Monday, June 15, 2015

Tweaking My Painting Box

I'm always changing my painting gear attempting to come up with the perfect setup for me. Although I have to admit, the designing and building is sometimes more fun than actually painting on the stuff! HA!  Last week I'd made the new hanging box, hoping to use it for more mixing room, but I realized it would work best for just a shelf for "stuff". Why not get a bigger painting setup? Because I am trying to get this smaller gear perfected to fit into luggage for plane travel. My small painting box has traveled with me all over the US and worked well, but needed just a few tweaks.

I have numerous painting setups (smaller and larger) but I prefer this small one. It is an EasyL Prochade by Artwork Essentials. It's too small for most people as you can only paint on a canvas from 6" - 10" tall. But 8x10 is a good size for me painting outside in the short amount of time we have to paint before the light changes.

The original setup of this box was made for right handed people with a left side extension. I had drilled holes in this to hold my paint brushes, but since I am left handed, they were in the way.  I decided to put a thin piece of plywood over the extension to cover the holes so I could use it for extra mixing surface. I then made brush holder for the right side.
backside of original left extension
left extension with thin plywood added, mounted on box
Then I took a smaller piece of plywood and added a small square dowel which will be held on the right side of the box with micro clamps. I drilled holes for the brushes later:

Here's the final setup, ready to paint! The lower hanging box is great to lay down "stuff". All of this fits nicely into my rolling backpack. Hopefully this will work well this summer. But who knows, I may come up with another project!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Plein Air - Glick Park

I've missed posting for a couple weeks for various reasons. This week we painted near the Columbus Zoo at the O'Shaughnessy dam across the Scioto river. There's a nice little park there overlooking the water and dam.

Today I wanted to work on my color mixing and wasn't too concerned about a pretty composition. I also was trying out a new hanging accessory for more mixing space. I made the lower wooden box this week. It was difficult to use for mixing though, because of the angle and depth, so will use this new one for holding stuff like my palette knife and mineral spirits, etc.

I plan a different idea for the left hand tray on the upper box. Because I am left handed, the tray on the left on the top box is in my way when I put my paint brushes in the holes. I think I will build one for the right side, and also remake the left tray to use for extra mixing space.

Process shots of today's painting:

"Under the Dam", 6x10, Multimedia board coated with gesso

Monday, June 01, 2015

Sunday Sewing??

I didn't paint last Saturday with the plein air group because I had to deliver "Checkmate" to the Zanesville Museum of Art. Saw many of the other entries - WOW - it's going to be another exceptional show! Can't wait to visit the show once it is hung. (June 11- August 21st)

Instead of painting, I decided to get out my sewing machine, which has been neglected for about 10 years now. I was previously heavily into the "art quilt" movement for a good 15 years. Once I moved to Columbus I decided to switch to painting. I'd thought it would be easier to sell paintings. (HA!)

I'd been seeing some really interesting aprons online lately and decided to draft out a pattern for one I liked which is based on Japanese work aprons with crossed straps instead of ties. Luckily, my draft worked perfectly for my build (ie: wide and tall, lol) and fit like a glove.(The patterns available online fit normal size people, so had to make my own) After I sewed it yesterday, I agreed with the prices I saw for these on Etsy! It would be hard for me to make these for any less.

I'll use mine for use while painting. There's one other style I need to try and found some great fabric in the clearance at Hobby Lobby. I'll get that one sewed soon so I can use my painting table again! I did have to laugh - it all comes around - while digging out my sewing supplies, I found my stash of art quilts.....