Testimonials about your plein air easel

Real Reviews From Real Artists

More Testimonials

Bazelow, Richard

  • Medium:
    Oil
  • Location:
    Claverack NY
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2015
  • Years Experience:
    8
  • Artist's Website:
    richardbazelow.com
"After almost two years of painting with Take It Easel, the experience has been a complete joy"

I've tried various french easels and pochade boxes and although they served me well, there is always something that doesn't quite work. I love the wide footprint that Take it Easel has. I've yet to have a situation where wind has blown this easel over and that is comforting to know. I've used it in all seasons and weather and it hasn't let me down yet. Wether I'm painting on a small 5x7 panel or much larger canvas, take it Easel handles them all with ease. Most importantly, this easel is quality construction in every way. It has functioned smoothly from day one and is so easy to set up. Two thumbs up for this product that will last a lifetime.

Hight, Richard

Richard Hiight at his Take It Easel Plein Air Easel with a 6-foot large canvas
  • Medium:
    Oils & Pastels, mixed medium
  • Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2013/2014
  • Years Experience:
    30+
  • Artist's Website:
    http://www.visualmpact.com
"I had a great time and was able to focus on creating paintings rather than worrying about equipment."

I purchased the easel about two years ago and I use it almost daily...it is wonderful!

I have traveled around the world using it and it has worked so well for me.

I used the "Take It Easel" in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada, this summer.

I loved the easy transport up the mountain, quick set up and how well it accommodated the uneven surfaces of the mountains.

I had a great time and was able to focus on creating paintings rather than worrying about equipment.

Kolbe, Mitch

Mitch Kolbe painting en plein air on his Take It Easel
"Made an old guy feel like a kid again, and yeah the easel is everything they claim it is!"

There are already several great testimonials attributed to the Take It Easel on this easily navigable website and I must admit that I concur, but I would like to talk a minute about a great American company too. I was looking at the Take It Easel website and had a couple of questions before deciding to buy one. I called the number listed on the site, not expecting to actually receive anything other than voice mail, and to my great astonishment someone actually answered the phone and that someone was the owner and builder of the easel, Tobin Nadeau.

After patiently answering my questions he also was kind enough to personally make sure my shipment went out in time for me to receive it before Christmas--and I did!

Made an old guy feel like a kid again, and yeah the easel is everything they claim it is! I bought the Kearns model with all the bells and whistles and I’m glad I did. As you can see from the photo I made use of the snow/mud shoes that fit the legs the very first try, painting in the mud flats of Tarpon Springs, FL--they worked like a charm even when the tide came in and they went under water.

Thank you Tobin for resurrecting a great American easel and running a great American Company.


...three months later: "The easel is still awesome. Should have bought one years ago."

Day, John

  • Medium:
    Oils
  • Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2008 / 2013
  • Years Experience:
    35
  • Artist's Website:
    http://www.johnday.ca
"If you like to paint large work outdoors like me, this easel really comes into its own."

If you like to paint large work outdoors like me, this easel really comes into its own. It is easy to set up and lightweight, and takes large canvases and boards very securely. The design with the pegs, and hooked rod let me paint all the way up to the edges of my support. As I also like to work from a large palette for mixing my colours, the palette support bars provide support for a large palette.

I really like this easel with its large footprint for painting. In windy conditions, my paintbox on the palette support bars provides enough weight to keep everything from blowing over. When working on large supports, in especially windy conditions, I can I bungee my backpack to the palette support bars for extra stability.

Having tried other types of easels, I like that this classic design has no fiddly bits to break or get lost. Set up and take down takes only a minute or two.

And with all the new improvements on this classic easel, I just had to acquire the new upgraded "Kearns Model" version.

Levine, Laura

"I have been using this easel for 2 years now and I haven’t looked back! It is sturdy, lightweight, easy to set up and I have no size limitations on my paintings."

I have been a plein-air painter for many years. The old french easels used to work fairly well, but as these easels got flimsier and my paintings got larger, I knew that I needed to find a better solution for my outdoor painting needs.

The easel had to be sturdy, capable of adjusting the angle of the paintings and also be able to accommodate larger canvasses.

I was so excited when I found “Take It Easel”. This easel is just what I was looking for. Tobin was very informative and friendly and answered all of my questions.

I have been using this easel for 2 years now and I haven’t looked back! It is sturdy, lightweight, easy to set up and I have no size limitations on my paintings. I am extremely happy with this plain air easel and would recommend it to other plein-air painters, especially ones who work on a larger scale.

Thank you, Tobin, for reviving this great easel!

Blouin, Gerard

Gerard Blouin set up, painting en plein air on his Take It Easel.
  • Medium:
    Oil & Watercolor
  • Location:
    Holden, MA
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2013
  • Years Experience:
    10 years as a professional fine artist; 25+ years as an art director
  • Artist's Website:
    http://www.gblouin.com
  • Artist's Links:

    Blog

"This easel is a real pleasure to use, a high quality, high performer, worth every cent... If you are looking to paint large works outside, I highly recommend the Take It Easel... After this trip, I wonder why I waited so long to buy one of these!"

I have used a lot of different easels over the years. I've worn out several Julian French Sketchbox Easels; I currently have 3 of them. I've painted with home made canvas holders which fit on my photo tripod plus lots of other contraptions from art supply stores or my workshop. I have a mid-sized Open Box M Pochade Box which is brilliantly made and great for 12 x 16 or smaller work. I paint outside winter and summer so I try to find and use equipment that will let me follow Henri's dictum,"Paint the spirit of the place." and do that in all kinds of weather conditions.

Recently, I made a committment to paint my large canvases on location instead of relying on enlarging smaller studies back in my studio. So early this spring, on a brilliant sunlit day, I drove to Jamestown, Rhode Island to paint some coastal scenes. There was light bouncing everywhere, off the water, off the ground, off my canvas even when my easel was turned towards the sun. I decided to put up my umbrella but with a stiff ocean breeze setting up harmonic vibrations in my canvas and threatening to place my set up in the water next to the John H Chaffee, I gave in and took the umbrella down but still had to hold on to my easel.

The next day, I looked at my work and realized that because of the glare, my paint passages were 1 to 2 steps darker in value than my scene. OK, it was time suck it up and to buy a serious easel, one that would let me paint larger works in all kinds of conditons. I paint with several other artists who use Gloucester easels for their work, so I was familiar with how well they perform even in adverse conditions.

What to buy? I've looked at the Chinese version of the Gloucester easel at Jerry's Artarama and thought that it was inelegantly made but pretty cheap. I could fix the thing if I wanted to spend several days rebuilding the easel and remanufacturing parts. Naah.... too much work for too little gain. So I ordered a Take It Easel (www.takeiteasel.com) from the guys in Vermont for $330. Right away,Tobin Nadeau acknowledged my order and told me when the product would ship and the easel arrived as promised several days later. I unpacked the easel and set it up in my back yard. I found the parts moved very smoothly - like wet glass, the fit and finish on this product are absolutely first rate and the brass fittings remind me of marine hardware found on a well built sailboat. I extended the legs, set up the back spreaders to lock into the front hinged bar, put in the pegs, set a 24 x 36 seascape with a heavy duty stretcher on the easel, tightened the top rod and walked off. I watched the easel for several hours. It was a breezy day but nothing moved. The horizontal spreaders plus the top tension rod on this easel makes it very strong and very stable. Although I've seen this easel used dozens of times by other painters, I was still surprised by strength of the tension system. After searching for a large pochade box to go with the easel, I finally built a 16 x 20 paint box out of maple and cherry wood. I also added a couple of fastex straps to hold my umbrella with the easel.

A few days later, I was painting on the southern Maine coast in less than ideal weather. It was cold, raw, windy and rainy and for most of the time, we were working on large beach rocks facing the open ocean. One morning while an intermittent 20 knot wind gusted off the water, I worked on a 16 x 20 painting for about 2 hours before the rain dove me and my friends inside. Did I finish my painting? No! Did my Take It Easel or my canvas move even with an umbrella and the wind gusts? Not one bit!! This easel is a real pleasure to use, a high quality, high performer, worth every cent. After this trip, I wonder why I waited so long to buy one of these! Yes, there are logistics issues if you paint on large canvasses and have a big paintbox but for me its certainly worth the extra effort to have a solid, high quality, functional platform that allows me to focus solely on my painting. If you are looking to paint large works outside, I highly recommend the Take It Easel.

Roffo, Sergio

Sergio Roffo painting at his Take It Easel plein aire easel in The Boston Public Garden
"I must say that it's the best easel
and the only easel that I will ever need. It's like my studio outdoors."

For years I have been using a french easel and it has served me well but not without major incidents...like
blowing over or a leg or a part falling off. Then I switched to the "Take It Easel", and I must say that it's the best easel
and the only easel that I will ever need." It's like my studio outdoors.

Rix, Lynn M.

Lynn Rix painting in the snow with her Take It Easel
  • Medium:
    Oil
  • Location:
    Wisconsin
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2004, 2013
  • Artist's Website:
    http://www.lynnrix.com
"I paint in all weather conditions and have remained standing in front of my Take It Easel when fellow artists are running after their equipment!"

After purchasing at least 3 "French" easels that continually blew over, collapsed or developed jammed legs, I was fortunate enough to take a workshop from Rosie Nadeau in 2003.

I immediately purchased a Take It Easel and have never regretted the decision.

I paint in all weather conditions and have remained standing in front of my Take It Easel when fellow artists are running after their equipment!

I just purchased my second Take It Easel and absolutely adore the new leg adjustment hardware.

I can now set up and take down with my heaviest winter gloves on!! An added benefit is the beauty of the Take It Easel... it is definitely a work of art all by itself, handmade in Vermont.

I love it! Thanks Tobin.

Moeller, Stan

Stan Moeller on Gull Cove, Monhegan Island, with Take It Easel
"While other easels are blowing around like feathers in the wind, my Take It Easel stands firm."

I love beautifully designed and well-made products. When I first saw a fellow painter using a Take It Easel, I knew I had to have one.

I can be painting on the high cliffs of Monhegan Island’s rugged coastline on a gusty windy day and feel secure that my Take It Easel will not be swept away. While other easels are blowing around like feathers in the wind, my Take It Easel stands firm.

It can also hold a big umbrella to provide more shade. The Take It Easel is designed to hold everything from very large to small paintings and to hold a bigger paint box than any other system can: I love having a large palette mixing area that only a large paint box can provide. I have two paint boxes: I use a 17 x 20 and a 25 x 22.

I have two Take It Easels, so when a friend comes to visit me in Maine all they need to bring is their paint box.

As soon as I saw the new model, with the brass buttons, I had to have one because I just love the new design and the craftsmanship that Tobin puts into his easels.

Daly, Mark

Mark Daly painting on his Take It Easel plein air easel
"The Take It Easel handles large and small paintings securely so that I can paint with confidence."

Tobin's Take It Easel is the best solution for me. I paint in all kinds of weather and terrain. The Take It Easel handles large and small paintings securely so that I can paint with confidence. I like the simplicity of a timeless yet improved design. The fact that it is hand-built in America is a plus!

Ledwith, Joan

Joan Ledwith paints a large pastel painting on her Take It Easel en plein air.  The Take It Easel supports her artwork and all her art supplies.
  • Medium:
    Pastel
  • Location:
    Massachusetts
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2003
"If it's windy, the Take It Easel is more secure and less likely to blow over than previous easels I have owned (Open Box M, French, Soltek, etc), and under extreme conditions it can easily be anchored further."

I've had my Take It Easel for many years, and it is has helped to make painting on location a more pleasant, hassle-free experience. The Take It Easel is light weight, and its shoulder strap affords hands-free toting. When I arrive at my painting site, the Take It Easel is easily set up. The Take It Easel accommodates my large pastel box within easy reach on it's crossbars and also works well for oil painting. If it's windy, the Take It Easel is more secure and less likely to blow over than previous easels I have owned, and under extreme conditions it can easily be anchored further.

The quality of the Take It Easel has been excellent. The wood and hardware have held up beautifully. If I lost an accessory or needed an adjustment, the Nadeaus have been quick to remedy the problem.

The easel has been easy to carry on airplanes, but on family vacations I can just pack it in my husband's golf bag along with his golf clubs.

Ethier, Bernie

Bernie Ethier paints a large oil painting at his Take It Easel en plein air.  The Take it easel supports his artwork and all his art supplies.
  • Location:
    Greenfield, MA
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2005
"I can't tell you how pleased I am that someone has revived this fine design.
It does not deserve to be extinct. "

Imagine my astonishment when I was surfing around and came across your web site. I am a 73 year old landscape painter who bought my easel from Arthur Herrick in Arlington, Mass about 1950. It has been in continous use for 54 years and all I ever do is replace the straps every 20 years or so. Although I am back working in New England now, during 25 years in California I used it every day at the beach and never once had an upset with it.
In 1994 I spoke with a Mr. Howard Coon who was building the easel but had just given up making it as it was not cost effective at its wholesale cost of $ 37.50. I later purchased one of these at a yard sale here and since the metal slider straps were made of light zinc they had bent and the easel had simple fallen apart. I still have it tucked in a corner of the studio.

I can't tell you how pleased I am that someone has revived this fine design.
The Take It Easel design does not deserve to be extinct.

Carr, Barbara

Barbara Carr painting in the snow en plain air with her Take It Easel.  The Take it easel supports her artwork and all her art supplies.
  • Location:
    New Hampshire
  • Year Acquired Take It Easel:
    2012
  • Artist's Links:

    Blog

"I can use my Take It Easel to paint in any size, from teeny to huge; what other setup can claim that? I love this thing! The Take-It Easel is by far my favorite piece of art equipment ever. "

My new Take-It Easel, the Stapleton Kearns version, is a vast improvement over my former Chinese knockoff "Beauport Easel". Though the price was higher, The Take It Easel has been worth every penny. There are so many ways the Take It Easel is better, I hardly know where to start.

The assembly of the Chinese version was just wrong. The palette support bars were not attached to the main part of the easel and the holders were in the wrong place; I had to make quite a few adjustments to be able to use it at all. The Take-It is built in such a way that the paintbox rests horizontally on the palette support bars. With the old easel, the paintbox was slanted toward the back of the easel, making it harder to paint and less stable.

Leg length adjustments on the Take It Easel are made easily by pulling out brass knobs, then releasing so the spring snaps into the hole at the required height. The knock-off "Beauport Easel" had hooks that pulled up to release the springs, which worked okay. Unfortunately, the hooks kept getting caught on things in the car, so the knobs are a huge improvement. There are other improvements, too. The Take It Easel crossbar is heavier; the metal tips on the legs are better than the Chinese plastic version; the leg extender is a great addition; the fact that the Take It Easel canvas support pegs attach right to the easel with the little strap that holds the easel together when not in use are all small but important differences.

My favorite feature of the Take It Easel is its stability. I don’t have to worry about my Take It Easel blowing over in the wind as my pochade-on-a-tripod has done, or hanging onto it with one hand while trying to paint with the other. The Take It Easel stays put because of the wide stance of the easel, plus the weight of the paintbox on it.

I can use my Take It Easel to paint in any size, from teeny to huge; what other setup can claim that? The padded strap makes it easy to carry. Nearly everything else goes into my paintbox (an ancient 12 x 16). Any other stuff I want (sketchbook, paper towels, lunch, water) goes into a small backpack. The whole thing takes about two minutes to set up and about one minute to break down.

I love this thing! The Take-It Easel is by far my favorite piece of art equipment ever.

Other hints: I put a piece of rubbery shelf liner under the paintbox to keep it from sliding on the palette support bars. I detached the bracket on the paintbox that kept it open at a right angle, so that it would lie flat instead. I use a 12” x 16” sheet of white plexiglass inserted into the cover of the paintbox for a palette. Before I leave home, I squeeze out paint into a Judson’s covered plastic palette, which fits inside the paintbox. At the end of the painting day, I just wipe off the paint that’s left on the plexi and close everything up. No mess! I stick my roll of paper towels on the end of the crossbar, with a loose bungee around it to keep the sheets from unrolling in the wind. I have a clip that hikers use to attach equipment to keep my trash bag hooked to one of the brackets. Finally, my metal “turps” container gets hung by its handle on one of the palette support bars.

Christensen, Scott

Scott Christensen painting a massive oil painting en plain air on his Take It Easel.  Scott Christensen prefers the Take It Easel when painting large.
"Scott Christensen sometimes feels the need to paint larger than the Open Box M can accommodate. When he does these large plein air paintings he uses his Take It Easel."

Scott Christensen sometimes feels the need to paint larger than the Open Box M can accommodate. When he does these large plein air paintings he uses his Take It Easel. He feels that painting plein air gives his paintings a freshness that you can only get by painting outdoors. Here you can see him working on a very large painting in the Wind River Mountains.

Cabrera, Armand

Armand Cabrera painting an oil painting, using his Take It Easel en plein air. The Take it easel supports her artwork and all her art supplies.
"The Take It Easel is the only solution for painting large paintings outdoors..."

The Take It Easel is the only solution for painting large paintings outdoors. Its wide three point A-frame design and independently adjustable legs provide a sturdy support for uneven terrain.

Nadeau, Rosalie

Rosalie Nadeau painting an oil painting en plein air, with her Take It Easel. Rosalie Nadeau says the Take It Easel is the best plain air easel.
"I can paint 8 x 10 inches or 4 by 6 feet. It's ideal for holding my many pastels or oil painting supplies at working height...the Take It Easel design is perfect for me!!"

Since high school in the 60's, I'd been painting on location with an unstable aluminum easel and a snack tray to hold my supplies. In 1985 I saw Loretta Feeney using a Gloucester easel with a big paint box. I called the art supply store in Gloucester and ordered what was the last one made by the fellow who had crafted them for three generations of Gruppe painters.

I can paint 8 x 10 inches or 4 by 6 feet. The Take It Easel is ideal for holding my many pastels or oil painting supplies at working height. I delight in opening flat my old paint box with its 16 x 20 inch Plexiglas pallet. My Take It Easel holds it all! My supply bag hangs handy and dry while I paint in the dewy mornings or in mushy marshes. My roll of paper towels fits on the end of the drop down support bar. The Take It Easel set-up eliminates bending or reaching for anything!

I keep my 53 inch umbrella clamped to the extra peg, and with a spring clamp for stability, I can shade both my painting and myself! Closed, the umbrella bundles right up within the buckled easel strap. With my loaded backpack and folded easel over my shoulder, my hands are both free to carry my big painting back to the car.

I now own three Take It Easels. I travel with one and leave two set up in the studio, where I find that the Take It Easel uses less floor space than a taboret and studio easel combination and it's very light and easy to move. The original Gloucester easel was made with tacked zinc leg brackets and a fine gage spring lever which I bent and broke. In fixing it, my husband Tom was fascinated by the streamlined simplicity of the leg movements. He spent a year and a half fine-tuning the revival of the Gloucester easel. He strengthened the lever quality, upgraded to brass for the three-way hinge and leg brackets, and used brass bolts instead of tacks. My son, Tobin, took over the business, crafting maple hardwood for warp-free stability and replaced the complicated internal spring mechanism with a simple spring-pin made from rust-proof case-hardened stainless steel, with a beautiful solid brass knob. Voila! The revival of the Gloucester easel. The Take It Easel design is perfect for me!!