Wednesday, 7 May 2014

What's in your field-kit ???

There have been some fantastic blogposts lately about drawing and painting field-kits.  The two that most impressed me are by Shevaun Doherty and Polly O'Leary

I find that the contents and method of carrying the field-kit can vary dependant on where you are going to be working.  Shevaun's blogpost is about sketching whilst in a museum and Polly's about studying plants in an area of marsh in the summer heat.

© Shevaun Doherty.  Sketching in Dublin Museum of Natural History

Having worked as an Ecologist in the past I was always used to having a survey field-kit pre-packed according to the survey type.  The kit I used for the woodland, hedgerow and grassland surveys contains many of the same items that I use in my current field-kit for drawing and painting.  More about that later.

Looking back through some images from the last few years I came across a few that show previous field-kits.

2011  A trip to New Hampshire and Maine.  Travelling from England meant that room was limited in my luggage.  Contents: A small A6 sketchbook, palette, Faber Castell fine liners, Pentell brush pen, propelling pencil, cotton rag, waterbrush (that I didn't use), travel sable brush and small folio with individual sheets of watercolour paper within.


2012 A trip to Wales and the Isle of Skomer.  I love this foldaway zip up pouch.  I can fit so much in there, but it folds and zips up completely.  As we were travelling around Wales by car, I could be a bit more extravagant and take a few more materials !

Now to the present .......
 
Recently, I have been sketching woodland plants.  Even though I have visited woods relatively close to home I still wanted to have a compact field-kit with the added addition of a firm surface to work on.
 
 
My present field-kit: An A3 'Weather Writer' (see below), paint palette, H & F pencils, water pot, small rule, scissors, specimen bags, hand lens (several of different magnifications), travel paintbrush, waterbrush (still trying to get used to using these), heavy-weight cartridge paper, ID charts (this one for ferns), Wild Flower Key by Francis Rose (my original one is in pieces, so this is a shiny new one) and finally, a zip up wallet which will contain all of my drawing and painting bits.
 
 

Now to the Weather Writer.  An ingenious invention, that I used non-stop during fieldwork as an ecologist.  It has a flap that closes with studs, which means everything can be contained in the dry.  This can then pop open and if the weather is a bit dodgy, you have a covered area to work under.  In addition on the reverse are two clips to make it into a clip board.  There is also a hole either side (on the A4 model), so that you can string a cord through it and hang it around your neck, which then leaves your hands free.
 
 
I now have a busy few days ahead, so no fieldwork for me.  I am off to London to see the Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition at Westminster Central Hall.  It is a fabulous opportunity to meet up with friends from all over the world.  Four of my paintings are being exhibited too.
 
 
© Sarah Morrish 2014.  A View Inside - Echinacea purpurea

© Sarah Morrish 2014.  A View Inside - Rosa rugosa hips


© Sarah Morrish 2014.  Quercus robur - New life
 
 
 

© Sarah Morrish 2014.  Galls of Quercus species


6 comments:

  1. Wonderful field kit ideas, especially the weather writer! I didn't know about those. It's great to see your paintings for the exhibition, and congratulations on the award for your Echinacea--well deserved!!

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  2. Thank you very much Janene. It was so lovely to see your beautiful paintings too !

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  3. Your work looks lovely Sarah. I hope you have enjoyed the exhibition, had a great time and came home feeling even more inspired. Just seen you have won an award, so very well done, you must be delighted.

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  4. Great post Sarah, never heard of the weather writer before, it looks really useful. I love hearing about other's field kits/sketching kits. There's always more to learn, and so many great ideas.

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  5. Congratulations on your award Sarah.

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  6. Thank you Milly, Polly and Sonia.

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