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View Poll Results: What Plein Air Equipment do you use?
Soltek System 17 4.09%
Gorilla 48 11.54%
Alla Prima 38 9.13%
Coulter Plein Air Syster 5 1.20%
Sun Eden Plein Air System 3 0.72%
Open Box M 31 7.45%
Billups Box 0 0%
Easy L 30 7.21%
Julian Easel 39 9.38%
French Easel (Julian imitation) 48 11.54%
Other Pochade Box (purchased) 35 8.41%
Other Pocade Box (home made) 65 15.63%
Other 57 13.70%
Voters: 416. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-17-2010, 04:33 PM
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marcdalessio marcdalessio is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB
Any problems with rust?

Sorry, just saw this now. I have had a few of them rust, but they tend to break long before then. I had a couple break in Africa from the vibrations of driving off-road everyday for hours.

They crack at the top of the legs. I just keep the broken ones for extra legs later.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:53 PM
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Gobidharma Gobidharma is offline
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I too have used these Italian easels, I think they're pretty good.

This summer I had an incident with near-tornado strength line winds. The easel blew right over, in spite of my bag hanging from it. I noticed a couple of days later, the chromed part of the legs and the stem had begun to rust. I took some alcohol swabs to it to remove it, then coated it with a thin layer of oil.

Looking it over, I also noticed the part of the frame that accepts the stem had begun to bend. This after a couple hundred hours of painting this year. It will probably break eventually. I also worry about the plastic knobs breaking or slipping eventually. I'd be more upset about this if I hadn't gotten this so inexpensively. (ASW Express has these on sale occasionally for $21.95 - worth getting two at that price.)

I too like the ability to bring the panel to eye level (I'm 6'1"). I liked being able to collapse the legs and carry the panel in the easel. It is very lightweight and sets up very very quickly (less than a minute).

I would like it more if the legs spread a bit wider, and I really, really don't like the brackets for the panel or canvas. I tend to use clamps to hold panels to the stem on top and the lower bracket on the bottom. The brackets prevent you from attacking the surface at a flat angle from the bottom or the top. I also would like it if it had a shelf or something to put my palette on, but I never thought about the cigar box idea...will have to try that.

The other reason I stopped using this one in the field (aside from getting a Beauport) was that it occurred to me during a thunderstorm one afternoon, that I was basically standing within arm's reach of a 71" steel lightning rod. A sobering thought.

Now I'm breaking in my Beauport, which has its own set of problems, but has proven itself to be extremely stable in high winds.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:02 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobidharma
The other reason I stopped using this one in the field (aside from getting a Beauport) was that it occurred to me during a thunderstorm one afternoon, that I was basically standing within arm's reach of a 71" steel lightning rod. A sobering thought.

there is a very funny vid on youtube of Jeremy Lipking and his friend Tony who were helicoptered in to a remote site to paint in Canada, an that very thing happened...Tony was shaken up but still laughing...pretty close call, I think they packed it in after that.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:25 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prismaguy
Matt, I've been looking at that Mabef, but it seems like it would be hard to paint to the edges. Do you find it a problem?
Greg

Greg,
It's true the Mabef m29 field easel doesn't allow you to paint right to the edge because of the wood block support edge. I will sometimes slide the painting back and forth to paint the spot where the block attaches. Yes, it is a bit of a problem..... just need to do a little touch up after painting.

The Open Box M is better for the purpose of painting the whole surface. I have both, and have been using the OBM lately. I find the Mabef easier to set up, but the main connecting bolt on the Mabef stripped (after 5 years of use). I wrote Mabef in Italy, and after their 1 month vacation they sent me a new bolt! It's metric in size and not available here. I recommend their company very much as a result!
Matthew
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Last edited by artistinmemphis : 09-19-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:07 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by id-art
I've been happy with my present set up for three years. A heavy duty camera tripod, a box that hangs on the two front legs and a panel holder where the camera goes. This thread has got me thinking again. Maybe five years ago I sent for the lightest easel I could find hoping to make the lightest possible rig for PA. Got sidetracked. It is about a pound in weight.

Been into the field several times and it's working fine. It folds up to about 16". It's for painting seated. The back leg is extended about six inches less than the two front legs. The paint box which was cut down from 1.5" to .75" hangs on the two front legs. There is an adjustable third leg under the front edge of the paint box to take the wiggle out. It all fits into a backpack, except the chair.





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Old 09-19-2010, 02:13 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Thanks Matthew. I have just ordered that easel, but the model with the brackets to hold a pallette(m27 I think). Reasons I chose that easel is that its both affordable and lightweight-like you I plan to hike a ways to painting spots. I'm new to PA, and really looking forward to getting out of the studio to do some looser painting! Thanks to everyone sharing pics and details of their outfits, its really interesting.
Greg
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:47 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

A backpack intended as an airline carryon...








Can't find this easel any more for sale.
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:09 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prismaguy
Thanks Matthew. I have just ordered that easel, but the model with the brackets to hold a pallette(m27 I think). Reasons I chose that easel is that its both affordable and lightweight-like you I plan to hike a ways to painting spots. I'm new to PA, and really looking forward to getting out of the studio to do some looser painting! Thanks to everyone sharing pics and details of their outfits, its really interesting.
Greg

Great! The m27 and m29 are identical except for the palette support I think. The other favorite tool for me for PA is a stainless steel brushwasher. It has these clamps that keep it from leaking. I think you can find them in a few places, artworkessentials.com maybe? There are several brands, they are pricey, but mine has held up for 5 years, and traveled a lot.
If you're new to plein air painting, I'd recommend Kevin Macpherson's book: Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color. It gives some challenges and basic excercises, and recommends a limited palette of colors. This book got me started, and I took on his challenge of a painting a day, except that I modified it to be one painting a week.... I did this for a while.... not quite doing it now. Anyhow, he's a good motivator.

Let me know how it goes.

Matthew
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:53 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I like the idea of using the brush at any angle. Using a pochade box doesn't allow that because the backboard I guess I'll call it is back to far. You can't have your brush flat with the brush pointing upwards if thats understandable. Although I suppose you could crank the tripod mount tilted toward you so it will almost be vertical. I use a small 6x8 pochade box I built myself but I really don't like the 4x4" area for mixing my paint, lol. I'm thinking of building something like Frank Serrano has. Bigger palette area and you can tilt it almost vertical if you wanted to. Still thinking about it though.

~Kirby
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:58 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment


I still am very fond of my openboxM although I modified it somewhat
to make it more stable and get rid of as many of the sticking out parts.



All my gear I take with me in a so called messenger bag, a large watertight
bag, this because I travel a lot with public transport and won't want the
smell of turp all over, ... It keeps my work and gear dry during sowers as well
which is also convenient.



What's in the bag?
Obviously my OpenboxM, a Wet-panel carrier, a tripod. an old cloth and on
the top of the picture a paper-dispenser. besides the OpenboxM a turp
container with a plastic cup with hook. besides that a container for used
turp. Under that a aluminium box for paint and a small pouch for
miscellaneous stuff and of course my brushes the plastic tube, that also can
hang on to my OpenboxM.


In my pouch.
Some barrier creme, a viewfinder, two bike-lights (red and white) a little
torch a compass and a measuring tape some strings with ground-pins a
aluminium box with charcoal and knife a plastic film canister for spare
batteries for my Mp3 player a triangle piece of cloth to put between the legs
of my tripod to put weight into it during heavy wind. a device to attach my
digital to my OpenboxM an a nail-clipper against stubborn brush hairs. and
finally a shawl and a pen btw. my compass has a mirror, also very handy
when you have had an argue with a color.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:24 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

I used to lug a french easel around, until I decided to go lighter and easier to set up. I decided upon the guerrilla box. I like the idea of everything that I need is able to be in the box--paint, brushes, rag, mediums and spirits, even a plastic bag to throw your towels. I think the price is a great value. There are a number of various attachments you can use.---which allows you to personalize your set up. I love the fact that I can carry 4 panels on my painting trip. I have the 2-9x12's..one for oil, one for acrylic/watercolors. I also have the cigar box and a 6x8 thumbox which I use when I am painting from the car--I usually use oils in this box as well. I use gouache in the cigarbox.

If money were no object, I would probably still stick with guerrilla. I don't see any point in going with anything else. If I were going to do pastels, I think Sun Eden easels would be the best for that...I like that tray to set things.

Thanks for asking!

Nancy
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:36 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Hmmm I think we are all art supply junkies and we keep buying something else hoping to produce the most magical masterpiece yet. That said, how does one choose the medium? I never know whether plein aire should be oil, water color, acrylic or just a sketch even... Those of you with more than one medium (most of you I bet), how do you decide what is best when and where?
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:54 AM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifescapes
Hmmm ...how does one choose the medium? I never know whether plein aire should be oil, water color, acrylic or just a sketch even... Those of you with more than one medium (most of you I bet), how do you decide what is best when and where?

If I'm traveling for days at a time, e.g. a paintout event, I like acrylic for the drying time and ease of handling. If going by air watercolor requires much less equipment. When temperatures soar it's nice to have oils. Sometimes I take charcoal.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:17 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

After many years of fighting with numerous varieties of expensive and cheap equipment, I chose a Julian Plein Air easel as my main easel. The Julian is compact enough to carry around, and hop on mass transits. It can hold two wet canvases, and all my equipment. Thing is, I use acrylics, oils and watercolors, so I don't know what medium will fit the scene until I stumble upon it.

Plus, the Julian easel doubles as my studio easel, as my paintings rarely go larger than 24x36".

For impromptu paintings, I do carry either a watercolor block and paints, or a Julian thumb box filled with oils at all times.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:02 PM
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Re: Plein Air Equipment

38 years with TV tray and Italian easel, my older Italian easels become part bins
works for me up to 24 x 36", then larger I use an old aluminum display easel
two days ago until the sleet arrives
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