Saturday, November 7, 2009

Panel boxes

I have had a small group of people express interest in a winter snow painting workshop. It looks to me as if their is enough interest to do a workshop. I will get back to you again about that, if you are interested let me know. I am thinking January.

I intend to start writing on winter painting and equipment soon. However, I have a whole lot of art history I want to do and some of my own history too, I am not sure what comes next. I have ideas about what to write about, lots of them. I assume that at some time I will have uploaded everything I know about onto this blog and it will end. However I still have great swathes of subject matter I still want to write about.

Here is a panel box. Its purpose is to protect wet paintings from getting ruined while on painting trips. I have about six of them in different sizes. I make these myself but there are commercially made boxes that are lighter and probably as good. This box is many years old and probably predates the plastic ones available. But it is very tough. If I wanted another size that I didn't have, (this one is an 18 by 24 ) I would get out my table saw and make it. Here is a view of its interior.

It is made of luan plywood screwed with sheetrock screws to 1 by 4 pine sides. The top is hinged with a pair of small cabinet door hinges and held closed on the other side with a sash lock from a window. An eye hook will work for that too. The panels slide into grooves put into the sides with a table saw, here is a view of those. If you are not able to cut those on a table saw, you can build up the spacers by gluing and then nailing with fine brads small square mouldings also available at the lumberyard.


The whole affair is pretty rough and they take a beating being packed and unpacked, stuff gets piled on them and so they need to be rugged. I think of my panel boxes are a sort of specialized crate. The plastic ones would work for some people, but I don't think they would be tough enough for me. I killed several French Easels before moving to the Gloucester easel. I am rough on stuff, I use it every day and it all needs to be far more rugged than the weekend user would need.

You can make a box to hold several different sizes, for instance, I have a box that will hold any panel that is 14" long on one side, so it will hold an 11 by 14 but it will also hold a 14 by 18, I deliberately made the box deep enough for that.

I use the 3/8" hardboard to make my panels ( here is how to make panels ) and I recommend that you do also, but you need to decide if its that size or the 1/4" before you make those slots. It is good to leave a little play in there so you can get the panels in and out too. Some of your panels will be a little long, I don't think they grow but there seem always to be a few which are a little longer then they are supposed to be.

17 comments:

Deborah Paris said...

Stape- are they still making the "take it" version of the gloucester easel? I heard from some other artists that its no longer available- only the Cheap Joe's Chinese version.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deborah:
I don't know, I am hearing the same thing. I e-mailed them and I will let you know when I hear back from them,. I love my easel and I can keep it running forever probably by careful rebuilding. The Chinese jobs are put together wrong and unless they are rebuilt they are useless.
.....................Stape

willek said...

The boxes are great. I imagine you have the boxes in the automobile. How the heck do you get the wet painting back to the car and the box? You have the collapsed easel, the box with your paint and pallette, the pack on your back with the gallon of solvent, sandwich, thermos and paper towels. I reckon you do not have another hand for the 24 x 29 painting. This sounds like two trips to me...and panels are not easy to carry. I know you do not always paint next to the car.

Deb said...

Willek
There's always the pack llama.....

Philip Koch said...

Cool boxes!

I alway tell my students we artists have to be magicians, but add that we have to be practical magicians. The Panel Boxes would be an excellent example.

Gregory Becker said...

I went out painting today and did a decent painting. I got home and pulled out my french easel and the painting fell out in the driveway face down. Guess what I am going to build?

Mary Bullock said...

After painting at the sea shore one day, my painting fell face down in the sand. I left the sand on the painting - it actually helped! :-)

Deb said...

Why is it that when paintings fall, they always fall jelly side down?

Speaking of panels, I made some according to Stape's directions, and I really like the painting surface.
Brushstrokes stay on the surface.. it's great.

Ben Bauer said...

Hand made materials are the best, paint boxes, easels, taborets, panels, frames, paint and etc... I ma fan of these types of things. Me I get it from my family mark of waste nothing, but something make the most of it. I buy rolls of linen's and stretch, mount and re-prime. I buy paint now in the jar and tube. I buy wood and make taborets and again etc. I am intrigued by this take-it easel and or glouchester easel. I use a Open Box M, when and if I can get out and paint, and have plans to making one of my fitting, and if it gets to this point a panel box. thanks for the info!

Ben

Stapleton Kearns said...

Willek:
Easy, I carry the panel in my hand in my other hand is the paintbox, on my back is my backpack and Gloucester easel. No thermos, MOXIE in a can, no sandwich, large ring size maduro, Onynx.

................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deb:
Llamas, a mess of good eatin!
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip:

No magic in a panel box. Only empty slots.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gregory
Thats why I have em!
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gregory
Thats why I have em!
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary:
I imagine it kept it from looking too slick? If you let a painting dry you can usually brush sand or little bugs out of a painting.
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deb:
Below the equator thy actually fall the other way.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Ben:
I am doing a post on the Gloucester easel tonight.
.......Stape