Since I am having a slight delay in building the Taboret…. I decided to take care of another issue in equipment. For year’s I have been frustrated by the equipment one can buy for artist work. One of those has been a palette. I would buy a new french easel and every one had to be remade with new hardware. It got to the point I would just revamp the hardware pretty much out of the box. I would change the hinges for window locks epoxied in with heavy brass screws and re-wrap the flimsy metal blocks on the legs. Wax the wing nuts and locking screws on the slides etc… but the Palette was built for someone who was working in ideal conditions with loads of time which I found was not me. I even had one that is so thin it split in half. You can see how inconsistent they are both in size and shape and I wanted double that space for portrait work on location simply because of the process of creating a portrait … but now I am thinking why didn’t I do this before… life would have been so much easier.
TIP : one can easily layout the paint on the palette before hand, take a piece of peel and stick and cover the paint before putting it into the easel so you are ready to go on location.
Doing lots of paintings next to the ocean where wind whipped around like it was channeled by high rises I had bent my thumb back till it was out of joint once teaching me never to hold my palette again. Still when you jammed the palette into the location under the cover it cut off a significant portion of the palette mixing space… so years later, when I actually had some of the tools, ho ho ho, I decided since I knew all this I was going to make my own full double size folding palette so that I would have plenty of room to mix but not have it held in anyway.
I bought a piece of 1/4″ birch hardwood, made a pattern where the palette could slide under the cover easily and rest securely on top of the drawer. I’m adding bungy cord as well to the back to wrap around the drawer.
The hinge I have purchased will fold out only 180 degrees so the palette lays flat and the paint blobs can be on the top palette when it folds back in half…. at any rate, I’m waiting on the 180 degree brass hinges. My next thing is to apply a clear gesso finish for the mixing surface so I can see the wood ( which I like) but which will prevent leaching of oil paints into the wood, making it harder to clean. Thus having a smooth mixing surface like glass. Incidentally I found that there is something called spray on glass but I have been unable to find out how to obtain it here in the States… I’m doing some more sanding but I’m thrilled so far and tried out the fit this morning. Will post an update when it is complete. I’m making another one as well for a laptop table. If you would like for me to make you one I can do this, once I finalize the supply chains… you can pre-order here: http://gallery.deborahchapin.com/shop/ull-sized-double-plein-air-palette-for-portraits-by-deborah-chapin/ I’m also offering the instructions on how to build it yourself.
You see how bit by bit I’m getting more organized…