Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Easel shoes

Aldro Hibbard winter painting outfit. From "A. T. Hibbard, Artist in Two Worlds" available from the Rockport Art Association here.

I was asked for an image of our New England snow painting hero Aldro T. Hibbard. Here that is , it is not possible to tell too much about his winter costume but we can tell some things. He is wearing gloves and what might be very heavy wool coat. His hat has the pull down earmuffs that I favor myself. The cigar looks to be of an average ring size and length. I can't tell much about the boots but they were probably leather. Hibbard could spend all day outside in any kind of cold but I don't think he could have done that in this suit. This must have been shot on a warmer winter day.

I wear a brimmed hat like the one he has on, but it is made of polyester fleece and is black. I like at least the inside of the brim of any painting hat to be dark blue or black, that is less distracting. When it gets real cold I can pull my stocking cap over top of that. Mine is as I have mentioned before bright orange and made out of some unnatural material that is unbelievably warm.

He is painting on a Masonite panel on a Gloucester easel,. All of his equipment came to the location on a sled. He had some sort of a palette holder that looked like it was a box that closed when he transported it, and was a stand when opened.

I am surprised with how low he has set the easel. I extend the legs all the way, but he only has them about half way out and the painting is set lower than I would like, I wonder if that was because of the wind, he is out in the open .

Here are some shoes for your easel. They were invented and given to me by my friend Mike Graves. They go onto the end of the leg of a Gloucester or a French easel and keep it from sinking down into the snow. Slick trick. They are of course merely squares of leftover plywood about the size of a beer coaster with a hole in the middle. I throw them in my backpack at the start of the winter they weigh next to nothing and take up little room, but in deep snow they really are handy to have.


willek said...

If it is a Gloucester Easel, where are the two sticks that go from the back leg to the front cross piece? That IS really low. I think it was just a posed newspaper shot. What is that coat? The hat is really good, though, I remember that plaid from when I was a kid. He had to have work those pacs with the felt liners.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't think he needed the struts across the middle as he has his palette over there to his right on that contraption. The legs are in snow so I am sure it is stable. You are right though it may be posed.

kasman said...

Maybe the easel is set low because he wants the scene that he is painting to be directly above his canvas. Personally, I prefer this scheme to a side-by-side or canvas-perpendicular-to-view configuration. In the painting of Dennis Miller Bunker painting in Calcot by Sargent, Bunker appears to employ a similar strategy.