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