An agregious spelling error on my part or a not so veiled freudian slip?
If you know me at all, you know that I travel quite extensively to paint, though if you ask me, and I’m a big proponent of this, “just look outside your door” if you want to find something to paint. I strongly feel that it’s not what you paint, but how you paint it, this makes a good artist.
Which is how this artist from the plains of Kansas is heading to the heart of the ancient Inca civilization to to a little plein air painting… hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Is this strictly a painting trip? Not on your life.
Sitting around the table back in January of this year with some old friends of Susie’s, some how the topic of Machu Picchu came up and that it was on someones bucket list of things to do. Sure it’s on mine too, and maybe yours, but somehow before the week’s end we already had our permits (needed months in advance) to hike the trail and entry into one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
I guess we were going.
Unlike our trip to New Zealand and Australia a couple of years back, I am bringing my paints. “Down Under” I was left to the kind folks in Australia to bring me paints, easel, and all. Good fun, but still left to the mercy of others. This time I have stripped all my gear to Zero and have built it back up specifically for the purpose of painting along the Inca Trail.
Out went my 5 giant tubes of M. Graham paints, and in comes the smaller Cobra water misable oil paints. My Dad is still puzzled just at the concept of being able to mix oil and water, but then so am I… so I don’t think about it. My trusty Soltek Easel has been swapped out for a feather weight “Fly on the Wall” easel made by the Prolific Painter himself, Joshua Been. Weighing less than 2 1/2 lbs, it is exactly what I was looking for to help lighten my load. The Inca Trail is not an easy hike carrying only water, let alone a backpack full of gear, but by switching out my gear I have knocked off almost 20 pounds. With enough rest stops along the way, I feel I can do this.
I have 3- 9×12″ panel paks for carrying wet paintings, each one has 2 pieces of Canson 136lb oil paper, or Arches 140lb paper taped to each panel giving me 12 paintings in my pack at a time, and when needed I will switch out with new paper, placing the studies in sturdy envelopes with wax paper between. (once dry enough, if not dry, I will use some of the Canson Paper between)
For storing the paint, I picked up the “Palette Garage” from Best Brella and cut it down to size to fit the new Fly on the Wall easel.
Also included is the SLIK Lite tripod, bug spray, sunscreen, trekking poles, hat, and a 3 liter Camel Pak water bladder.
What is not shown are some warm clothes because it’s winter right now in Peru, and hiking up to elevations of up to 13,828 feet, I’m going to take something to keep me warm. I am not a fan of cold, or heights or water. I don’t think I’ll need to worry about water, so this is a good thing, but cold and heights, we’ll just have to deal with that when it comes up.
It’s an adventure of a lifetime, and I’m heading down there with some great friends and the most wonderful wife anyone could ask for. She is actually the one who encouraged me to bring my paints, though I did not need a lot of persuading.
I look to paint every chance I get, and post when I can. Internet and cell service is probably not going to happen often, but when it does I’ll make sure you hear from me, and see if I’ve been using all this new gear I picked up.
Well, Machu Picchu by way of the ancients… or bust.
Let’s do it!