I'm fortunate to live in the Sierra Mountains (close to the southern Yosemite entrance), where everywhere you look there's a beautiful scene that's begging to be painted and lately I've had an overwhelming desire to get out and do it.
Although I am normally a studio painter, where my small paintings can take a month or two to complete, I love the challenge of exploring the plein air style where faster/looser brush strokes are needed to capture the impression of a scene within the changing light of a couple of hours. This will require a different approach to painting than I'm used to and I don't expect to paint anything that would be considered "good" until I've practiced a lot..."challenge accepted!".
I'm looking forward to not only venturing out of the studio, hiking around the forest and painting, but I'm sure that this will improve my color accuracy, speed up my decision-making process and add to my painting 'techniques & tricks' toolbox. As an added bonus; my wife, son and sister-in-law are excited to try their hands at plein air painting, so this will be a good time for me and the family. But being a studio painter, I didn't have painting gear small enough to pack around the local rough local terrain, let alone four sets, so I set out to build the pochade boxes myself.
While researching pochade boxes, I couldn't find one with all of the features that I wanted. So I drew up a design and started building.
They weren't very hard to make, but they were time-consuming. With a total cost of under $100 for all four (mostly for hardware), it was well worth the time and it was a fun project.
Now it's time to get out and paint. Wish me luck!