Oil paints in Denali?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kathy Hodge 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #3114

    Kathy Hodge

    Hi fellow Denali AIRs – @emilyjan @jessicagoodfellow @lindainfantelyons @gabowers @melanie

    I am starting to plan what I’m going to be bringing as far as art supplies for my residency in Denali. I was wondering if any of you had brought oil paints and how you dealt with thinners. I usually use Turnpenoid Natural which is less toxic but smells like oranges, and might be intriguing to bears. I’m thinking perhaps acrylic would be better, although I don’t like it as much. Thanks for any advice, supplies or otherwise!

    Kathy Hodge

  • #3115

    emily jan

    Hi Kathy! I don’t paint on canvas much anymore these days and have actually never flown with oil paints…for Denali, I’m bringing primarily pen/ink and pan-watercolours with me, plus my Edirol and camera.

    Acrylic would probably be easier to deal with in the field, but agreed it’s not as nice to work with if you’re used to oil. When I painted, I used a Silicoil jar with their brand of solvent; it has not quite as strong an organic smell as Turpenoid.  http://www.dickblick.com/products/silicoil-brush-cleaning-tank/. It’s kind of unwieldy if you are hiking, but you could probably make a similar contraption with a smaller jar. I kept my rags in another tightly sealed jar.

    On the bears, I think they’re attracted to anything alien smelling, even if it doesn’t smell directly like food. We ourselves (covered in our sunscreen, repellant, and whatever other scented products we’ve come into contact with) probably smell just as strongly “out of place” as the turps would, i.e. I don’t know if that would make a difference in the long run… When I was a teenager and camping the Yosemite area we once had our camp raided for things like sunscreen, repellant and toothpaste, none of which I imagine smell like actual food. But I’ve never heard of a bear actually mugging a person for anything during the day – just invading camp when the humans are away or, more dangerously, at night. The cabin will be secure against critters though so I don’t think you have to worry about that…


  • #3117

    Jessica Goodfellow

    Hi Kathy,

    I’m not a visual artist (I’m a poet) so I can’t help you. Sounds like Emily has some great insight though.


  • #3118

    Kathy Hodge

    Thanks! I’m not paranoid about bears but do wonder if I set up quietly for hours if one might get curious about what I’m doing and any new smells. If I hike any distance I’ll probably take gouache, just for the weight factor alone. But I was also thinking of setting up an easel closer to “home”. I’m tending now towards acrylics, (I use Atelier Interactive Acrylics, which are more workable) they’ll dry faster too for shipping home.

    I have a photo of what I’ve brought in the past in this blog post, which should work with some modifications.

    I’m curious about your recorder (had to google it!) What do you do with the sounds? I’m bringing a little recorder as well, just to “take me back” when I’m back in RI.


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