Saturday, May 29, 2010

Playing with colours

Now that spring is here, you would think I am out painting every chance I get. Actually gardening comes first in spring, so do other chores around the house that must be taken care of before I can head out with a clear mind.

But I have been doing something very important for my art. I have been playing with colour. Yes, I have been mixing up a storm and enjoying the heck out of it. I have been doing the equivalence of piano scales with colour. testing, pushing, playing and exploring.

While this is a fun exercise, it is in reality a very serious and important element of growth as an artist. Just like practice is important to the pianist and the ballerina - you can't just get up on stage and play or dance and you can't always play Chopin or dance full ballet as practice. You have to go back to the fundamentals and do your scales or stretch your muscles. Playing with colours does exactly that. It stretches your colouring muscles without the limits of having to paint a motif. If it has been some time since you got close and personal with your colours in this way, I would strongly urge you to have a go at it. You have no idea where it will take you.

As I play, I have become even more aware that there is so much to revisit. So I have also been looking around for a good course on colour. I really don't want to go painting with a teacher. Although that could be fun and I have a few painters in mind whom I would love to learn from, what I really want right now is a method or course that would walk me back to the future. Back to fundamentals so I can spring forward. Does anyone know of a good course on the market that does that? Either books or DVDs will do. I plan to devote an hour a day to this pursuit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Ultimate Do-it-yourself Pochade Box

Ok! I finally did it. After weeks of planning and researching, I think I have built the ultimate pochade box. Here is the launch:

The Sojourn is a plein air pochade box designed for artists who demand versatility from their tools and expect value at a low price. A one day garage-bench project, the Sojourn - which comes with its own wet panel carrier the Portage - can be built using the minimum of hand tools that are found in most suburban garages. It cost less than $90 in material to build this 12 1/2” x 15 1/2” x 2 1/2" slick pochade box and wet panel carrier, and what’s more you don’t have to be a workshop master to build the Sojourn. Everything you need is readily available at your local hardware store. Just take the shopping list that is provided and check-off the items as you place them in the cart. The detailed easy to follow step by step instructions below along with the diagrams will guide you through the project and help you finish your dream pochade in one rainy day.

The Sojourn Pochade has no equal in the market. Designed by a plein air artist for plein air artists, it is a light weight box (less than 6Lbs) that comes with its own slick wet panel carrier – the Portage. The Sojourn can carry one 11” x 14”. For longer trips the Portage wet panel carrier can carry up to 6 panels. Drop the Sojourn Pochade and the Portage wet panel carrier in a backpack and you are ready to go. I will be adding plans for partitions so you can turn the carring space to 6x8, 8x10 etc... soon so if you buy the plans, you will also get the partition plans as soon as I have them ready.

I have worked hard to document this pochade and help others build it from everyday material that you can find at the hardware store. As a matter of fact, the shopping list which comes with the plan is all you need to buy to get the project done.

To get the plan click here if you have an iPad or a Mac, you can also get the plans on iBooks or iTunes. Cost? $2.99! The price of a cup of Java! Get it!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Update on the pochade project

The best plans will change as they get executed... So I learned.
This weekend, between fighting a bad cold and keeping up with our growing OPAS group, I went to the hardware stores armed with a detailed shopping list. I had worked out a detailed plan for building my new and superior pochade box and the shopping list was extracted from there.

BTW, as soon as I have it built I will have the plans available but not before. Until it is built, things will remain fluid and I may change things around for a better build.

Anyway, I went to the store armed with a shopping list and once there, I made changes and more changes so that the shopping looks nothing like it did when I started. It is funny, but once you have a clear vision of what you are trying to do, new ideas are easy to incorporate and new directions are not as difficult to adjust for. I must have walked through every isle and looked at most gadgets to see if they would help. The idea is to make this pochade something easy to build with items off the shelf!

All to say I have all the hardware I need now sitting in the garage and all in all the cost is under $100. That includes hardware for both a 14x11 pochade and a wet panel carrier. I also have a brand name for the pochade :) No I don't plan to manufacture, but I do plan to sell the plans at a symbolic price so the name is an identifier and I think it fits. What is it you say? No no no. Not yet :) All in good time.