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Old 12-09-2003, 10:28 PM
MKB MKB is offline
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EasyL easel/pochade

Has anyone had any experience with the EasyLite Easel made by artwork essentials. It's light. It looks interesting. I really curious about the hinge. I'm wondering how it will stand up to years of painting???

It seems a long time ago, I read someone wrote in and said it was a cross between the OpenM and the Guerilla. I don't know what he/she meant. I would love to know. Thanks,
Maija
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Old 12-10-2003, 03:28 PM
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Marc Sabatella Marc Sabatella is offline
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Re: EasyL easel/pochade

Quote:
Originally posted by MKB

It seems a long time ago, I read someone wrote in and said it was a cross between the OpenM and the Guerilla. I don't know what he/she meant. I would love to know.

The sense in which I can see this being true is that, like the Guerilla, it is a more or less one piece thing that attaches directly to the tripod, as opposed to Open Box M, where it is a separate palette/panel holder that comes out of the box and attaches to the the tripod. But like the Open Box M, it is more adjustable in terms how easy it is to work with different sizes of panel, plus the entire box is perhaps more similar in size and weight to the Open Box M palette/panel holder than to the bulkier Guerilla box.

The disadvantage Easyl Lite has over either is not *nearly* as much storage space. I can't personally see using it without a separate bag or other carrying case for your stuff. Maybe if you didn't carry any tubes of paint but instead just squeezed out enough in advance onto the palette. In which case this could be quite an attractive simple setup (and you could carry the tubes separately for backup).

Note the Easyl "Lite" is, I think, relatively new. The original Easyl provided *no* storage space whatsoever, for supplies or for wet panels. It was more similar to just the palette/panel holder from Open Box M.

Also, I've never seen either Easyl in use, so I can't speak to sturdiness, but both Guerilla and Open Box M are reknowned for this.
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:59 PM
MKB MKB is offline
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Talking EasyL easel/pochade

You're right. The EasyL (Lite) is a fairly new setup.

On the other hand, the EasyPro has been around for a while...I think. So somebody should know something about it. It seems strange to me that nobody knows anything, and in particular about the hinge.

I spoke to the company. They said they've had no problems with the hinge, and I can return it if I'm not satisfied with it in 30 days. Well, it would take me a lot longer than 30 days to give it, and the hinge, a fair workout.

The hinge looks sort of small, so I'm wondering if it would slip while painting? Does it give enough support if I decide to scrub, etc.

The neat thing about the EasyL is, it looks like you can paint on different size panels much more easily than on the OpenM.

They said you can buy it for $100 less without the tripod. That puts it in the same price range as the OpenM.

Thanks for your response. I only want to buy one of these things. I need for it to last. Maija
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Old 12-10-2003, 08:24 PM
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Re: EasyL easel/pochade

Quote:
Originally posted by MKB
The hinge looks sort of small, so I'm wondering if it would slip while painting? Does it give enough support if I decide to scrub, etc.

Based on the picture, I share your concern.

Quote:
[B}
The neat thing about the EasyL is, it looks like you can paint on different size panels much more easily than on the OpenM.
[/b]

Well, it isn't particular hard on Open Box M, but it does involve adjusting a couple wingnut. Note, though, that Open Box M also allows for *storage* of panels of different sizes, but the Easyl Lite does not - at least, only sizes where dimension is 10".

Quote:

They said you can buy it for $100 less without the tripod. That puts it in the same price range as the OpenM.

Actually, it is considerably cheaper, unless you mean if you only buy the palette / panel holder.

If I had not been concerned about the lack of storage space and the inability to store 11x14 panels (or any other size that doesn't have a 10" dimension), I might have gone with Easyl Lite as well, but those were just too big to ignore. The sturdiness issue I don't think concerned me as much.
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:34 PM
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EasyL easel/pochade

Quote:
If I had not been concerned about the lack of storage space and the inability to store 11x14 panels (or any other size that doesn't have a 10" dimension), I might have gone with Easyl Lite as well, but those were just too big to ignore. The sturdiness issue I don't think concerned me as much


Hi Marc,
Wow, all of the sudden you've opened my eyes. Are you saying, that the EasyL can only store a panel that has a 10" dimension? So a 9x12 or 11x14 would be out of the question. Correct? I guess I asked the company, the wrong question about storage.

When I go out in the field I want to carry as little as possible...a small backpack, a tripod, and the palette box. I figured if it held a couple of tubes of paint and 2 panels that would be perfect. I never thought I would be limited on size.

I wouldn't do more than 2 paintings without coming back to take a break...or am I being naive? That's why I thought the EasyL solved that problem. Back to square one.

Thank you, thank you.
Maija (pronounced Maya)
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:31 AM
MS_Triple MS_Triple is offline
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I purchased the original Easyl so I can speak of similarities to the Lite version. I have not seen the Openbox M or other Guerilla pochade style easels in person but have looked at their respective websites.

Yes, the original is shallow so you would not be able to store tubes within the compartment. I do not see this as a fault. I would not want to store tubes there. I bring enough items along that I would not consider going out without a backpack or some sort of bag. You will want to transport the tripod in such a carrier- with your food, water, camera, etc. The tripod does come with a nylon carrier of its own though.

The actual construction is elegant and sturdy. The hardware is more durable and of higher quality than any of the ever popular French sketchbox style travel easels. I also have a Mabef and must routinely tighten screws. The hinge apparatus is strong and preferable to other designs.

I particularly like the larger size canvas that these Easyls support over 99% of the other pochade style easels. A true pochade is typically a small sized sketch but it is very nice to be able to paint as large as 24". Another advantage is the price. The Easyls come with accessories that are additional with other brands. The tripod is strong and similar to the popular Bogen Junior used with the Openbox M and pochades. As with the Bogen the legs spread wide for extra stability in wind. I did not initially like this because it seemed like it would take up a lot of space when painting on a sidewalk. However once I actually set the thing up in the field, a sidewalk, it was far less an obstruction than it seemed when looking at it in my home.

The single complaint I have is that the company recommends epoxy gluing a piece of glass inside the compartment for a palette. This is so paint does not build up on the wood itself. I believe the company should incorporate this piece at the factory and add $10-$20 to the price. It is too much for anyone to have to do before the product is considered ready for use. Why should anyone need to track down glass at a certain size and deal with adhesives? It is an inconvenience when they seem to have been so considerate in many areas including accessories normally purchased separately. You could stick another sheet of wood in there or even use the throw-away sheets of paper palettes with small dabs of double-back tape. It is also important to note that many pros add a glass palette to these pochade style easels regardless of the brand. It is common to customize this feature.

As for carting around boards, wet and dry, you should consider what most serious artists do -the panel boxes ($200-$400) are limited to smaller dimensions but there is a newer Styrofoam container that sits inside a nylon suitcase/bag available that will hold up to 24" canvases selling for $65 at Jerry's, $84 elsewhere. I stay close enough to my car that I can hike the distance back to the car more than once with gear if necessary. I store wet canvas and boards in a large tupperware style box in my trunk.

If you want to get into this style of outdoor easel you can do so at 1/4 the price in spite of the glass palette issue. But look closely at all of the alternatives so you see how each compares.

I did not keep it in the end because I had two other easels I could use and this was a luxury when I needed other things. Since then I have managed with my Mabef and a tool box. I also lug around 150ml oil tubes. I would like to eventually have one of these again but I don't need it. It is very cool though.

Last edited by MS_Triple : 12-11-2003 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:30 AM
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EasyL

Quote:
I particularly like the larger size canvas that these Easyls support over 99% of the other pochade style easels. A true pochade is typically a small sized sketch but it is very nice to be able to paint as large as 24".


Did you ever use the EasyPro to store panels in the back, before returning to the car? Was it a problem to store different sizes? Does it limit you on what sizes of panels can be stored, such as all requiring the same dimension. I understand in the EasyL (Lite), it will only hold panels with a 10" dimension. Is that also true for the EasyPro?

I do have 2 wet panel boxes. Each one will only hold only one size, either 8x10 or 9x12. They're light weight, but bulky. I leave them in the car.

I still like the idea of being able to store 2 panels in the lid, but hate the idea of being limited to size, if I don't have to be...maybe it's not a choice I'll have.

Also, it's not important to store stuff in the box. I take a small backpack, and it holds plenty. My big concern is the storage of 2 panels, and the ruggedness of the lid hinge.

Thanks for a well thought out message. Maija
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:13 PM
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Re: EasyL easel/pochade

Quote:
Originally posted by MKB

Are you saying, that the EasyL can only store a panel that has a 10" dimension? So a 9x12 or 11x14 would be out of the question. Correct? I guess I asked the company, the wrong question about storage.

Well, I based this on the picture on their web site. I see two grooves cut into the inside of the box. However far apart those the sides of the box are, it seemed to me one dimension of your panel had better match, or the panel won't fit.

However, I note now that it actually says it will actually store 8x10, 8x11, 9x12, or 10x12. I'm not sure how, but I'm guessing the grooves are actually 12" apart, and the 8x10 or 8x11 panels are actually supported not by the grooves on either side, but rather the groove on the bottom and perhaps the back of the panel holder. You'd have to ask them. In any event, it pretty clearly doesn't go up to 11x14, which knocked it off my list, so I didn't bother figuring out exactly wha it *could* do.

So I'd just ask the company about this directly. Sounds like it's more clever that I thought.

Quote:

I wouldn't do more than 2 paintings without coming back to take a break...or am I being naive? That's why I thought the EasyL solved that problem. Back to square one.

Well, under normal circumstances, I wouldn't be doing more than 1 or 2, either. Maybe a weekend camping trip, or even a day long hiking trip, or to bring on a vacation, you'd want more - but you could always get a separate panel carrier. I don't think you're being naive. Given the vairety of sizes the Easyl Lite claims to handle, it might still be the right choice for you.
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MS_Triple

Yes, the original is shallow so you would not be able to store tubes within the compartment. I do not see this as a fault. I would not want to store tubes there. I bring enough items along that I would not consider going out without a backpack or some sort of bag.

Oe advantage to having your paints and brushes in the box is that way, you know you have everything you truly need as soon as you pick up the box. Bring food, extra clothing, a camera, etc if you like as well - that will depend on where you're going - but I find it's to have all the actual painting stuff in one place. Of course, the tripod won't fit almost no matter how big the box is.

Quote:

The single complaint I have is that the company recommends epoxy gluing a piece of glass inside the compartment for a palette. This is so paint does not build up on the wood itself. I believe the company should incorporate this piece at the factory and add $10-$20 to the price. It is too much for anyone to have to do before the product is considered ready for use. Why should anyone need to track down glass at a certain size and deal with adhesives?

Hmmm. I wouldn't want a piece of glass taking up weight. If the palette is well primed, paint build up needn't be a huge problem. Maybe the thing to do would be to offer the glass (already glued in, or fastened in some other way) as an option.
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:55 PM
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easel/pochade-new???

Quote:
But look closely at all of the alternatives so you see how each compares.


You're right. I need to do my homework, and compare all the features to figure which one would suit me the best. This is all so personal, to all of our individual ways of painting.

So with further investigation...

I Just happened to see this easel/pallette box at the Willow Wisp website. They claim to have taken the best of all the boxes out there, and built their own. Take a look.

http://www.willowwispfarmstudios.com...sets/frame.htm

Tell me what do you think? What do you feel?
Maija
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:28 PM
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MChesleyJohnson MChesleyJohnson is offline
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I haven't used the Lite version, but I have been using the non-Lite version for a year now. I'm happy with it. The lack of storage space is not an issue, as I also use the wet panel carrier they make and take a bag with my paints, etc.

The only issue I had with the box was the closing mechanism. I found that the hinge, which you must tighten when you close the box, as this is what keeps the box closed, didn't close the box securely. I was worried about it popping open if I set it down the wrong way. (I carry it in a backpack.) I solved this problem by installing a clasp near the front of the box. This way, I have an additional way to secure the box closed.

I mentioned this to the manufacturer, so we'll see what happens. I'm on their "testimonial" page, so you'd think they'd want to keep me happy!
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Old 12-12-2003, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
The only issue I had with the box was the closing mechanism. I found that the hinge, which you must tighten when you close the box, as this is what keeps the box closed, didn't close the box securely. I was worried about it popping open if I set it down the wrong way


How weird, I would never have thought they wouldn't put a simple clasp on the front. For the amount of money it costs, it couldn't cost but just an extra couple of dollars.

A couple of weeks ago, I went out to paint. The weather in front of me was gorgeous. I turned back to say something to a friend. The sky was pitch black. I slammed my homemade box shut. Took it off the quick release, and was back in my car in a few minutes.

It started to rain buckets before my paint partner got her OpenM Palette put away. She fought with the hinge on the lid...couldn't get it off the tripod, and finally ended up putting it in the car, still attached to the tripod.

In a case like that, you don't need take time to worry about hinges, and/or if all you stuff will fall out.

I'm starting to lean toward the "Easy", but first things first. I would put a clasp on it. Thanks for the fair warning. How weird. Maija
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:29 PM
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I also have a homemade box that will hold a few panels. I swap back and forth between this and the EasyL. If I'm just going out for the day, I use the homemade box; if I'm on the road, I use the non-Lite EasyL with the wet panel carrier, since I keep the carrier in the car and usually don't walk too far from it. I spent two weeks in Colorado painting back in October, used the EasyL morning and afternoon, and it worked beautifully.

The wet panel carrier is a different story! The lid broke off on Day Number Two. I told Artwork Essentials, and although they were puzzled by the problem, they shipped me a replacement right away. (Glued seam split.)
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Old 12-12-2003, 02:54 PM
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EasyL

Quote:
The wet panel carrier is a different story! The lid broke off on Day Number Two. I told Artwork Essentials, and although they were puzzled by the problem, they shipped me a replacement right away. (Glued seam split.)


I guess, because they are handmade, there might be a problem every once in a while.

It's obvious, that they're a good company to work with, and they stand by their product. I like good customer service. Maija
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