Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Pochade Box from Alla Prima!

Santa was indeed very nice this Christmas! I have a new painting box to take with me when I go outside to paint. For those of  you who aren't familiar with any of this outdoor painting business, I will try to give you a tour.
In recent years, plein air painting, made famous by the Impressionists, has had a big revival.  One can see artists of all kinds painting with lots of different easels and equipment at various venues. There are many competitions, fairs, and events that focus on plein air painting with prizes and well known painters that lend cache to the event.  Painting outside has its own difficulties...fighting the rapidly changing light, bugs, heat, and your equipment. Enter the French easel, which  you can see in the rear in front of my new box.  The French easel, although relatively inexpensive compared to my new, hand crafted box made by Alla Prima, is heavy, bulky, difficult to set up and has numerous problems. I have had it for years and have struggled with it from day one. But I must say, I learned a great deal about what I needed and how to lug stuff around with this old French easel.  Having learned from this, I was better equipped to make a decision about a new box.
My new box, made by hand by Ben Haggett (who is a delight to talk with), is a work of art in itself. Ben is a plein air painter and everything that an artist needs has been incorporated into this small, thoughtful, pochade box. His company is called Alla Prima Pochade and the pochade that I have is called the Bitterroot model. Both of the drawers on either side have room for shorter brushes, paint, some small tools and other necessities. The drawers can be entirely removed as well. The box can carry 4 canvas panels and holds your work securely via an ingenious magnetic, movable "shelf". There are many other cool features, but you can easily search for Alla Prima Pochade and there are numerous YouTube videos with artists and even Ben himself demonstrating. I can't speak highly enough of this box and being able to slip it into a tripod so easily and just start working immediately is a joy.*
I hope to get out as much as possible as spring comes around. The vineyards are a bit sparse right now, but with the rains and more rain to come, things are greening up and the mustard and lavender aren't too far away.
Sorry for so long and not posting, But surgery took some of the wind out of my sails and it has taken awhile to get busy. I am still trying to find my way in a new place. I miss my friends in Virginia and would love for them all to be transplanted here!

*the evaluation of  the Alla Prima Pochade painting box is strictly my personal opinion and I have not been compensated monetarily or otherwise for this review.

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