I'm super excited to give a review of some artists products that I've been using recently. The products are made by MABEF easels and I purchased them from www.mabefeasel.com. I'm so impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of these Italian made supplies.
I just used the pochade box today to paint two small paintings and it worked beautifully. I rested it on my lap, which was a very comfortable position for painting outside and inside. I also purchased a field easel that has two arms to hold my palette box, which is something that I've been looking for for ages. The other items I purchased were an artists box that has interior metal compartments that are adjustable (it also came with a beautiful wooden palette with a slick surface) and I also got a small folding artists stool, which is very comfortable and I used with my pochade box.
Anyone who's thinking about painting en plein air (or anywhere!) should visit their website and pick up some of their products. The products are very reasonably priced considering the amazing craftsmanship and that they're made in Italy!
*This review was not sponsored by MABEF Easels. I'm simply a fan of their products.
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.
I finished up this memorial portrait and I'm very excited to give it to my patron. The portrait progressed very smoothly and I really enjoyed working on it. I really tried my best to capture a feeling of life and spirit in this piece.
As a side note on technique, I had some thoughts about oiling out, which is the application of a thin layer of oil before you begin to paint to bring out sunken colors. I recently read that oiling out could provide some problems for the longevity of your painting; the problems could arise from the fact that oil yellows with age and there's no way of removing old oil, unlike an old varnish. I'm always concerned about the longevity of my paintings and thus, I will not be oiling out in the future. I used to think it was necessary in order to ease my paint strokes, but that isn't true anyway. Painting is an endless mystery.
Have a nice evening everyone--