View Full Version : Anyone using this easel?
the drover's dog
09-04-2010, 11:37 AM
Hi, was wondering if anyone has tried this easel? I can't get to see it in the "flesh" as I live in the boonies.
I'm sick to death of the legs on my 1/2 size Julian box easel flopping all over the place and the weight is a bit much too. I thought this aluminium easel might be better. Not sure that it looks all that well balanced. It seems as if it should have a fourth leg. What say you?
09-04-2010, 01:52 PM
I can't say anything about this easel, Dale, but tripod easels seem to work fine if the stability of that third (back) leg is good. However, if an aluminum leg becomes bent it will no longer slide up easily, so I'd take care not to strain it too much, depending a lot on the quality of the craftsmanship and materials used. I have had several with aluminum legs that extend and had no trouble, but I have taken care not to bend or over-stress them. You might give us a link to this easel you show, which could give all of us more info...
the drover's dog
09-04-2010, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the insight Deborah. The thing is on ebay and also on one of those bargain sites (same vendor) and there is no other information at all, just a rigmarole about it being withdrawn if it is sold elsewhere.
I've been distracted as I just found a wonderful tribute and retrospective for my favourite pastel artist, Lynda Robinson. Lynda is responsible for introducing me to pastels when I did a half day workshop with her about 5 or 6 years ago. Her work really is stunning. There are no less than 29 tribute pages each featuring several of her works in this Red Bubble Tribute gallery. Just keep scrolling down the pages as there's a lot of extraneous food there too!!!
Yikes it's 4am here and I haven't been to bed yet!
the drover's dog
09-05-2010, 02:02 AM
I managed to find the other site where the easel was being offered. A lot more information here but I'm a bit worried that I can't see the leg attachments clearly so cannot judge how strong it is. It weighs 4 kgs (about 8.5 pounds), and is around 18" X 12" X 2" deep. This is quite a bit lighter than my French easel.
09-05-2010, 04:45 AM
Dale, it is probably just fine, but I wonder, do you want the pastel palette behind the painting? That is, I'd not want that, I'd want to be able to see them without moving around the easel. I was looking for a PA easel not long ago, and drooled over the Soltek (too expensive for the amount of PA I can do, but I still crave it), and the Anderson Swivel (love that the painting turns so the box can be at the side and not front or back), and ended up constructing my own set-up from a tripod and some scrap materials , 2 kg when empty, set-up in less than one minute (without colourful vocabulary).
the drover's dog
09-05-2010, 08:33 AM
Thanks for the input Charlie. No, I don't need that box part of this easel. It's just that the telescopic aluminium legs are a vast improvement on the flimsy wooden ones on similar easels. The box part might also make the easel a little heavier and resistant to blowing over. I've never seen one like this before so of course I have to ummm and aaah over it and decide if it worth buying if the price was right. Pastels are not the only medium I use, but they sure are the biggest problem! I can paint with oils and acrylics with the board on my lap.
I'm in a similar situation to you. Don't really know what I want, but know what I can't afford, which is a Soltek. They are a ridiculous price for a few bits of metal. Even if I won the lottery, pre-supposing I ever remembered to buy a ticket, I still would not pay that ripoff price.
I just looked at the Anderson and it's great if I only wanted it for small plein air work, but I often take bigger full sheet Colourfix paintings I'm working on to our Thursday paint-ins. As usual, this easel is not available here and the cost of air freighting even a light easel from the US to Australia is prohibitive.
I'd rather spend money on luscious pastels than boring easels and boxes. Besides, I don't know until I get it here if the easel and I are going to get along. Not much fun buying based a photo online, as you would know. Ideally think I'd like the Heilman setup but it's not an option for me and that box would be heavy to cart around as I just can't prune down the number of pastels I take, so would need the big Heilman:D I do know I'm sick of carting the flimsy legged Julian to our art society every week. The innards of which carry nothing but an old envelope of reference pics that have been there for at least 12 months. I also do not want a light plein air easel with the same horrible wooden legs!
I liked the look of the Weber 4 legged easel but the freight was going to be about $74USD.
My pastels currently reside in a lightweight fishing tackle zip up bag which holds seven plastic trays with divisions and lids. I'm very happy with this as they stack in their bag and the pastels stay flat. I found this in Aldi and it's so light, small and convenient I wish I had bought two of them. Will just pray that they have some more soon. I'm running out of room in those little plastic tackle boxes as the pastel collection expands. If I could find foam board or gator board locally I'd make some of Donna's pastel boxes.
I did find a gorgeous two trays deep Le Franc & Bourgeoise pastel box on ebay here a couple of weeks ago for only $30. It looks to have been made for Girault pastels as the trays are not very deep, but it does take my AS, Rembrandt, Schminke and W&N pastels with foam above and below. The box had never been used. It's bit heavy for plein air though.
Here it is:
The choice of easels, pochade boxes and such in Australia is so limited. In fact, there is little support for pastellists here and the mark-ups are just plain greedy. I also need a large studio easel which will break the bank.
What I would like to find is one of those old steel watercolour plein air easels. They are very basic, tough and not too heavy but heavy enough to not blow over easily. I have an extremely light roll-up camping table upon which I can lay out my pastels in their plastic boxes. The table stows into a skinny shoulder pack. The table roll straps onto a backpack, which is also a seat, I sometimes need to sit depending on how my arthritis is behaving. The fishing tackle bag of pastels fits in the backpack.
It's just the easel problem that needs solving.
09-05-2010, 01:06 PM
Dale, lovely box! (I used fishing tackle boxes for a long time, too.)
I have one of those steel watercolour easels. The problem with mine is that the part holding the canvas/board can't be fastened hard enough, so the rod slides down slowly... and it all wobbles quite a bit.
You might get an idea or two from this link to a description (http://charlie.fineartstudioonline.com/blog/22792/functional-diy-plein-air-equipment) of how I built my PA gear around a tripod.
the drover's dog
09-06-2010, 02:19 AM
Thanks Charlie. Great idea you came up with. I'll have to decide if I'll ever use my old SLR cameras again or if I'll cannibalise them for the "hole". Next time I'm in town I'll go to the camera shop and see if they sell "holes" (that should raise some eyebrows amongst the sales staff) and check out a sturdier tripod than the one I have. Might find one secondhand. Not sure if I'm as handy around tools as you, I always had a Mr. Fixanything to call on up until a few months ago. I guess I'll have to learn fast.
Just spent half an hour looking at your blog and gallery - nice!
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