Create Anywhere – painting while traveling

Follow Your Heart
(c) Deb Chaney 2006

Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas

24” x 24” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: The piece can enhance Love & Relationships by placing it in the back right hand corner of your house or of the room you are decorating.

$850 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870

Prints soon to be available at

The hardest thing for me about being away (I am writing from Vancouver, Canada) is being away from my studio. Sometimes I wish I had a studio here so when I visited I could go to my space keep working on my paintings. But there is a little part of me that relishes the break from working on big pieces and uses the time to read books, sleep, go for long walks, see friends and do small creative projects while I’m here. The smaller projects keep me in my creative flow….

So I don’t completely disengage from my painting when I travel, and I do this by bringing my “create anywhere” kit with me. This kit is a large size MEC wash bag with the following items; Caran D’Ache water soluble and non water-soluble wax oil pastels, 2 oz Golden soft gel and extra heavy gel medium, scotch tape, pens and pencils – I like to bring those Derwent water soluble pencils, and small blunt end child scissors ( they won’t take those away from you at the airport if you put the kit on your carry on), small paint brush, and a palette knife. Here’s a photo from a previous blog. I didn’t bring any little 1 oz Golden liquid paints this trip but next time I think I will. I also forgot to bring a small jar of Murphey’s Oil Soap, mum had some in her cleaning supplies so it worked out, but this is essential for cleaning up acrylic paints while preserving the integrity of the brush. I didn’t pack them this time, but next trip I might also bring a few 1 oz bottles of Golden liquid acrylics paint along with some polymer gloss medium.

In the gesture of creative automation, pioneered by Robert Motherwell, my daughter Ruth and I took seven blank sheets of paper each, and using our newly purchased children’s tempera paints, stencils, pencils and whatever else I could find around the house to make markings and textures and we dug in and each painted solidly for a good amount of time. They weren’t pretty or beautiful but the action reminded my being of the motions of painting, and I felt like I had brought my virtual studio here to Vancouver!

The concept of creative automation is very similar to a martial artist practicing basic kicks and punches in the air hundreds of times so that his body intuitively knows the move, when he gets to the fight he no longer has to think. The moves become automatic and intuitive. That’s the goal with painting. It doesn’t really matter what we work on and we can even do it in our minds – mind sculpture of imagining painting has the same effect in our bodies ( our bodies doesn’t know the difference) painters can do the same thing. Kinesthetically ingrain in our bodies how to paint. Practice, repetition, process is the way.

Funny thing is all those dried up paintings became great cut and paste collage material a few days later ( totally unplanned!) and we both had another evening of fun cutting up the paintings and making collage on other blank sheets of paper. I did the collage and spiced up my journal with decorate collage images. I’ll see if I can get a few photos.

I’d love to hear from you and I’m curious how you stay in your creative groove when you’re away from home.? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog in the comment section. Keep creating!