Plein Air I

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Acrylic, 6 x 6 in

This is my first attempt at real plein air painting, done in July 2017. We were on a 3 week family camping trip around the northeast and I brought my pochade box along for all 3400 miles! It was surprisingly difficult to find enough solitary, quiet time to concentrate on a painting. Plus maybe I was a little afraid of the process.

At a campground near Philadelphia I got up before everyone else one morning and painted this view from our picnic table. The early sun was lovely on the trees just beyond the pond. It’s pretty rough, but it reminds me of the peace of the moment.

(New) Homemade Pochade Box

Over this winter my husband built me a new and improved pochade box! We just finished it last week. It is modeled on the shoebox pochade box that I made last summer. The sides are pine, with a plywood base and lid.

IMG_0276The lid has an overhang at the back, which was a happy accident. He made the lid too large on purpose, intending to trim it to the size of the box. While we were trying to decide on a mechanism to hold the lid open at the right angle for painting, I opened it one day and found that the remaining overhang rested on the back of the box and supported it at just the right angle!┬áLike this…IMG_0278

Inside, he put a small ledge on 3 sides, to support a palette (actually I’m resting my Masterson Sta-Wet Handy Palette on it).

The water container is a baby food jar.

Under the palette support I can fit all my supplies!

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I took it on a weekend trip last weekend. Here’s what it looks like in use:

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It rests on my lap very securely (we experimented quite a bit with the size and weight to achieve this). Here’s the first painting I did using it, of the Mississippi River from my hotel room. (I felt too self-conscious just yet to venture out to paint in a busy city, although I did take my watercolor supplies and sit out by a nearby lake and paint).

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I’m hoping for lots more outdoor adventures with the new box this summer!