Painting in plein air means the artist goes outside in the fresh air and sunshine to draw, mix colors and paint. (I’ll tell you about the mosquitoes. You’re going to need bug spray with Deet. This is the kind of place where a mosquito could make you seriously ill.) ok back to the art carts.
Studio artists don’t have to pack their supplies and unpack them every day plus take their stuff down a path. I’ll go 1/2 mile from my car but a mile is too far for a good view. I’m really on a roll here with the painting on Assateague Is. so I’m getting more exercise than I’m used to.
Years ago a friend gave me the little rolling suitcase and I wore it out. All my painting supplies fit in it with the easel sticking out the top. I’ve dragged it down a lot of trails and paths. The little wheels get hung up with leaves, pine needles stones etc. I saw some little rolling suitcases like this one at the thrift store for $5 but I needed something with bigger wheels.
I bought the little hand cart with the spotted bag at Ikea for $15 but I still used the old rolling case because I thought the new spotted bag was a little gaudy. (haha my PA Dutch) The first time I tried to paint on the beach I took my old rolling suitcase. I wound up carrying it over the sand because the wheels sunk right in, and it made me real tired. The second day I painted on the beach I used the little hand cart with the spotted bag. It wasn’t much better, but I didn’t go very far down the beach. Those narrow wheels still sink into the sand. I saw a lady with a cart that had 2 big fat rubber tires and I asked her where she got it. She told me “Captn Steve’s on Maddox and it’s worth the money.” So I stopped at a Steve’s store, maybe not the same one she bought her cart at because they didn’t have the same ones. And I bought this cart in the center of the photo with wide plastic wheels for $75. It makes it easy to get my stuff down the beach.
It’s not the same as the carts the surf fishers are using so I stopped in at Captn Steve’s to check out the prices of the carts with the big rubber tires. The guy working there told me they run $189 for the small ones and $249 for the big ones. You can put a big cooler on those carts. I don’t need one that big. The Steve’s store guy told me you can rent them for $10 a day or $50 for a week. and their prices are $40 less than other stores because they get hundreds in at a time.
One problem with painting on the beach is sand gets into the moving parts of the cart handle and my easel. The first time I used my spotted bag cart on the beach sand got into the handle mechanism and the handle got stuck in the down position. I thought I ruined the thing but I finally got the handle back in the up position. Now I’m leaving it up because sand might be in there and it might get stuck for good. Also sand got into the telescoping legs on my easel. The easel is still working but I’m using small canvases that I can hold in my hand, so I don’t need to use the easel. If I painted on the beach a lot I’d wreck my easel.
I’d encourage all artists to go out and paint in plein air because for me it’s been great. The thing about lugging your supplies might be enough to put off some artists who might want to go out. So I hope this helps other artists get what they need.