Old School Easel & the Power of Persistence
or,
Make your own tripod

By Murray Wagnon

California Plein Air Painter/Artist

 

A few years ago, I hiked, with my 9x12 pochade box in a heavy snowfall, to the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite Valley, only to discover that I had left my brushes in the car.

It wasn't a total loss as I ended up with my first palette knife painting.  Even without the painting, it was a fantastic experience to be alone  at the top of the falls, in the dead silence of the gently falling snow, looking over the cusp of the falls to the Glacier Point apron across the canyon.

Well . . . last week, I headed out to the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains to spend a week painting the fall colors, and found myself wishing I had brought my front entry hall with me . . . because that was where I had left my tripod . . . 

So, after casting a few aspersions in the direction of what was once my fairly well organized mind, an image popped into that same mind, of an old black & white snapshot of a famous French painter, on a dirt road, with what is now a multi-million dollar canvas, mounted on a simple tripod made of sticks



I decided to give the "old school" method a try, so I found some sticks, and a bit of cotton cord, and put together this simple easel, et voilĂ  as the old Frenchman would have said.


With the addition of a couple of spring clamps from my kit, it got the job done, and the experience, will also, hopefully, serve as a indelible reminder.

 

Here is a link to a handy Checklist for Plein air painters, just in case.

Thank you to Murray for another great story about the adventures of plein air painting, as well as a helpful idea of how to make your own tripod in case the need arises.  To check out Murray's website click here.


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