Monday, June 13, 2011

Plain air easels, ohhhh my

I have come to realize when its time to make a choice between two or more things, no matter what the things are, it's going to be tough for me to make a final decision.

Now that I'm trying to learn oil painting, I think ... I plan on doing, plenty of plein air painting. Years ago I had purchased a full Mabef French easel, not realizing how much it would weigh once I had filled it with paints, brushes, turps, etc. Plus its awkward if caring it any distance.

Recently I've been researching plein air easels and I found that there were plenty to choose from and a lot to consider.  Weight, price and size were my main considerations.  It makes a girl dizzy just looking at all of the types of plein air easels out there.  I wanted something that was light weight, sturdy and relatively small, and not break the bank.  I wanted to be able leave the house at any time and not worry about forgetting something.

It was a tough decision and I finally narrowed it down to 3, the Easy L Lite,  the Coulter Plein Air System, and the 9" x 12" Guerrilla Box.   I was able to make my final decision based on all three of my needs.  Price, weight and size.  I purchased the Guerrilla 9" x 12".  I was fortunate to find a new Guerrilla Paint Box up for auction on Ebay (a friend found it for me on-line ... thank you Nancy) and won it for $69. A huge savings off the regular price of $179.  It weights 5 lbs. but built solid and sturdy.  Also, I was really sold on the idea that I can carry paint, turps etc all in the 9" x 12" paintbox.  (I realize the weight will change once I pack it full of paint etc. ) And, its balanced so I can set it on a a table or use a tri-pod.  I can grab my box and walk to the waters edge or paint out on the deck and have everything with me and ready to paint.

Its been a tough decision and one I didn't take lightly.  I realize I'm new to oil painting and in time, after more experience, may change my mind. But for now I'm thrilled to have finally made a decision and a purchase.  Yippee, that decision has been made!

Tell me, did you have as tough a time picking out your plein air easel?  Did you have requirements you felt you had to have?  Were you able to get them all in your plein air easel choice?  Have you changed your mind and bought a second easel having realized you wanted something else?


  1. Good choice and the price was great. I had a hard time picking but bought the easyL lite. The set up is quick but paints and assorted supplies are carried in a bag. I am happy with it...but also I am liking the looks of yours!

  2. I just bought a 9x12 Guerilla box on the enthusiastic recommendation of a friend, and now I must find a deal on a tripod. I haven't used it yet but I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. It's a tough decision and one we all go through. When I started plein air, about 10 years ago, I purchased a french easel. That was all i found back then. I used it for years. When I retired 3 years ago, we started traveling and painting, so I wanted something small and easy in my luggage on the plane. So, I got an Open BoxM 8" x 10". I'm happy w/ that for trips. Who knows, I may get another some day! Happy plein air painting! The bottom line is to paint! And, to love it!

  4. It was you! Heehee. You won the box over my $65 bid. That's okay. It was just going to replace an 8x10 box that I have. Congrats on winning the auction and put it to good use. :)

  5. Dave ... welcome to my blog. That is soooo funny that it was you that I snipped the Guerrilla 9 x 12 box from. Can you believe that it was new? plastic still covering parts of it, and new paper information inside as well as some extra parts. It was a great buy and I was thrilled to win the auction. I hope to start using it soon, so I'll let you know how well it works. Thanks for dropping by.

  6. wow, it is very hard to find a bargain on eBay these days...but you did! I am glad you got this one and I'm sure you'll love it. When I first started plein air a guy I knew made a beautiful pochade box for me. It was so pretty I didn't want to get paint on it! Over time I bought some others, a 1/2 size julian and an EasyL. Later I got an Open M. Now I use either the Easy L or the Open M and I will likely try to sell the others. It takes awhile, at least it did for me, to find the equipment that made sense to me.

  7. Glad you are enjoying your purchase! Did you order the tripod that was on sale at Judsons? If so, is it a nice model?

    Those of who have commented they had the EasyL lite - I am considering that for my next purchase. Did you order the tripod from Artwork Essentials when you ordered the box and was it a good one?