Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alicia's ThumBox™

A few days ago I was asked which size Guerrilla Painter® pochade box I use and why. I get this question a lot. I guess choosing between the 9x12 and the 6x8 isn’t so easy. Many of you know I actually have both sizes. Today I want to give y’all a peak at my 6x8 ThumBox™… and at the same time an unplanned glimpse into my own artist/pack rat insanity.

It all started in January of 2008. I started falling in love with the display 6x8 ThumBox™ here in the office. It was so little and cute. I already had my 9x12 and was using it often enough. I really had no business getting another pochade box and yet it was only a few weeks later that I took home my own little ThumBox™ for oil painting. I immediately began dreaming up plans so that I could get everything I needed and more to fit in this bitty pochade box. I had no trouble at all getting everything into my 9x12, but the ThumBox™ was a whole different ball game. Monica kept telling me to keep it simple – that was the point – limiting yourself. However, I was determined to complicate it right up. I got the palette extension… and then cut a hole in it for my Mighty Mite. One Mighty Mite wasn’t enough so I got one of each size. I went into my local framing store and had a piece of Plexiglas cut to fit on top of my wood palette and glued that in there for my palette**. I sewed a small pouch for my paint tubes to live in and it hangs off of the front of my box. When I’m plein air painting, I like to have access to my tubes. Monica suggests squeezing the paint onto the palette before you go out and leaving the tubes at home, but where’s the fun in that? I pack more paint than I need, over 15 short handled brushes, a few palette knives, two Mighty Mites, and sometimes even a painty rag under the palette.

I was so proud of my stuffed little modified box that I was taking it out to paint whenever I got the chance just to show it off. 6x8 panels got to be too easy so I got the Slip-In Easel and began painting on 8x10s. The slip-in easel lives inside my box lid since my 8x10s won’t fit in there – the paintings live in Handy Porters™, which I carry separately. My micro mini fold up stool is small enough that it gets strapped onto the outside of the box when not in use. The lightweight tripod (aside from the wet painting carrier) is the only thing I couldn’t figure out how to get inside or strapped onto the outside of the box.

I love both of my boxes like children, but the ThumBox™ is definitely the baby of the family and it gets to go on all of my vacations with me. My 9x12 stills makes it out with me on occasion and it definitely looks a lot more organized on the inside. With all my stuff… er, uh, necessary supplies, they weigh about the same in the end.

**The Plexiglas palette (don’t use ordinary glass – it’s dangerous because it can break) is something I couldn’t live without as an oil painter. I used an epoxy glue to attach the Plexiglas to the wood and after seven months or so it broke apart and came loose. I glued it back on there with hot glue and that lasted for a little while (I think the mineral spirits destroy any glue after a while and it’s always going to come loose). I can also recommend the Poly Pro Palettes we sell, which work well as a substitute for the wood palette.

-by Alicia

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