Clayton recently finished sculpting a turkey vulture with a deer. This is a familiar sight where we live: deer are hit by cars and their carcasses are cleaned off the road by vultures. This was technically a challenging piece for Clayton, but he was satisfied by the end. (“It is not done until it is done,” he always says.) Clayton took the rubber mold (negative – see the Process section on this web site) to the foundry,waited a few hours while they created the wax, and was able to rework the wax that same day. Quick work at New Art Foundry – thank you! It will be in bronze by the end of October.
Always open to different ideas and approaches, Clayton is about to head west to Wyoming to the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation Workshop of Plein Air Painting. The program suggests bringing a whole list of painting paraphernalia. One piece of equipment not mentioned on the list, but which is a staple for Clayton when plein air painting, is his pochade box. A pochade box contains the easel in the interior of the open lid and the palette fits in the interior of the bottom portion of the box.
Clayton designed his first pochade box over sixteen years ago when he was painting street scenes in Paris. The lap held version he is using now is ultra-light – all of 2 lbs, 4 oz., and created it to hold a specific canvas – Centurion oil primed linen – and the palette section to fit Richardson’s Grey Matters 9 by 12 inch palette paper, which is affixed using a spray adhesive. This is a lap held pochade, not one set on a tripod. It is secured by a Velcro strap to the leg of the painter. There are true advantages to this system. When Clayton is in a boat which can rock back and forth with wake, he and the easel and palette rock together, so he is not trying to reach up to a painting that may move independently. In addition there is no need to carry a tripod around as well. Clayton can carry his pochade box, a collapsible stool and a container of mineral spirits and a small trash jar in one trip.
This summer when Clayton was painting while sitting anchored in a small motorboat at 5:30 a.m., a lobsterman, who happened to be a good friend, passed by. A cursory glance made him think to himself, “Now I have seen everything! Some guy out on a boat with his computer.” So slim and portable, that’s the impression it gave. Lots of laughs followed later when Rick found out what what it really was.