Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Take-it (Gloucester) Easel

At the Sally Strand pastel workshop, both Rosalie Nadeau and her son were using a Take-It Easel - a version of a Gloucester Easel

I'd never seen an easel like this before and, at first, thought they looked simply enormous. However, as Rosalie showed me, her set-up meant that she had a nice stable ledge just below her artboard on which to place a nice big box of pastels and consequently had absolutely no need at all to have a taboret for her pastels next to a normal studio easel. Everything else hangs off the easel at one point or another.

There are some much better pictures of the easel on the Takeit Easel website., which also has a great annotated diagram of all the different parts of the easel.

Major advantages for plein air painters is its scope to accommodate extremely large canvases or art boards easily - for painters who are sitting or standing. The span of the legs and their adjustability means that it's easy to set up on uneven ground. I was also very impressed by how light the easel was and how easy it was to pick up - laden with pastel painting and an open pastels box - and move around.

The story behind the easel is that Rosalie bought the very last one made by the man who had taken over making them for Emil Gruppe and the Gloucester School of Painting. The easel was originally called the Anderson easel and originates in northern Europe. Her family now have a company which make them and ship them all over the USA and the rest of the world.

Rosalie has studied with Lois Griffel and her work has been included in a couple of books about pastel painting. She produces very colourful pastels, some of which you can see here, although I think I'm right in saying her first love is landscape painting.

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