Life with a Pochade

My introduction to painting was the smell of paint, turpentine and linseed oil in a wooden box--hand crafted by my Great Uncle Henry.

He made me one just like his that I had for more than 30 years. Then, in 1999, we had a break-in at the cabin and all my art supplies and worldly country possessions were stolen.

Louviere pochade, handmade by Loretta Louviere, Louisiana

Since then I have owned many a painter's box, a Guerrilla 9x12, a beautiful custom
Custom made pochade

made one I bought in New Mexico, a beautifully crafted 6x8 made by Loretta, a Julian easel and several others.

I had high hopes that the Anderson Swivel easel would be perfect for watercolour but when I finally tracked it down, in person, and stood in front of it in the window of the Montpelier art store, I knew it was a well designed easel but better for canvas painting with either acrylic or oil, or perhaps even pastels. In fact it was a pastel artist who recommended it.

Anderson Swivel Easel

Of those I owned, I have only retained a Guerrilla laptop journaling box:

And a small, wooden box, I picked up at Jerry's Artarama in Raleigh in '06.

While the hand-made pochade was probably the most beautiful,it was the Louviere pochade 6x8 box I liked the most. Unfortunately, there was something wrong with the tripod connection and it couldn't be fixed. I was about to leave for the road, and returned it and never got another one.

Now Loretta is closing out all her stock and selling some 8x10s.

I keep thinking about pressing a key and buying it...but I have resisted for days.

I can't justify buying another pochade.

I rarely go out with one, although I did travel across the country and back with my Judson's. I didn't find it worked well enough with watercolours and discussed it with Carl at Judson's for weeks, making some suggestions of how it could be better designed for a tablet than an easel. In the end, I sold it.

Perhaps one day, a pochade will come along that would suit my style. I often think of making my own but in the meantime, I'll stick with a light weight canvas bag, my chair and smaller tablets.