Tuesday, 22 April 2008


What a fantastic day! Spring has definitely sprung at long last with warm and sunny day weather. Inspired by the exploits of marilyn king with her first adventure into the Great Outdoors I set off this morning all packed up with my own Outside Studio shown here on location at Chatelherault Country Park near Hamilton.
This is my new super-duper turbo-charged Royal Langnickel Sketching Easel in action (below). Well, perhaps I overstate it's super qualities but it is the lightest sketching easel I have found yet. And it is very fast to put up. It is made of lightweight aluminium and has snap-on clips like a camera tripod so it is dead easy to set up in jig-time. It also has this nifty little triangle thing that clips in between the legs (the tripod legs that is, not mine!) which gives it super rigidity, AND it is a great place for me to lay my rucksac off the ground and within easy reach whenever I want one of my sandwiches...oops...I mean my pastels. As you can see I am able to set the bar on a slight angle for my drawing panel (3mm plywood). It's like standing at a drawing board in the studio (which is how I like to draw) except I'm outside with little birdies chirruping just over my left shoulder. Leaning against the right tripod leg is my zipper portfolio bag which I use to carry the drawing board, sheets of cartridge paper, an Ingres pastel pad, and some sheets of newspaper inside which I place pastel drawings to protect them in transit. With it's shoulder-strap I really look quite the artist and get lots of admiring glances! The easel collapses into a very small carry-bag making the total ensemble what all serious Plein Airtists aspire to.

Outside Studio set up on a sunny hillside approaching Chatelherault House - a hunting lodge and summer house built some 250 years ago by the Duke of Hamilton. Designed by the renowned Scottish architect, William Adam, it overlooks the clyde valley and Hamilton town.

Pastels on Ingres paper, 22x15cm: "The House on the Hill": A quick sketch in a small sketchpad just to get me going.

Pastel on Ingres paper, 22x15cm: "Woodland Walk".

Pastels on Ingres paper, 29x22cm: "The River Avon".

Pastels on Ingres paper, 40x30cm: River Rocks.

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