This is one of several posts I’m doing to highlight how livable my RV rig Tardis is for such a small motorhome. I’m very pleased with the quality and thoughtful features designed into this 23.5 ft. Lazy Daze Twin-King model.
Traveling around in a small motorhome to find interesting places to paint is very exciting. But, it does present challenges for an art studio. Fortunately, Tardis provides what I need. When inside, the lounge area has ample space, and the panoramic windows provide a great view. If I go out, to paint on site, the RV can take me to some really great locations.
Painting in the Field
Most of my paintings are done on location in front of the subject; en plein air. All the painting supplies I use are kept in a backpack. So, I can put it on, hike to a remote site, and then set-up my portable painting studio.
The Kelty Redwing 2650 backpack is a real hikers model with flexible spine, adjustable straps and hip pads. It has several pockets of various sizes that hold everything I need. There is room for a painting kit, drawing kit, rags, a sack lunch, water bottle, etc. (see Gear for a complete list)
The fully loaded backpack and tripod are kept in front of the passenger seat in the cab; ready to go at anytime. I also have a monopod used with my camera and that doubles as a walking stick. Near the door is a wide brimmed hat I wear when painting outside.
When I arrive at a painting location, I put on the backpack and head to a painting spot. The sturdy adjustable tripod is carried separately or tied to the pack. My painting box is a 10×12 EasyL Lite which sets on the tripod with a quick-connect fitting. Setting up to paint in the field takes little time. (see New Pochade Painting Box post for box details)
Painting in the Rig
If the weather is poor, I’m not near a good painting spot, when preparing materials, or when I simply prefer to work indoors, I can set-up inside the RV. The EasyL paintbox works just as well on the table top, or I can use it on the tripod. Any needed materials can be set nearby. For ventilation, the windows open or the ceiling vent fan can be used.
Before set-up, I put down a canvas cover over the table, which makes clean-up easy. A homemade stay-wet palette helps to keep the acrylic paints workable longer. And, all the mediums and materials I might want are at hand. Yes, space is limited so I need to choose between painting, drawing, or preparing panels. The paintings dry quickly, and are stored in bins. Art supplies are kept in various cabinets.
Inside, I can paint a view out the window, from a sketch, or I may put final touches on a plein air piece. I work pretty much in the same manner as when outdoors. Except, I’m more likely to sit down when working inside the rig. A drink or snack is handy, and music may be played. A very comfortable painting studio indeed!
So, the painting studio can be in the field or in the rig; either works well. A mobile art studio in the RV makes the plein air journey possible. This is the perfect arrangement for my vagabond artist life.
For more posts that explain other aspects of the rig go to the Tardis page.