Thursday, October 16, 2014

Making a Mini Pochade Kit.

I have really enjoyed using my small plein air painting kit but sometimes wished that I had an even smaller kit to take with me.

My new mini pochade box.

So I bought a small plastic pencil box, measuring 5x8x2.5.

My dollar pencil box.

The box was just the right size for two 5x7 panels. I taped wax paper on the bottom for easy clean-up and adjusted the consistency of the paint with medium when I added it to the box. A small plastic sandwich bag for trash and a packet of handi-wipes goes in my pocket. No turps are needed as I clean my brush with the handi-wipes. I use one brush for darks and another brush for the light colors. You can also add a small palette knife. I shortened the handles of the brushes to fit the box. 


I brace the canvas with my thumb while painting, using the lid as my easel. 

The box is deep enough to securely hold two wet 5x7's placed back to back and on an angle. The paint brushes can either be placed at the bottom edge of the canvas or in the box, wrapped in a bit of the handi-wipes.

A perfect fit.

It closes up, nice and neat.

There is a good selection of inexpensive plastic boxes available to make up a kit to suit the size canvas you prefer. It's fun to just grab the box and go for that "spur of the moment" occasion without having to carry all our usual plein air gear.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Playing Hooky Again.

After another busy week, we decided to run away for the day. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day and this time we headed north. The Maine coast is beautiful, but there is something very special about the north woods. The towns grow smaller until there is just a general store and maybe a post office. The people are hardy as the winters are long and the economy is rough. Houses are weather-beaten and stacks of firewood grow in anticipation of winter's cold. Hard working, no nonsense trucks are seen everywhere. The influence of the summer people and their shiny toys is missing here.

Heading north.

Quiet streets.

 End of the paved road.

We have a camp by a small lake just a few miles south of Moosehead Lake. We have owned the camp for over 30 years and the memories are very special. We didn't have electricity or running water until a few years ago when our son remodeled the camp. Our boys remember quiet evenings with just the sounds of the loons on the lake, the hissing of the gas lights and the crackling of the fire in the woodstove. I'm glad that the gas lights and woodstove are still there and when my husband and I go up, off go the electric lights.

Road into camp.

Our camp. 

View from our porch,

There is something about the solitude and vastness of this area that fills my soul with peace.

Thanks for visiting.