Summer is coming so time to review the pochade situation. Last summer I carted my French easel around and had one or two interesting encounters.
While I was painting, it occurred to me how completely anachronistic the concept of carrying a piece of wooden furniture around the countryside is. OK... I hear what you are thinking, "why not get a pocket digital camera if you want to be 21st century". Fair point, but just because one wants to indulge in plein air painting, one can surely do it in a more "aesthetically modern way". A pochade box on a tripod is a step forwards. There are some good pochade boxes at www.openboxm.com and a few more at www.allaprimapochade.com The latter site has Ben, the founder and maker (and artist) in some very clear videos, assembling the boxes en plein air. Ben's boxes are recommended by one of my favourite young Aussie artists, www.colleywhisson.com However, they are still wood! So this is my 21st century option, white PVC board, 75% the weight of plywood or MDF!
I bought an ancient alloy Manfrotto 028 tripod on ebay for £27, which I had to hack around a bit, but the result looks like this.
It has little L shaped alloy clips that slot in to the back board to hold the canvases and a box in the lid to hold 2 x 30 x 24cm canvases or boards. There is a neat slot in holder for the turps pot and a slide out perspex palette painted neutral grey on the underside. Ready for the first sunny day! OK, you plein air snow painters, don't say it........