Friday, November 28, 2014

Busy, Busy!

I took this week off work to get a number of things done. First, I did a presentation at one of the local art leagues on Tuesday evening. They asked me to talk about working in pastels - well that is a big subject - so I decided to talk about under paintings for pastels. I did a Powerpoint presentation of some of my past pastel paintings progression shots, and then showed some examples that I created specifically for the presentation. It went well.

On Wednesday, I hung my solo show at Inniswood Metro Park in the Innis House. I was asked a couple years ago to plan on exhibiting in 2014 (they plan ahead!), so I've been preparing for a long time. The exhibit will be open the whole month of December, with an open house on December 7, from 2-4. Please plan on seeing the show!

Yesterday and today, I've been finishing up a new sketchbook pochade setup. I want to get back into using gouache and watercolor in plein air for architectural paintings when I travel. I posted a quickie pochade I made from a checkerboard box on August 17, and mentioned I'd be building a new version soon. I've been following James Gurney for awhile and wanted to build something similar to his rig. Recently, he even highlighted some of his reader's designs, and my checkerboard box was one! Thanks James!

So finally this week, I had time to get the new design worked out and built. I'm pretty happy with it - but we'll see how it works outside in the spring! Below are shots showing the features:

The sketchbook is held to the upright board with rubber bands. The fold-able watercolor palette is held on with rare earth magnets embedded in the horizontal board. The two shiny tins (held in place with magnets) will be used as a palette mixing area with tube gouache or casein paints. A tiny jar for water is on the right, also held in place with magnets. There is a small lip on the lower edge of the horizontal board to keep brushes and pencils from rolling off. (By the way - I am left handed - so have setup to work on the left (backside) of the paper in the sketchbook.)
 Because I like to build projects on a budget, I found an easy way to keep the working angle. Although most of the designs on James' blog used Southco Adjustable torque hinges, I just couldn't see paying $15 for each hinge, while my other supplies were well under $10. So I just used a standard brass continuous hinge, and Bulldog clamps to hold the angle.

 I also added a 1/4" piece of wood behind the hinge area of the upper board to act as a shelf for the sketchbook to rest upon. With the addition of the pencil ledge to the other board, when the rig is folded, it closes nicely..

 The center of the back view of the horizontal board shows the threaded nut for a tripod screw.


Terry Jackson said...

Nice design Nancy. I follow James Gurney as well and have been thinking of making my own sketchbook setup. The fancy hinges have held me back. What you’ve done with the bulldog clips is very inventive and solves that problem.

Nancy L. Vance said...

Thanks Terry! The bulldog clips keep it steady but there may be an issue in that the wind may knock it shut. I am still thinking about how to solve that but maybe just a lightweight bungee attached at the top of the sketchbook down to the tripod may work.