This past week, I decided to look at some easels from a company that my friend recommended called En Plein Air Pro. I checked out their website and decided to buy The Professional Series Oil and Acrylic Easel and the Traveler Package with Sunpak 2001UT Tripod.
For plein air painting, I have always used my Jullian Classic French easel, which I love, but it's pretty heavy and doesn't fold down easily. The En Plein Air Pro Easel's are very lightweight and fold down very easily. The watercolor easel even fits into a backpack. There's a lot of small touches that I also really appreciate about these easels. For instance, the watercolor easel comes with a collapsible water cup (made by Faber-Castell) that fits into the palette shelf. The oil painting easel comes with a turp cup that fits into its easel palette shelf. As a side note, the oil painting easel can hold canvases OR panels.
Both of the easels have sturdy palette shelves that have holes for standard brush sizes to keep your brushes upright and organized. The palette of the oil painting easel also has a value scale built into the palette. The palette itself is made of plexiglass glass and can be upgraded to tempered glass as an addition. I didn't upgrade because I prefer a wooden palette instead of glass or plexiglass.
One of the main reasons I chose these easels is because most of the pieces (aside from the tripods) are made in USA. The tripods are made overseas in Asia, but they're still good quality. All of the other parts are made in USA (Texas).
Another nice part of this company is that the shipping was super fast. I placed my order on Tuesday and got my easels on Sunday via Fedex. I field tested my watercolor easel today and I have to say it worked great. I plan on using my oil painting easel very soon. I definitely recommend these easels to the modern day artist/adventurer. Check them out and order one.
*This review was not sponsored by En Plein Air Pro. I'm simply a fan of their products.
"To become a great artist, it is necessary to remain rough...not to know too many things" - John Singer Sargent
I came across this beautiful quote while looking through this awesome site: http://www.jssgallery.org/-- Here is the full quote: "Pour devenir un grand artiste il faut ètre, il faut rester fruste." Fruste de connaisances they meant, i.e . . . -- To become a great artist it is necessary to remain fruste. By fruste they meant, i.e. not to know too many things, not to know too much" (Site link for quote)
Fruste translates to "rough" so essentially the quote means that to become a great artist, you must remain "rough" and unknowing of some things. The more I study and teach art, the more I agree with this quote. It's definitely possible to become too technical, too refined and too influenced. I think the reason for this is because roughness relates to creativity and ingenuity/originality. Rough even equates to the paint quality that I myself am searching for. Everyone wants to over analyze the technical aspects of creating art, but true artists learn as they go after an initial period of study.
To remain rough doesn't mean to be lazy or sloppy about anything, but instead to work hard and remain uninfluenced. I'll be thinking about it more as I work myself.
Painting from life, outside, is the best feeling ever. I set up my new palette, did a small painting of some hyacinths and I'm very proud of it. I'll be doing a ton more paintings as the weather gets nicer!
I'm so happy that the weather's taking the turn towards spring. This winter was brutal for me emotionally and now I'm so happy. The main reason is that I love being outside because my favorite activities (including painting) are done outside.
The main reason I'm happy now is that I can ride my motorcycle (and go skating). I brought my bike out today and I needed to inflate my tires. So I'm including this very positive review of a new air compressor that I got from P.I. Auto Store on Amazon. If you're looking for a great tire inflator for your bikes, motorcycles, cars and anything else that requires inflation then pick up this compressor. A huge perk is that it has an auto shut-off when it reaches the desired PSI (it also has other metrics for measurement if you needed). For a little extra, you can buy an adapter to attach so you can use any regular outlet instead of a cigarette lighter end. After I got the delivery, I also got a super nice note from P.I. Auto Store to make sure that the package arrived and that it works well (which it does).
Another quick tip, courtesy of my friend Richy, is to inflate your tires when they're cold (as in before you ride or drive). Enjoy the weather everyone and have some fun!