I Needed a Plein Air Easel.

I have easels. I have a Julian Full Box . And they are all really heay. Too heavy for me to cart around for plein air. And the Julian is awkward. And heavy. And I am not a spring chicken who needs to spend time lugging around heavy easels. Where is the joy in that? I need a lightweight easel that can be used with any media I decide to use that day.

Good name brand plein air easels are darned expensive. That’s why many artists decide to make their own set ups. Over the years I have collected lightweight aluminum easels. I used them for display in the studio and for art tours or show and sale events. Surely I could figure something out…..figure something out without spending next month’s mortgage payment. It was time to drag out all my miscellaneous aluminum tripods and bits and and pieces to see what I could cobble together.

I had the base of the old Testrite plein air easel that was missing the top part for the canvas and one of the canvas clips. I found the table top Stanrite aluminum easel on ebay. Ron took a piece of one my misc. aluminum easels to extend the back leg of the table top. Then I could attach it to the stable Testrite easel. I love it, it is lightweight and extremely sturdy. The good thing about it is I can disconnect it and still use it as a table top.

There will still be a few modifications as I use it. I can use it sitting down or extend the legs to stand and paint. A good thing about the Stanrite is that even attached to the old plein air easel base I can change the angle of the painting . Im looking forward to some paint time soon!

Slow Stitching Snow Day

A glaze of ice and sleet on the roads means a day to stay home from the studio. With more frozen stuff predicted, it may mean more than one day with no studio time. I am thankful there was a warning ahead of time so I brought home some hand stitching.  First on my list is finishing  a long tunic top from the great Liberty of London fabric I bought in Arthur, Illinois last fall. I’m using  a Sew Tina Givens pattern with a difference or two. Always have to break the rules and give it my own twist!


Fall is around the Corner

Antique Hamilton music stand from a garage sale last month. $1.00 bargain. Painted with homemade chalkboard paint to change messages with the seasons. Sad little geraniums will be replaced with mums and flowering kale when the garden center gets stock. I love finding alternate uses for other people’s junk.


Not Quilt Related…maybe

 I’m not at all sure that anything I photograph is NQR or NAR..not quilt related or not art related.  In the life of an artist everything that we experience that appeals to our senses is art related. It might be sight [obviously] sound, touch or even smell.  

I took these photos this morning when I realized that my hyacinth bean was growing!  Not only growing, but blooming! It won’t be long until I have long purple beans. The entire growing season of the plant is a riot of dark greens and rosy purples. 

When we painted the porch area we removed flower boxes from under the windows. One of those boxes had been the nesting location for a Carolina Wren. I had 3 gourds that were painted fall colors to adorn the porch in a basket for autumn decoration. We decided they were better put to use  as alternate houses for the Carolina Wren next year. This one hangs above the bean with a long tendril wrapping around the wire. 

Carolinas like their home to be in vegetation so I was so happy to see this happening. 

The last photo is the astilbe that comes up every year in front of the mahonia holly.  I love the contrast of colors and textures in this front garden area.  Some leaves have a matte finish and others like the holly are glossy and bright. The bright sun creates dramatic light and dark areas.  It is these contrasts that delight me and make me wonder if there is an art quilt or a painting in here somewhere.