The Plein Air Painter: An Easel Makes the World Your Studio

The Plein Air Painter: An Easel Makes the World Your Studio

Written by Aariana Adams

For the Plein Air (open air) artist, a painting begins with our easel positioned just so… the view begins with our easel positioned just so….

The easel is the painter’s most treasured tool. You must be comfortable with your easel. It must fit your personality, your size, your style, your medium and be your best friend when you need some inspiration. A fresh canvas or paper, mounted on your faithful easel, says, “anything is still possible.” From the inexpensive easel to a lifetime investment, an easel deserves some thoughtful consideration.

For Plein-Air or open-air painting, the easel configuration makes it possible to travel -- from a simple day trip to places far away. When you’re trekking to the park, the foothills or boarding a flight to halfway across the globe, your easel needs to travel well.

The Soltek French Easel, designed by Jim Wilcox, a working artist, is known as “the Ferrari” of the easel world. Made of space-era aluminum alloy and polymers, weighing only 9 lbs., its folded size is one-third that of the normal French wood box – only slightly bigger than a notebook computer. This unit sets-up in less than half-a-minute, can also be laptop or tabletop, and is quick to clean in a hotel room or on a riverbank. It fits in a portfolio, luggage or a backpack.

For the Plein Air artist, Monet described it best: When asked about the location of his studio, he stretched his arms out wide to embrace the River Seine and it’s banks of flourishing buttercups: “That’s my studio.”

Discusses the importance of easel-choice to a Plein Air painter (and indoor artist, as well). A general theme of "the world is your studio" when you have a great easel.

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