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It’s time to start packing for my winter in Mexico and it’s always a bit daunting as to what art supplies I should take.  I’ll be gone for 3 months so there are a lot of things that I need to take with me besides art materials.  I can very quickly get to my 50 pound baggage limit.  How do I keep the weight and bulk down?  


Because this is my 4th year going to the same location I am getting much better at figuring out what I need and what I don’t need. First of all it’s important to know what you want to do while away.  I’m an oil painter so packing can be a bit tricky. 


Not all paints are acceptable on airline carriers.  The first thing to do is check the MSDS sheet for the products you want to carry.  Also check the airline for the acceptable flash point of products.  Print the MSDS report (Material Safety data sheet) and pack it with the “artist oil colours”.  


Notice, I said colours and not paints.  So if asked, you are not carrying oil paint. The word “paint” raises red flags. I label my container that I carry them in  as “artist oil colours”. 


 I use M.Graham oil colours and walnut oil for thinning and cleaning brushes. Both should pass the safety regulations for flying, but there is no guarantee, so do your homework for whatever product, airline and location you are going to.   I am never positive that my stuff will get there!!


Oh yes, everything should go in your checked luggage.  


Here is my list of supplies that I travel with.

* I am not in anyway being paid for endorsing the following products.  I just really like them. 


M. Graham oil colours 1.2 oz size

     Titanium white (5oz if I have room)

     Alizarin crimson 

     Cadmium red 

     Cadmium yellow dark (or Indian yellow)

     Cadmium yellow light

     Phthalocyanine blue 

     Ultramarine blue 

     Sap green 

     Walnut oil (for thinning paint and cleaning brushes)


Arches oil paper pad: 12 sheets, 140 lbs., 12”x16” (They come in smaller sizes too)

     For me this is the best thing ever for painting on.  It’s not bulky and no gesso is required.  I also take a thin board that’s the same size to tape the paper to.  


Assortment of brushes, palette knife, a small container for oil, and brush cleaning soap. 


Sketch book, pencils, sharpener, erasure. 


A portable, compact light-weight easel.  


Disposable palette.


That’s it!  


Until next time,