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Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Everyday Journaling Supplies

It's always interesting to see what other artists consider necessary for their everyday journal work, so I thought I'd share mine...this is what survived after a recent trip to Nevada, and granted, I didn't jettison MUCH!  

This is what goes in my purse...which really ISN'T much of a purse, it's my field bag/traveling studio!  My usual retrofitted Prang box at the bottom, an old pencil case with a few tools, a sprayer that doubles as my water supply and the little collapsing bucket above it if I need more (I've never been able to find another one this small!)  Then in upper center the new Sharpie EF white, a couple of Micron Pigmas that don't mind changes in air pressure, a couple of colored pencils for sketching, and two waterbrushes.  (The flat one didn't actually go on the trip but I wished it had...)  A small vial of ink in the tiny bag and a pocket protector full of pens and one mechanical pencil...it all weighs in less than 2 lbs.

My old retrofitted Prang box makes me feel like a kid!  I've replaced the round brush with a better one from Black Gold, and that's a bamboo skewer for drawing with, like a pen.  These are my usual colors, except I've taken out the green: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cathy-johnson/8126242177/in/set-72157604173444404

Here's what goes in the pencil box, from the top...a 1" flat with the end sharpened, a #8 travel brush, a small bristle brush (also sharpened) I use for painting, spatter, or lifting; a toothpick and another skewer, a piece of credit card for scraping and the lightest possible pencil sharpener for those colored pencils, a piece of sharpened dowel rod and a small dip pen we found on eBay.  It's an antique!  (Sometimes a little piece of white vinyl eraser, too...)

Pocket protectors work great to corral my pens and a pencil!

A lovely array of pens and points...from left, my ancient Sheaffer, a Noodler's Creaper, a Creaper body with a Hero bent nib in it, another old Sheaffer for smoooooth writing (ok, I could leave it home), my Platinum Carbon Desk Pen cut short so it will cap, and my favorite Pentel Forte mechanical pencil.  (Here's the post in which I tell how I cut the Carbon Desk Pen: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/06/yet-another-new-pen.html)

Yum.  Even if they DID leak in the plane...

It all fits in here...

And the front zipper pocket is all that actually acts as a purse!  Drivers' license and credit cards (and our wedding picture!), pills, salt and pepper, cell phone, mirror, comb, nail clipper...and when I'm not flying, a TINY Swiss Army knife...
Could I do with less?  Of course.  Am I likely to?  Um...not till the arthritis gets worse!  I might leave out that one pen...

I'll share some of my sketches in another post!


  1. Cathy, I have found that if I make sure my fountain pens are filled completely (I use converters) they leak less. I think it has to do with a half-filled pen being full of air which expands with the changes in air pressure.

    1. Carol, thanks! I bet that would have helped...some of mine are vintage and don't use converters, though. (Come to think of it, NONE of these do. One lever-fill, two piston-fill, the others take a cartridge.

  2. And I loved seeing all your gear!

  3. Thanks for the show and tell. I'm in Hawaii and I brought almost exactly the same things... your influence. I don't use fountain pens and haven't used the dip pen though if I had blue ink I might use that. I'm loving my new Copic SP multi liner 0.5. A small set of Inktense pens would be welcome for drawing flowers.

  4. Very,very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for the run down. Love how you cut down brushes, and now a pen. What tool did you use to get the desk pen? It is such a great idea!

  6. I have a little hand saw, and cut it just past where the cartridge comes...works beautifully! You can read how I did it in this post: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/06/yet-another-new-pen.html

    And thanks all!

  7. Really great post! I was surprised to see the small tin from Birmingham,UK! I just returned from there having visited relatives.
    I went to the coolest Pen Museum! I purchased these tins,nibs and pens for my sketch group!

    1. Small world, isn't it! I had nibs in this too, till I lost my pill box.


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