This week I received my new Alla Prima Pochade Box, handmade by Ben Haggett, a Montana painter. I researched boxes thoroughly before making the decision to go with Ben’s box and all of them seemed a bit pedestrian in comparison. Ben uses powerful magnets for tasks that, in other boxes, are filled by bolts and wing nuts. For example, the support that holds up the panel can be moved around freely and stuck into new positions magnetically. It can also act as a brush holder when there is no panel on the box. Because I’m someone who gets ridiculously testy at having to make minute adjustments with nuts and bolts, the ease of magnetic repositioning was a big selling feature for me. I also like that I can store my panels in the box, eliminating the need to carry an extra box to hold wet paintings and panels.
I ordered the Bitterroot box which holds panels up to 10 x 12” within it. I’ve been doing a lot of painting in my car lately and it seemed like a good size to perch on my lap while I sat behind the steering wheel. It will be wonderful to get rid of the makeshift easel that I’ve been using to date and to get all of my paints and brushes under control in the compartments of the pochade box.
I had the workshop in Mexico in mind when I ordered this box, but I’ll be breaking it in here in the chilly Calgary air. I’ll let you know how it performs.