Travel Paint Boxes

I was feeling a bit nostagic this morning when I was referencing my painting journals. Back in the early to mid-2000s there was an art movement that revolved around several dozen artists painting one small oil painting per day. I don’t know who started it, but it was definiately a great way to get your skills in tune. Some called it “Daily Painters” while others called it “A Painting A Day”; and several more variations.


Jullian Paint Box Travel Thumb box

My own line of daily paintings was called “Bantam Diaries”, because the paintings were small, and it was like a daily journal for me. I really liked it, for some reason or another, I moved on. It was probably due to the Jullian Paint Box shown above had ran its course. I took that box everywhere. It was a thumb box where you could hold nine full sized oil paint tubes, a few brushes, medium cups and a rag. The box held two  canvas panels at eight inches by six inches.

Since then, I’ve been through a number of travel paint boxes, some purchased, some hand made. With paint boxes, they are very much like musical instruments as you have to live with them, work with them and play with them. They grow with you and your art.

The Soltek lived with me for about two years before it went to the big paint box in the sky. It was the best, but the best ought to last, particularly at that price! Yikes.

Right now the box of choice, really out of desparation, is the Guerrilla Painter Box. It is pretty large, even though it is considered a small travel box. While these boxes come in all sizes these days, at the time, there was only the nine by twelve-inch box. I hate it because it is big, bulky and UGLY.  It is too small to have full sized brushes, but too big to carry around everywhere.

And, I love it because it is versatile. It can hold the small paintings and with a little imaginative invention, it can hold an eighteen by twenty-four inch painting! The image below is an eighteen by twenty-four inch oil painting work in progress. Which is why I still have it. Love it, hate it, love it.

It has a little adapter on the bottom so it can be placed on a tripod. I do not recommend this, as the weight of the box itself, even with a good tripod is wobbly. I use it on a wooden TV tray. I’ve had it for years, and it hadn’t really gone anywhere with me. Boo.

Now of course, there is the French box easel. This one has lived with me since the Soltek died on me. It is big, bulky, but it makes for an amazing studio easel, and it ironically, does travel well.

Maybe one day I’ll find that magical oil paintbox, you know, the one that goes with you, shares memories, and lasts for dozens of years. But until then, hey, keep painting and experiementing! At least my little watercolor box has been a trooper for a decade!