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Old 07-10-2017, 12:19 AM   #1
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Art Afloat

My husband and I have begun planning for retirement and are looking forward to cruising the loop. As an artist, I'm looking forward to gathering many inspirational photos along the way, but giving up actually painting for an entire year is something that troubles me. I'm an oil painter and have no interest in working with another medium or creating art via the computer. Are there any painters out there traveling on a boat and how do you make it work? I bet this is a new question for the forum! Thanks for any information.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:27 AM   #2
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Determined to make this work!

My husband and I are planning to do the loop thing next year and we're super excited! I'm an artist and somehow, someway, I intend to continue painting. That's my challenge and I'll figure it out. I can't imagine being surrounded with so much inspiration and not being able to paint!
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:35 AM   #3
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Why do think you need to stop painting or are you looking for an excuse to stop ?
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:40 AM   #4
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Heck no! It's just messy and boats rock and roll. I've made up my mind that I will work smaller, 8x10 instead of 18x22. I'm just curious if any other artist has created a fulltime art space on a trawler?
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:44 AM   #5
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I'm an oil painter and have no interest in working with another medium...
Really? Aren't you doing 'rough sketches' or at least 'informational sketches' with your camera already?

Could you combine the camera with pencil sketches in a hardbound drawing book with good quality paper? This way you could get the colours, textures, relationships of form, and general atmosphere with the camera, then you could rough sketch in pencil how you might accentuate, eliminate, or add certain elements into or out of the scene in real time when the fire of creation is burning hot.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:48 AM   #6
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Really? Aren't you doing 'rough sketches' or at least 'informational sketches' with your camera already?

Could you combine the camera with pencil sketches in a hardbound drawing book with good quality paper? This way you could get the colours, textures, relationships of form, and general atmosphere with the camera, then you could rough sketch in pencil how you might accentuate, eliminate, or add certain elements into or out of the scene in real time when the fire of creation is burning hot.

Sounds like a restricted adult movie title
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:49 AM   #7
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Should be doable...I took my 4x5 camera gear on a six month sea kayaking trip and there's much more room on a boat!
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:01 AM   #8
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Use boat sun deck

My wife paints in acrylics. She will use the sundeck of our stabilized boat for painting as we head south on the ICW this winter. At least that is her plan. We well see how that works out in practice.

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Old 07-10-2017, 01:04 AM   #9
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Painting while underway? Can't wait to hear how that works out. I hope she'll post about the experience!
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:14 AM   #10
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Here's a short article about Emily Carr, with some of her sketches (some oil, some water colour) on the coast of British Columbia while traveling by dugout canoe in the 1920's to 1930's.

Where there's a will, there's a way!

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts...ticle21406257/
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:23 AM   #11
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Great article on an inspiring artist, Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:46 AM   #12
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My admiral is also an artist. She gave up oils several years ago due to smell issues and we varnish her acrylics in the garage. Boat interiors are relatively small and even if you paint on deck, the oils drying on the canvas will put out odors for some time when you bring them in the cabins. If you and your husband can tolerate the odors, no problems but they might be offensive to guests and dockmates.

The other issue is storage on a boat. You haven't mentioned how large a boat you are considering but most boats below 36' can have issues coming up with adequate space and storage for normal living. Consider where you might keep you easel or your inventory of canvas/completed paintings. IIRC, she used to put her left over oils in the frig. Unlikely to have space for that in a frig on a boat. Won't get into oil base paint cleanup issues. Now to be fair, the admiral has giant easels and resists doing paintings under 36" x 48". Desktop easels and using smaller canvas will mitigate some of the issues but haven't seen a boat yet that designed for artists and finding art supply stores on the loop, well, not too many Michaels are next door to West Marine.

Hope you can figure out a way to do it.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:02 AM   #13
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I'm sure there are many many things you can paint on the boat other than on a canvas!
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:36 AM   #14
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My wife paints non-stop albeit with watercolours. Only exception is rough water which we encounter rarely. If it's going to be rough I crack another book and Sharon starts another painting.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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You will have to paint fast or stop the boat, one or the other!


There is truly a lot to see on a boat cruise. I don't paint, I take photos. Fortunately, digital photography has changed the game. I will come home from a two month cruise with 500 or more photos. Of course I delete a bunch when I go through them but I'll still have hundreds.


I suppose you could take photos and then paint from them when you have time.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:54 AM   #16
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In the days before digital photography, my parents were avid sailboaters and Mom painted in Oils and Acrylics.
Her subjects were the landscapes they had seen over the years, and any new, inspiring landscapes they came across in their travels. Many stops included Mom setting up her easel and beginning a painting on site. She also took photos to help with the details when completing the piece at home, but her travelling easel and paint box were the means of getting started.
They did this for several years on their sail boats, from a Columbia 26 to a C&C 30.

Go for it!
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #17
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Sounds like a restricted adult movie title
He said "creation", not "procreation".
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:51 AM   #18
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The plein air artists have many tools and tricks up their sleeve to keep their works very transportable as well as using a minimum amount of brushes etc. I once owned an art gallery and one of my artists even had an easel that he could hang on the steering wheel of his car! I personally so far have only added some sketching supplies to have on hand. I have toyed with stocking up a box easel as well......
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:58 PM   #19
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My wife paints at anchor, but its usually too rough while underway. Mainly just watercolours on small canvases, but she still enjoys it.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:25 PM   #20
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Forget the canvas, pick up rocks on the beach and paint those.

Tacoma Rocks! artists hide treasures around the city to make people smile | The News Tribune
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