Now that I've actually (finally!) used my Guerilla Painter 5x7 PocketBox while plein air painting, I thought it would be a good time to share an update. In full disclosure, we had a thunder storm the night prior to video taping this so my bottom was getting wetter as the video progress ;D If I was asked which paint box was my favorite, I think I might have a hard time choosing. When I first purchased my original 6x8 ThumBox I don't think there was an option for a 5x7 at that point, otherwise I may have selected that one instead. But, I have created hundreds of paintings using the 6x8 pochade so I'm rather attached to it. After this summer, though, I may be leaning towards the 5x7 a little more...we'll see. Plus, it looks like they've changed the design on the 5x7...it would be interesting to see how this one works.
I really, really love art supplies and one of my favorite tools when I'm painting outdoors is a view finder. This one, called View Catcher, is really handy as it closes up nice and small to fit in my paintbox and the grey is a nice neutral, especially in bright sunshine. When we were in college, we created view finders by cutting two L-shaped pieces of mat board (used for framing) but it was awkward as they would bend while travelling and required two hands. This way I have a free hand to loosely sketch out my painting with a paintbrush. They're especially handy when the vista is all so beautiful as it can be difficult for me to block out pieces and just focus on one area. It seems to help me quiet the outside visual 'noise'. The simpler I make my plein air travel kit, the more often I actually use it. That, to me, is success.
This is the cute little 5x7 pocket box I got for Christmas from www.guerillapainter.com ....in it I can store 2-panels, 8-22 ml tubes of Liquitex OPEN acrylics, 15 ml OPEN thinner, 2 small acrylic handled brushes, a view finder, a cotton rag and small water container. After this outing I realized that I needed to order a carrying strap and tripod mount which also comes with feet to set the box comfortably on a tabletop. My 6x8 pochade which I've had for years stores much more including 4 panels but I find I tend to use it in town more often as it's bulkier and heavier - the newer 6x8 ThumBox is smaller but I really love mine just as it is.
One of the reasons I decided to paint portraits of women, especially during this current political climate, is that I see so many women struggle. In our home there is a constant battle against clinical anxiety and OCD which leads to depression...unfortunately it is cyclical, generational. As a mother it is so difficult to watch my girls in pain but they are getting help which makes me so proud of them both. One of the things I have recognized over the past few years was that taking photographs of them to show them how special they really are, full of joy and hope and strength, helped them to feel seen. That is my intention with these portraits...I hope each woman that I paint can feel that, too.