I recently received a new product that my readers will find useful – the Palette Garage. If you're wondering how to save the oil paint in your pochade box and keep it from drying out, this is for you!
The Palette Garage (www.palettegarage.com) is basically a strip of acrylic upon which you lay out your paints in preparation for painting. Using either the included Velcro buttons or mini-clamps, you attach it to your palette. (This could be the palette area in a pochade box or an actual, handheld palette.) When you're done, you remove the Palette Garage and slip it into the acrylic storage tube. The storage tube has a cap at each end with a small wick; the wicks are dampened with clove oil, and the fumes of the oil keep the paint from drying out.
The Palette Garage comes in several sizes – 12”, 14”, 16” and 18”. For reviewing, I chose the shortest one – the 12” - since I wanted it to fit on the palette of my Open Box M.
I wasn't able to use the mini-clamps to attach the Palette Garage to my box, so I used the Velcro buttons. I was a little afraid the adhesive on the buttons wouldn't hold, since my Open Box M palette is well-seasoned with oil. But after rubbing the palette with a little OMS to clean off the surface oil, the buttons held well.
I found the Palette Garage easy to use and it works as promised. I painted out in the field and then let the paint stay “parked in the garage” over several days. The paint stayed wet and workable. However, as a frequent painter – I paint several times a week – I find it no trouble to clean my palette and refresh the paint daily. I'm not really concerned about wasting paint. But if I painted only once a week, I would definitely be concerned about my paint drying out. The Palette Garage is a perfect way to keep paint fresh.
You can find out more about Palette Garage at the website, www.palettegarage.com. Palette Garage is made by the same maker of Best Brella, a product I use all the time out in the field. For more about Best Brella, visit www.bestbrella.com. (I reviewed it in this blog in 2009.)