The tools of my trade

In my haste to pack up after the Multicultural Expo, I left a piece of my easel under one of the tables in my booth.  It was several days before I noticed the missing crossbar, by which time it made little sense to go hunting for something that was likely trashed when the venue was cleaned up.  As I sat painting yesterday, I mulled over the possibility of going up to my brother-in-law's place to recreate it using his various carpentry tools.  It would be easy to do.

This easel has been with me for probably 20 years.  For the first 16 of those years, it sat in the corner gathering dust.  For the last 4, it has been my constant companion with countless colourful markings from hundreds of painting projects to prove it.  In the first few years of this painting journey, it was the only easel I used.  I lugged it out to live paintings events and workshops, despite its awkward size and temperamental personality.

During the evacuation of 2016, separated from my trusty easel, eagerly awaiting our return in the studio back home, I bought a more travel friendly version.  It is now the one I use when doing paintings outside of the studio.  It is also better suited to managing large canvases, of which I seem to be using more frequently.  That said, it is also a temperamental beast and is far from ideal.

The sad parting of my easel crossbar made me take particular notice of something in a flyer that comes with every shipment of canvases and paints from Opus Art Supplies.  They have a sale on the Powell Studio Easel.  It popped out at me last night in a way that screamed "BUY ME!"

My existing easels are very limited in terms of their flexibility.  They are also not very good with large canvases, if I'm being honest.  I make them work, but it is a struggle.  I also need to put my canvases on my work table to do anything horizontal.  The Powell Studio Easel will take care of all of that.  It also folds flat and comes with a set of wheels.  (This is where I make that sound that Tim the Tool Man Taylor used to make)

Tools are important.  I have several that I use that might surprise you. 

I have a Stanley box cutter that gets used every single day.  In the last few months, I've been making custom boxes for every piece of original art that I create.  I recycle large cardboard boxes that deliver my prints and art supplies and turn them into dependable shipping boxes. 

I have a cardboard scoring tool that is equally important.

Once the boxes are cut and the edges folded, the packing tape dispenser comes out and does its work.

Good tools increase efficiency.  In this art game, as in most other businesses, time is money.  If I can save time by making an investment in better tools, I'm going to do it.


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