Field testing my ultra-light pochade box

"Bluebell Hopyard," by Carol L. Douglas, framed and ready to head out the the VB Brewery, where it will be for sale. $300.
Yesterday I wrote about buildingan ultra-light pochade box. When it was finished, I immediately took it out and field-tested it.

My pal and student Catherine Bullinger has wanted to paint at Bluebell Hopyard all season. This isn’t just a passing fancy: she and her husband run the VB Brewery in Victor and are committed to buying local supplies where possible.

Hops are tall and thin, kind of like my husband.
My back has been bothering me, so I elected to paint sitting down (which I only do infrequently). First mark in favor of the new easel: it works well from a seated position.

Hops are the weirdest darn crop. They have leaves like figs, are related to cannabis, and are perennial. The seed cones have been used to flavor beer since the 11th century.

The seed cones are what give the bitter overtones to beer.
Their bines grow up long, long supports—I would guess they grow 15-20 feet in the air. When the air is still, they stand like temple columns or Italian cypresses, but as soon as the breeze picks up, they dance. Finding a composition that caught the essence of their character was a challenge.

As we painted, the wind picked up. I have a tripod stone bag from my Guerrilla Painter easel, but I never needed to use it—the easel presented less of a sail surface than I expected.

Look at this beauty working!
My only complaint—and it’s manageable—is that the clip left a big unfinished area on the left side of the canvas. I corrected it easily enough, and I think I will use a different method of clipping next time.

The way I had it clipped, the left side needed work when it came off the easel.
The whole thing, including the tripod, fits in my frame backpack, which is a great advantage over my prior easel. Although I thought I’d miss the larger mixing surface, I think the 11X14 area worked just fine.

I will take it to Maine with me on Saturday, although I’ll have another easel as a backup.

Sorry, folks. My workshop in Belfast, ME is sold out. Message me if you want a spot on my waitlist, or information about next year’s programs. Information is available 

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