Thursday, July 20, 2006

Coolest Birthday Present Ever

I know I promised my next post would be a followup to what I posted on the commission process the other day, but this is just so much more exciting (not to mention the fact that I haven't made as much progress on the commission as I had planned - oops!).

So, Tuesday was my birthday, and Nate took me out to a fancy restaurant downtown to celebrate. When we were done, he told me we had to stop on the way home and pick up my present. We drove a few blocks and pulled up to someone's garage in an alleyway, and I started to wonder what the heck he got me. We got out and walked in, and there was my NEW EASEL!!!!

I've been needing a new easel for a while now. Nate built mine for me when we were in college, and it's very sturdy and nice, but it doesn't go to full vertical and it isn't big enough to handle a canvas much larger than 24x36". I'd been salivating over the Sorg Easel for about a year now, and apparently Nate picked up on it and decided to be the coolest husband in the world and buy me one.

It just so happens that Nate's Dad works with the wife of the guy who designed these, and he was kind enough to have it shipped to his house and assemble it for us. So we picked it up there and I got custom instructions from the designer himself (who btw, is the nicest man ever).

So, here it is in it's new home in my studio:
I already love it. It's counterweighted, so I can lift and lower big canvases just by pushing with a couple of fingers. No more fiddling with knobs!! And it's big and sturdy and perfect for larger canvases. And I can tilt it to any angle I could possibly want. And it's beautiful - it looks more like a piece of furniture than an easel (well, until I get paint all over it).

My studio is in our unfinished walkout basement, so I currently have about 8.5 feet of ceiling height to work with. When (or if) we finish the basement, I'll probably have to lower the center mast of the easel about 6" to maintain the same range of up and down movement I have now, but even then it should be more than I need.

Here's a wider shot of my studio with the new easel. You can see my old one off to the left - I'll keep it forever just because Nate built it for me (and you can never have too many easels!).
Anyhow, if anyone's looking for a new easel, I'd highly recommend this one. Quality-wise, it's on par with a lot of easels that are in the $2000 price range, and it's a much better deal. I also think it's a lot more functional (I think some of the more expensive, big heavy easels are a pain because of the whole adjustment issue - knobs annoy me). It's even easy to move around on it's casters, and not too bad to transport.

Definitely a cool birthday present. My husband rocks!


  1. Happy (belated) Birthday!!

    That is an awesome present!!

    My sis got me an easel (not nearly as nice) a few years ago, but I haven't used it enough... it just makes me feel guilty for not painting every time I see it...

  2. Boy, I think I love your husband! :-)

    You never can have too many easels, I say. I am always wishing that I could have enough room for more. But now I am inspired, I am going to start dropping big hints to Doug about Christmas and how I really need a larger easel.

    Nice to see your studio, it looks comfy and well organized. Do you stand while you work?

  3. Are you left handed, by the way?

  4. R.G. - I think you sound busy enough to justify not using your easel on a regular basis!!

    Tracy - my studio is not always so well-organized (usually more messy)!! I do stand when I work, although I've got a stool that I perch on every once in a while now that I'm pregnant (it's supposedly bad to stand in one place for a long time or something). I prefer to stand so I can step back from my paintings. And yes, I'm left-handed, which is the only way this setup works =)

  5. Wow, that's really cool. I was thinking, "Big whoop, some frickin' easel, seen one seen 'em all," but you're right -- that is like a really cool piece of furniture.

    Another good idea when you're standing at length while pregnant is to alternate placing one foot on a stepstool -- this distributes the weight better in your lower back.

  6. Oo -- another artist blog! I'm never visiting again though because I WANT YOUR EASEL and I don't think I could handle the trauma. :)