|New Easel next to old one|
Most of us can’t afford to outfit our studios with top of the line materials and furniture.. What we can scrounge is what we have to live with.
Even a space to paint or draw is a luxury for most. Calling the space we carve out for ourselves a studio is giving grandiose important to that corner of the dining room or closet in the spare bedroom. For some this means a simple tabletop easel or the ubequdeous “student easel”, that cheap pine stick easel. You know the one, the folding tri-pod with the wing nuts.
That is what I have for years and years. Still have two in the dungeon. They hold a canvas at least as large as I usually paint. But these easels--for all that they are called “student” are hard to move around, and not particularly sturdy.
Much better is my aluminum field easel I invested in a couple of years ago when I start to teach and paint plein aire. It is collapsible and comes with a nice carrying case. This easel is ideal for moving around and has separately adjustable legs. And it holds the smaller boards I use plein aire easily. It is also handy for figure drawing class.
But back home in the studio, it was the pine-stick easel or nothing. Oh for a real studio easel. Something sturdy and that gives firm support to really large canvases or even boards!
This past year I got my wish in a surprising way; as a gift from my older sister. Now getting a gift from her is not in itself unusual. I don’t want you to think she is mean or anything. But she is a non-artist and freely admits to knowing nothing about art and art materials. Nothing at all. She did not even know the word easel, it is that stand-thingy.
My sister (with my mother) is a committed (or should be committed!) garage-saler. They approach garage sales with almost religious devotion. But as I said, she admits she has no idea what constitutes a good art supply or materials. She also have no idea about prices or values of such things.
But she is not one to let a little thing like lack of knowledge stand between her and a good deal! When coming upon a garage sale of a woman moving to smaller quarters she spied a number of things that kind of looked like they might be used for fine art? She fearlessly negotiated a fabulous deal!
Not only am I now the proud owner of a large aluminum studio easel, but a zippered, rolling craft cart/tote to hall things back and forth to the gallery for my classes, and a craft case designed for scrape booking, but perfect for holding a nice stash of art papers.