My Favorite Tool - Laurel Sherrie

Why I Love my Pochade Box, and what the heck is a Pochade?

When I'm getting ready to go painting on location, usually the 1st thing I reach for is my Pochade Box.  It's convenient, compact, easy to set up, and it keeps a wet painting protected when I'm done! I enjoy painting 6" x 8" canvas panels, that I make myself by gluing oil-primed linen canvas (the best canvas in the world) to 1/4" birch plywood (it never warps).  The small size allows me to really capture a moment in time quickly!

So, what is a Pochade Box?!

I found this website, www.pochade.co.uk, which has a wonderful explanation of Pochade and Pochade Box. 

The term ‘Pochade’ is derived from the 19th century French verb Pocher meaning to sketch. The word itself, however, holds much more meaning and inspiration for it is a gateway to endless potential.

The Pochade box is normally of smallish proportions. The exact size and materials may vary, although the traditional box is wooden and must have three consistent elements. The first of these factors is a hinged lid which aptly rests at the correct angle to use as an easel. Ingeniously the dual purpose lid also serves as a storage space to safely transport the drying master pieces. The second element is a palette, which neatly rests on top of the lower section of the box. It can normally slide to one side thus revealing the third element- the storage space for the artist’s materials.

This miniature portable studio became very popular throughout the 18th and 19th century- particularly with artists such as Turner and Constables. It was a practical way of being able to seek out new places and challenges and then transfer them back to the larger canvas in their dwellings. In spite of the obvious advantages the Pochade box became shunned by artists in later generations until the mid 1980s when a Pochade revival began.

Typically Pochades are small pieces of art work created in under an hour using mediums of oil, pastel or watercolour. They have the versatility to be created in plein air, in the quest for perfect light, or inside man’s own creations. There is no need for elaborate detail or a deluge of easels and artist materials. Pochade painting is designed to be a swift facilitator of the muse. The artist sees the inspiration, opens the box, pours out his soul and closes the box- leaving him free to experience and be inspired yet again. The result is a three dimensional capture of line, colour, tone and mood.

The Pochade stands for much more than a transportation mode of convenience. It stands for freedom; freedom of mind, freedom from limits and freedom of space. It is an accessible portable way of experiencing art for what it is, how its roots began and ultimately what it will become. It is a way of capturing life as it exists at this very moment. A pocket sized postcard of the senses.

My POCHADES really are a pocket-sized postcard of the senses!  I love that description!

Here are a couple of recent ones, although these are 9" x 12", still small enough to be considered a Pochade:
Hawk Hill, Spring to Summer, oil on canvas, 9" x 12"
Emerald Hills, Highway 46 West, oil on canvas, 9" x 12"

See you in the field! 

Pochade
Emerald Hills Hwy 46 West - Laurel Sherrie
Hawk Hill Spring to Summer - Laurel Sherrie
Pochade
Pochade
Emerald Hills Hwy 46 West - Laurel Sherrie
Emerald Hills Hwy 46 West - Laurel Sherrie
Hawk Hill Spring to Summer - Laurel Sherrie
Hawk Hill Spring to Summer - Laurel Sherrie