Meeting Notes, Thursday, Feb 18, 2016

At todays meeting Loretta U, Dave, Thomas, Tim, Joanne, Diane M, Bill, Loretta L, Kristina, David, Diane H, Brenda, John, Jim, Jeanie, Eugenia, Dawn, Susan, Tedd, Eunice, Renita, Annie, Tom, Carol Kelly (new) Sharon, and me, Celeste.

Today’s suggested table topic: easels and pochades. Tell us about your favorite and tell us if you have one on your wish list --give us the reasons why.

Celeste: I brought in a book about David Curtis. Here inside the book you will find a photo of him. He is painting with a really cheap looking contraption. His paintings are magnificent and he can do them with this lousy equipment. I think this means that the equipment does not matter. Just what is the point of this discussion? (laughter)!  All that said, I like the Soltek best.
I brought in a small painting that I added some paint to and also a painting that I did at “Fine Art Saturday” last Saturday.

Jeanie: I am working on a painting right now that is  48 x 24. I have a very big easel. It is almost too big for the room. I don’t have a pochade.

Eugenia: I am back from Florida and Connecticut. In Florida I saw the Dali museum; in Connecticut I saw the New Britain Museum and some John Singer Sargents. I took a workshop in Florida with Dreama Tolle Perry. When it comes to  Easels and pochades I am dazed and confused (Laughter)! My wish is that my gear would all be contained into one thing and that it would fit into a backpack. I brought an itemization of pochades and their attributes. I brought in a painting from my workshop.

Dawn: (Welcome back, Dawn)! The way I work is to paint on a folding table or on a wall! I have no pochade and no easel! My work is done largely with sanding. I brought in a recent painting.

Susan: I have had the same studio easel for over 25 years. I have an open M box for oil painting out-of-doors. I have a Sienna a box for pastels and I think it is a great piece of equipment. I brought a plein air painting (pastel) that I did recently at Oaks Bottom.

Tedd: I have a David Song easel for my studio easel. I like how it moves up and down. I wanted to tell you about an app for an iPad called Art set pro. You can paint just as if you are really painting! I did a painting this morning at breakfast.

Eunice: In my studio I have an old clunky crank easel. It’s functional… but it is old. I use my Easy L if I take any trips or have to be “mobile”.

Loretta U: I have a wooden easel in my studio and I have a French easel if I have to be portable ---if I need to go somewhere.

Dave: I have a Soltek easel for plein air. I have another studio in Fort Collins and there I have a French easel. What I like to do is take my glass pallete and use this carrier to carry it around (a wood wet carrier). That system works really well. I brought in two recent paintings.

Tim: I have built a lot of easels and purchased some. I believe that you can't beat the Strada --- however having said that it doesn't mean that I won't make or buy something else! (Laughter!) I think that the Strada is the best for work under 16 x 20. I brought in something that is not a self-portrait! (Laughter)!

Diane M: I like the French easel, but I have not had best the best of luck with them, the legs break. I have replaced one of my French easels with an H type easel. I like it --because it is secure.

Bill: My studio is in the basement. So I have to put up with the joists there. When I move my easel I have to move it in-between joists. (Laughter)! I was in Kaui recently. I used my Soltek easel there. I had to put booties on the legs. (Everyone knows you cannot get sand in those telescoping Soltek legs)! One good thing is that I understand if you have an issue, Soltek will fix and/or refurbish the legs on your Soltek.
I like how the Soltek fits into a suitcase. I brought in a painting that I did of a young woman in Kaui.

Loretta L: I have returned from a trip to Mexico City. I saw murals there that were just beautiful. I also saw Lee Miller photography. It was a great trip. I have an old Costco easel that was given to me. It is being held together now with duct tape. I recently purchased an Easy L for outside. It seemed expensive to me,  but it seems to be a good piece of equipment.

Kristina: I got a Strada mini for my birthday. I also have a Soltek easel. I am going to put a couple of my pochade boxes up for sale in case any of you may be interested in them. I have an Easy L and a 6 x 8 "thumb-box". I don't like my studio easel. I brought in a recent palette knife painting.

Dotty: I want to have everything in my backpack.  I sometimes use the cigar box. I can do a painting 6 x 8 or 8 x 10 with the cigar box. It allows me to have 6 to 8 colors and I also have a wet panel carrier. This all fits into a backpack. I do have an Easy L pochade box as well. I brought in a recent painting from downtown.

Diane H: When I think about friendships and relationships…I think about the fact that you have to decide if you can “put up” with the foillables of another. I think that is the same as it pertains to easels and pochade boxes. You have to ask yourself if you can live with this or that problem. I had a sienna easel for pastels and replaced it.
I brought in a recent oil painting.

Brenda: I have five pochade boxes. When you travel every ounce counts. I am not happy about the wing nuts on the open M box. The pastel version of the open M box is very heavy. I have just returned from Cuba. It was a very challenging trip. For one thing I had a pad of canvas and it turned out that the canvas wasn’t primed. So a lot of my painting buddies loaned me some of their panels. I only used one brush the entire time I was in Cuba. I used the Strada easel in Cuba. Here is my  painting of a beautiful old car. It got smeared and somehow that improved it! (Laughter)! The people in Cuba are absolutely beautiful. I had a wonderful time but I also came home appreciating America more---because we have it so great here. I am showing you some of the other work that I did in Cuba.

Annie: I came today to find out what you all use! Laughter! I paint mostly on tables. I did find a thrift store Julian easel. I find it is awfully heavy.

John: (Welcome back, John)! I am brand-new to this group and I really like it a lot. Thank you everyone! I brought in a colored pencil that I did of a kestrel.

Jim: I have just returned from Renton Washington where I took a workshop with Ned Mueller. I wanted to see his approach and try to practice his way for myself. First I am showing you how I used to draw a portrait. Hey these aren’t  so bad ---(laughter)! You can see the difference in how I was drawing portraits and how I later drew them under the Ned's instruction. He uses a bistre Conte crayon. He starts with tone and then puts in the dark. This is a little similar to painting because he is massing instead of drawing linearly. Oh about easels --I have a Richeson big easel in my studio. I have a Julian French easel …actually I have three of them. I do also have a French easel that was made from bamboo….but it was just all springy and bouncy, I couldn’t use it! laughter! (There was applause for Jim when he finished showing us all his drawings.---great presentation)

Renita: I have a little aluminum easel that works everywhere. It works inside and it works outside. I have a grocery cart with wheels and I put my pallete on top of that! It all works just great. I also paint on the table at home. I brought in two paintings that are recent.

Joanne K: I have had a metal easel for 35 years. It is a fold up metal easel and it works fine to take it inside or outside. I also have an easy L… a Versa in size. I also have a smaller box that is the easy L and an open M box for travel. -- I have a Santa Fe easel. I am showing a painting I did from “Fine Art Saturday” last week.

Tom: I have made several pochade boxes and easels. I am showing you one that I particularly like. I made an easel for my wife that I call the St. John’s easel because it sort of looks like the St. John’s bridge (laughter)! This pochade that I’m showing you has an aluminum pallete. I have ordered a cinnamon roll pan that has a lid that will fit in this! (Laughter)!
 I can use a strap with this pochade and hold this around my waist and set it on my lap. It works really great. I didn’t bring a painting but I will show you my screensaver on my iPad--- it is one of my paintings.

Carol Kelly: (First time here welcome Carol Kelly). No one has mentioned the Alla Prima Pochade box yet. It is my preferred pochade box. It has drawers and it has magnets everywhere. The downside is that it can be a little bit fragile. I have had to send away for repairing the drawer. But it is so well designed I can’t recommended it highly enough!

Sharon: I have a big easel and a Julian French easel and the SolTek. I leave my French easel set up on the patio in the summer to paint outdoors. I am showing two of my seascapes.

Thomas: Thanks, Brenda for the Cuban cigar! Laughter! I think if it comes down to number of easels--- I win! (Laughter)!  I have 14 or 15 pochades and easels. I have only sent back two pochade boxes --- one was the Guerilla box. I sent it back because it was just too clunky and heavy. I also had an Easy L that I sent back because I was not in favor of where the tripod head attaches. I am asked all the time "what pochade box should I use"? I almost always steer people toward the Strada or the open M. For myself,  I don’t like the “all in one” solution. I don’t like a box where everything goes into it. I just find it limiting. I travel lightly and I guess I don’t need to be “told” what to put where. The Soltek… I think about those legs. How you have to keep sand out of the joints!  I’m showing you this cigar box that I made. If I were to do this again I would’ve cut a hole into it for my thumb in a different place. I used friction hinges for this box and also the Strada easel uses friction hinges too. What this means is that you can put the lid at any angle. I use a Manfrotto tripod. I wanted to bring in my Gloucester easel today but I knew that it would be too big. The Gloucester easel is fantastic because you can paint in a gale! It it the best for withstanding wind and weather.
 I like what Scott Gellatly does with the idea of the cigar box thing--- he just uses a cigar box and when it gets all gunked up he just simply throws it away and gets another! I may go that route myself someday.


"Fine Art Saturdays" are at the Troy building from 1 to 4 on Saturdays. There may be some differences in this schedule in the future, but for now it remains Saturdays 1 to 4. RSVP required. The next model will be a female clothed model (dressed in a Madame X style).  The session is filled. email to be placed on the Fine Art Saturday email list:

Joanne Kollman is having a workshop prior to the model session on Saturday. It is at 10:30 to 12 o’clock. This will be upstairs from the studio one-eleven. You can find out more on Facebook. (The model session is now filled, but the workshop has space--Scroll down the Facebook page to find it):

Brenda has one spot open in OSA March 29. This is for her pastel class that is on Tuesdays.
Here are Brenda’s upcoming events (Portland paints the Desert, Cuba paintings, urban  demo):

Susan Kuznitsky has classes at OSA for the costumed model and that begins on March 9.

Thomas Kitts "ask an" is up and running. Check out his website and contact him with questions.

Ward Stroud’s fundraiser is on February 19 ---here is the link --and if you can’t make the fundraiser you can still donate directly to him at gofundme.

Brush and palette painting sessions are every other Friday find out about it here:

Portland artists are showing at the Brian Marti during Feb:

Mike Rangner show continues at Art on the Boulevard.

Here are the drawings from today's Thursday Drawing club session at Medley:

We had a great time at the June O. Underwood "field trip" to Milepost5, ArtHaus and lunch on Feb 17. If you have an idea for a field trip email us

Thank you everyone for coming today and sharing your ideas and paintings. Next meeting Thursday, February 25.  Suggested table topic: lost and found edges. What can you tell us about what you know about lost and found edges…? Let’s discuss.

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