I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Review of Judsons Gorilla Campaign Box - for plein air

I admit I am a bit of an equipment junkie. Over the past decade I have bought and tried ( and in many cases re-sold) many of the pochade or other types of plein air setups. I originally chose from the pochade box types (panel holder and palette box attached). Of those I tried, the Gorilla box from Judsons was the best construction quality with good designs. In recent years I have moved from the box type to those that separate the palette from the panel, I am tall and more comfortable with the panel at shoulder height and the palette near my waist. I chose the Soltek ( a great system but a large foot print and some wear and tear issues) and the Art Box and Panel ( simple, low cost and good construction). I continue to own three sizes of the Gorilla Boxes, the Soltek and three sizes of the Art Box and Panels. Yes a lot, but I have a studio in BC and one in Ontario and I like separate setups for my oils and my acrylics at both ends.

I need another system like a hole in the head but when I saw the new Judsons Gorilla Campaign Box I had to try it. The reason is that it combines the separation of panel and palette with more depth and two drawers which makes carrying the paint, equipment and drawing supplies convenient.

The system was not up to the construction quality of my other Gorilla products - but that would make it far too heavy. Construction was adequate and the finish excellent. It weighs five pounds empty. I needed to make a few adjustments inorder to have it fit onto the easel. I installed a spacer to enlarge the opening for it to fit onto the easel legs. I also cut the end off the " hooks" so they would not extend beyond the box. As well I added two screws to hang my brush holders. With those things done the unit worked well. It carried all my equipment and needed supplies. The aluminum panel holder provided good support and enlarges to hold up to an 18x24 - far bigger than I have ever painted but curious to try.

Screws added and spacer behind wooden hanger

Holds my paint and drawing supplies on the two drawers. My small Sta-Wet palette, maul stick, medium, palette knives, straight edge and alcohol ( for cleaning palette) are all carried. It comes with a neutral gray acrylic palette.  

Brush holder and top used to hold "tools"

Set up for work - paint in Sta Wet palette that I put in the freezer when done

The system is well designed and well enough constructed. Think it will be a keeper. I can recommend it as a good example of this type of system.