Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Windy" --- SOLD

This spot was very near the spot from yesterday's post, just further up the hill. It was a very windy day, especially up there, so it was a challenge to remain sane long enough to finish this.

Until about 4 years ago I painted exclusively from photos. Then I met Gordon Fowler who recommended I try plein air painting and lent me a Guerrilla Box to use. I fell in love with painting from life and the next time I saw Gordon he said the box was mine! I've used it ever since, but I am now considering buying a lighter one, especially for my upcoming trip to Germany. I am looking at either an Easy-L or Open Box M. There is a fairly large price difference between the two and I am wondering if anyone has any advice/experience with either, or another they like better. Thank you in advance for your input.


yvonne said...

Hi Carol,

I have used an Open Box M for several years. I love it. The company is wonderful to work with and really stands by their product. My first one is a prototype that I bought well used but still was perfect after I cleaned the mixing area. The second one is smaller with more up to date features. I still actually prefer the 11 x 14. I don't use the walnut box the first one came is at all as it is too heavy. I stick everything in a backpack and go.

I really enjoy your blog and your work.


Charlotte McDavid said...

Hi, Carol,
I love my Open Box M. Like Yvonne said they are great to work with. I also have one for my watercolors that they modified for me. Can't wait to see the paintings from Germany. My family is from Essen near Stuttgart.

pfranklin said...

I’d be cautious about purchasing new equipment to take on your trip. Two friends of mine went to France with new tripod attachments for their pochade boxes and were not allowed to take them on the plane coming home. It’s strange to me that what is allowed going is not allowed coming back. The rules change daily, so I’d check first. There is so much talk about how much luggage weighs and the extra cost per pound because of the gas prices.

Paint is also an issue on some airlines. When I went to France about five years ago I was allowed acrylics, but not oil. The best solution is to be able to connect with an artist friend living in Germany close to where you will be. How cool would that be! I know you have fans all over the world. Maybe one will check in and help you out with supplies while you are there.

I have a Guerrilla box I love too… but admit to wanting to try something lighter.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Carol, I love my Easy-L and used one for the first time on a painting trip to Mexico - no problem. Also went to Europe last year and had no problem with the painting equipment. I have a separate CHECKED bag for ALL art supplies, and organize everything in clear zip-lock bags. I also enclose a letter in a clear sheet protector explaining to 'whom it may concern' (security personnel) that I'm a professional artist studying the local scenery, and my 'colors' (not PAINT) are non flammable (and you may just print out a sheet form the paint manufacturers on the flamability ) and all safe. THEN I add that if they do need to remove anything, to please leave a list of what they've taken (5 trips all recent, and they've never taken anything) so I can replace it. Also don't bring any turp or medium. You can get that there or ship it ahead. They kind of go nuts about that stuff. I have never had a problem, oil or acrylic - just NEVER call it paint. Good luck and enjoy!

ChrisB said...

Be sure and check out the Guerrilla Painter pochade boxes too. Open Box M, Easy L, Guerrilla, they all look great. Have fun in Germany. or

Nancy Moskovitz said...

I have an EasyL and an Anderson swivel easel which is closer to EasyL in price and Open M Box in style and weight. It is light, does not require a separate tripod, and sets up quickly but not at lightening speed like the M. I much prefer it for travel. That said, it is not for tall people,will not support an umbrella, and requires that you work on a slant (not upright)......but for the price, I am very happy.

mike rooney said...

the best i've had is one i made. took some wood strips and glued/nailed them in two squares 9x12 and attached thin masonite to one and acrylic plastic to the other for the mixing side. attached some hinges and done!
attached a tripod mount to the masonite side and a piece to keep it at the angle i like when open. goes in my backpack. carry a raymar panel carrier and go!
love the thing- its super light, compact, will hold up to a 12x16 (with some duct tape) and couldnt beat the price... Free!
people less masochistic i paint with love their EasyL's over all the rest.
enjoy your trip

Sharon said...

HI Carol: I have been using an Open Box M for the last 2 years for plein air work. I got the backpack kit and it is so cool as the pochade box and the zippered wet canvas carrier all fit into the backpack which is ergonomically designed complete with a waist harness to spread out the weight rather than taking it on your shoulders. It has a pocket on the side for your tripod, and room in the bag for your paint, lunch, etc. Plus it keeps your hands free to take photos as you go. I have had many successful hiking/painting days with it and highly recommend it. You can see it in action on my blog ( well as some of my plein air work.

Dianne Mize said...

Well, nobody's mentioned your windy painting, so I will since I'm stuck in the dark ages with a French easel. But I don't fly, so it works. Back to your painting, you really caught the wind beautifully. Good strong colors. Striking.

Kris Shanks said...

I'll put in another voice for open box M. I just use the palette - dumped the wooden box, and it fits in a backpack for day long hiking/painting trips. However, if budget is the limiting factor, I'd be tempted to cobble together something simple for a "pochade box" and spend my money on a lightweight carbon fiber tripod. One thing I like about the open box M is I've got a tripod bag that I fill with rocks, water bottles, etc. to stabilize in windy conditions. It's worked well in Death Valley.

Anonymous said...

I use Open Box M "11x14 lightweight kit" [16x20 limit] since I already had a good large backpack. But use on plane travel is another challenge.

If I were traveling by plane I would consider either Open Box M's Pelican hardshell case, Guerilla 9x12 [9x12 limit], or the Easy-l Pro-Chade [8x10 limit].

All in all the big thing is get a good tri-pod like the Bogen Manfrotto from open box M. That was my mistake as I did not get one up front.


Roxanne Steed said...

ahh, the holy-grail of pleinair painters....a good sturdy decent box that will serve you well under many conditions. etc. lots of great points here. I travel from CT to FL a lot by plane & also to VA by car. You can stuff any thing in your car if you do a "park & paint". But air travel takes some thought. I started out w/ a guerilla pochade box, which still is great for some things if I'm willing to paint small & really have to keep things light. But I ended up getting a second, heavier tri=pod later that I like a lot better. You want one that will keep your box sturdy if the wind picks up past a small breeze. Later I got an Easy-L and I love it. It's still the work-horse for me. I've taken it to Ireland 4 times. (and elsewhere). I agree with the above- pack them in plastic zip-lock bags (I double bag them incase the corners of one paint tube pokes through another paint tube). If you use all the same brand print the insert from their online web-site about the materials, etc. Also, last 2x I traveled in the states AND overseas I carried a small metal tin of "Turpenoid Natural" (I use to clean brushes) Also in a separate zip-lock, but where they could see the labeling "non-flammable cleaner". These have to all go in your checked luggage - I have a small rollable suitcase I use just for paint stuff. Pad it with a couple sweat-shirts that I'll be painting in anyway.....It takes some practice to figure out how to take JUST EXACTLY what you need, no more no less. And making it easier is a continual search. That's why I love to go on painting trips in my van! yahoo! it's a piece of cake in comparison! Say hi to Sally for me & happy painting - it looks great!!

oh yeah, bring a small hunk of baby-wipes in a zip-loc bag too for easy clean-up of your hands!! & if possible for air-travel buy a small bit of solvent at your destination.

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Carol. For plein air painting day in and day out nothing beats the Open Box M. I have used them for almost 15 years- all shapes and sizes, and traveled with them everywhere. But they are a bit heavy (I now use it with my backpack rather than the walnut box like many other posters mentioned here). For a serious painting trip, that would be my choice. But, for the kind of trip you are talking about, you might want to think about the thumb box by Easy-L. It is so small and compact and you don't even need a tripod; just rest it on your lap, a rock, or whatever is handy. I absolutely love mine and its perfect for doing small sketches outdoors or anywhere on the go. Have fun!