Took delivery of a new Soltek easel last night. I’ve been looking for a plein air easel that is easier and faster to set up as well as more self-contained.
I’ve been using an Open Box M and really like it however, it takes a while to get it all set up and between the tripod, brushes, paint tubes and all, it ends up being a lot of separate pieces to carry around. The Soltek should allow me to carry everything except the turp can and panels in one package.
So far, it looks pretty cool. Bigger, but not really considering that the tripod is part of the unit. And it’s definitely going to be pretty heavy by the time I get all of the “stuff” inside it. I’ll probably continue to use the OBM for when I need to go some distances.
UPDATE (01/31/08) - After agonizing over the choice of using paint from the tubes on the palette or using pill boxes, I tried the paints right on the little palette. Not bad.
I really like this setup. It was actually more comfortable to use than my studio easel. I need to start looking for a better studio easel.
In the mean time, the real test for the Soltek will be how it plays out in the field. I’m not going to keep the paint in it so the weight should stay reasonable. It’s pretty big, though, so I don’t know how hard it’s going to be to carry around. Time will tell...
UPDATE (02/11/08) - Back from a weekend out painting with the Soltek. Nice. I like this a lot. It’s much more comfortable to paint from because the palette level is much lower than the Open Box M. It’s still going to be a bit big to carry any real distance but should be fine for most situations. The long term proof will be how well it holds up. A future update...