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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

French Easel Woes

I have some larger frames I need to use up. I typically paint plein air oil around 8x10 or 9x12, but I've got a few 11x14 and 12x16 frames sitting around. So, this weekend I decided to try painting bigger outdoors -- 11x14. (Not big by some painters' standards, but big enough for me!)

One problem with my painting large is equipment -- the 9x12 pochade box I use can accomodate bigger panels, but I don't have the adapter. So, I had to fall back on my French easel. I paint on the French easel all the time in the studio, but I've never taken it outdoors for oil.

Although I have a wet panel carrier for 11x14s, I decided to forgo lugging yet another box, so I fixed my panel to the French easel in the two brackets on the lid and went out. I gave myself my usual hour to do a study. Things went well until I was ready to pack up. Folding up a French easel with a wet panel on it is not easy! And then, because of the way I had to keep the lower bracket raised up high to hold the wet panel tight, pressure was released on the palette inside the box...

...and so when I picked up the neatly-folded easel by the carrying handle, the palette actually SLID OUT through the gap at the bottom near the drawer! What a mess.

I have since fixed this problem by making a little turnbuckle that fits near the drawer. The palette won't slide out again.

At any rate, here is the one-hour 11x14 sketch: "Con Robinson's Point Weir"