|Easel in action, with Beliza, Anne, and Susanna in last summer's |
DRAW CIVITA 2015
workshop in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. I'm leaving soon for this year's
workshop!! This shows the larger surface and tripod #3.
En Plein Air Pro Easel surface ($79) (I cut mine down to fit into a backpack) with Sony VCT-R100 Lightweight Compact Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head (about $40 from Amazon)
Story: I bought the entire watercolor travel set at En Plein Air Pro, but most of the stuff is too big and heavy.
So I ditched the tripod, carrying case, etc. that comes in the set and now only use the angled plastic surface with a ledge for holding my sketchbook/pad while I paint. You can buy this ledge individually from En Plein Air Pro for about $80.
Last summer while sketching in Venice with Marc Taro Holmes (someone pinch me, did I really just write that?--YES!) I noticed that his was easel made by the same company was smaller than mine, he said it was an older version. So I got an idea. When I got home from Europe before heading to Asia (did I really just write that too?), I cut about an inch from the top and one side, very carefully using an x-acto knife to score a line, then using pliers to bend the plastic back and forth until it snapped, followed by a mild sanding of the sharp edges. And voilá, it now works GREAT and fits in my backpack with ease.
In my search for a lighter tripod, I bought and returned four others until I found this Sony. It doesn't have the quick release mount which is unfortunate, so I end up just screwing the easel table onto the top of the tripod. Not a big deal...it works great...the lightest, smallest tripod I could find. Bought it on Amazon. Has a nice light carrying case too.
Travel Stool: Tribe Provisions Ultra-light Compact Portable Adventure Field Stool ($30)
This stool is great, although I sometimes feel like an elephant sitting on a thimble...it is just so light and tiny!
Story: The day before leaving for Asia, I found this on Amazon, and with same day delivery, it arrived that same evening!! By 9pm I was repacking everything into a smaller suitcase and left for Asia the next morning!
It comes with a small carrying case. Amazon and Tribe are sold out at the moment, but I contacted Tribe and they are producing more of these.
Another option is a new 3-leg stool available through REI. I don't own it, but it is light, a little bulkier and heavier than the Tribe, but probably better if you don't want to sit so low to the ground or need a heftier stool. Only costs $25.
|The tiny Tribe Provisions stool I use, |
this photo from their website.
|Using my stool as an easel in a pinch, with the talented Don Low who stood guard and entertained the onlookers.|
Another thank you Laurel Holmes for this photo, this is in Singapore before the symposium last summer.
The best part of finding this easel, tripod, and stool, is that I can now travel only with a carry-on suitcase...my Travel Pro Max-Lite 3 spinner...this has made a huge difference when flights have been cancelled-- and no lost luggage. Even with all my supplies, I now only travel with a carry-on and a backpack and a small purse!!!