Artist’s Musings

a pair of geese flew by; outside my studio window; i’m glad elephants don’t fly

Pochade box mood swings

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Pochade box mood swings.

I like the different pochade boxes I have amassed. I bought them only because I like them, but mostly for practical reasons. Such as, being light and easy to pack in a small bag to walk or bike to a location. Different tools for different situations. I do not drive.


I made a poor decision to buy 1/2 inch thick panels and the other pochade boxes could not easily accommodate such panels. So I bought one that could, but I forgot that I have another pochade box that could accommodate such panels. Out of sight, out of mind. It was buried in the corner of my studio.

The most cost effective solution for not buying a pochade box that could hold thick panels, would have been a piece of a synthetic plaster that is sold for hanging posters. I could have used it to help keep the panel in place on the other pochade boxes I own, and which would have saved me 200-something bucks! Live and learn.


I like all of my pochade boxes, but I am still partial to pochade boxes made from cigar boxes and pochade boxes made by Alla Prima Pochade. I appreciate finely handcrafted woodwork. Too bad the latter have to get dirty with paint and medium because it is beautifully crafted. I have bought a few more, and I had immediately dirtied them moments after they came out of the box. I did this so I would not treat them preciously while in the field because I did not want to be distracted with obsessions to keep it pristine. Chef Sam Choy said, “Never trust a skinny chef.” I think if Chef Sam Choy was a plein air artist, he probably would have said, “Never trust an artist with a pristine pochade box.” Hah-hah!

I too have made my own pochade boxes from cigar boxes and they are fun to make and to use. Martin Campos makes his own pochade boxes from cigar boxes too! Recently I found out that another artist, Tad Retz makes pochade boxes from cigar boxes too! However Retz took them farther with a few familiar hardware and making them mountable on tripods. I was so intrigued with how he made his cigar box pochade boxes, I ordered one. What can I say, I like pochade boxes because they are a testimony of the ingenuity that is in many artists. Can you say, Leonardo da Vinci?