox you will need:

Titanium White
cadmium yellow medium or light
cadmium red light
burnt sienna
either cobalt, Prussian, or pthalocyanine blue
yellow ochre
ultramarine blue
Permanent alizirin or quinacridone red
viridian or permanent green deep

you also might want, but won't require,

Ivory black or
cobalt violet

a palette of some sort, most easel setups include a palette.

a medium. I like Liquin or Galkyd but if you like an oil and varnish medium that is fine too. You may already be using a medium at home, bring that. Also you will need a top from an olive jar or a small oil cup to put it in.

mineral spirits or turpentine, and a tuna fish can to put that in.

A roll of Bounty or Viva paper towels, all others are inferior. Also a grocery store plastic bag for them after use.

A selection of flat brushes, a couple of #1's, several #4's, a #8 or 10 and a short handled rigger, synthetic or sable, about a #4 . Also a leaf shaped palette knife.

You will need a hat with a substantial brim, a baseball hat works well. I carry a container of Goop, you can get that at Wall Mart or an auto supply store, to use cleaning your hands.

A fine cigar or two, possibly a maduro, box pressed if possible, no White Owls or plastic mouthpieces please.

Several canvases, or panels to paint on. Please no cardboard artist boards they are floppy and impermanent dreadful things. Gessoboard is nice, sourcetek panels are good, clayboard is too absorbent. I think a 16 x 20 is the ideal size. Small canvases bring an added complexity to painting as you need to miniaturize nature to go on them. Don't bring anything larger than an 18 x 24 unless you are a pro.

Some people like to have an umbrella to shade their canvas, I don't use one, but you might.

A camera, you will want to get a shot of what you are painting because it may save the project later in the studio.

I guess that's it, I will see you at 9:00 in the morning in the lobby of the Inn. I will probably go up the night before so as to be ready to rock and roll first thing in the morning. If you are coming from the south of Boston be advised that traffic northbound from Boston going up 93 on a Friday night,to the White mountains can be heavy. If you can go up early in the day, before about 2:00 and you can avoid it. It is not impossible in the early evening but less fun. Also driving up in the dark you will miss seeing a lot of the mountains. The Inn is above Franconia which is the first town past Franconia notch on the far less touristed siude of the mountaians. You will pass Cannon Mountain ski area and go down the hill beyond it to get to Franconia which is an exit off of 93. The highway is virtually always open.


Robert J. Simone said...

What no Siberian Huskies needed? Who's gonna pull the sled? Hope y'all enjoy yourselves. Sounds like a lot of fun. Hope you have lots of snow. If so, I will be jealous.

We're coming out of our deep freeze here in sunny Florida, finally. High around 73 today. That ten days of cold weather was pleasant but enough is enough. I'll be painting in my flip flops! I prefer Keens.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, Stape, and I wish I were going. Question for you regarding paint: How do you keep your paint (esp. white) from getting stiff in the cold? My Titanium-Zinc mix gets a bit like melted mozzarella. said...


billspaintingmn said...

I can't wait till my paint box looks as sloppy as yours!
Jackson Pollock would be envious!
I can't wait till my paintings start looking like I have been a student of yours, your a pro!
Happy painting!

terry said...

Sooo jealous to be there!! Appreciated your supply list, I would add sunblock, we are still in the cold here in the CA desert, only hit 71 yesterday. I will be painting out on the beach at Laguna tomorrow, with my thermos of hot cocoa, turtleneck and down vest. It is much cooler by the ocean, may not get much over 60,maybe I am too wimpy for snow!

barbara b. land of boz said...

Stapleton, I wish I could be there. Have you thought any more about the DVD of the workshop? We will lose the last of our snow today. May you be blessed by the snow god for your weekend.
You are right about the cold feet.
Those boots look like they would fill the bill. A pair would have been nice when I lived in ND.

barbara b.

Unknown said...

Sounds fun - I wish I was in your neck of the woods to take this class!

Unknown said...

I've just recently found your blog and am enjoying it immensely. I have a question for you Stape, which you may or may not have addressed. I have recently had my artwork copied onto both a book cover and a diner menu without my permission. Both pieces are clearly copyrighted but unregistered. Have you had any experience with this and do you have any words of wisdom?

willek said...

Thanks for the list. I have all of this stuff, and I just got an order of L & B Titanium White and tried it out outside yesterday. It is very nice. Smooth, buttery, and elegant.

Stapleton Kearns said...

We have to have the dogs as a backup.We're going to pull them with cats of course but..........

Stapleton Kearns said...

I will talk about that tonight briefly.

Stapleton Kearns said...

and mate!

Stapleton Kearns said...

That box is growing, I have to pare it back routinely so I can get the thing shut...Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

No kidding, winter is my favorite time to paint outdoors.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't think I will make a DVD of the workshop. However I will do a few posts on it, and perhaps that will be useful.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeremy: That would be fun. Maybe another time I can do a workshop out in Cali.

Stapleton Kearns said...

baymoon art;
I don't want to snap an answer at you without some consideration. You do have rights, but you will have to enforce them. I will perthaps write about this. Is your signature visible on either? Are you married to or close to a lawyer? Do you have a collector who is a lawyer? Please wsend me an e mail and I will talk to you of forum.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am glad you like it. The danger of making recommendations is that everyone likes different things.Invariably your advice will be wrong for some people

Plein Air Gal said...

Thanks for that, Stape! Very helpful, but one thing I'd like to correct ... NO COTTON in ANY layers! Cotton tends to wick moisture away from the body, but it holds it rather than allowing it to evaporate (say bye-bye to all that waffle textured thermal underwear, everyone!) - which makes you COLDER.
For the best winter gear advice I've ever seen - this page is now used nationally by many orgs - visit the website for Derry's own BSA Troop 98 and click on "Tips":

Stapleton Kearns said...

I keep hearing that, but I am never cold. I also can't tolerate anything against my skin except cotton. I urge everyone else to wear synthetics. My poloar wear long underwear is partly synthetic. ( I can't believe I am telling this woman online about my underwear).See you in snowcamp!