I love using Art Cocoon wet painting carriers. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and one size carrier will work on many size panels, eliminating the need to pack multiple carriers for a plein air outing. Since we have to carry our gear on our backs, these are all important advantages to consider when choosing your equipment. I like the fact that the panels are encased in the Cocoon allowing me to easily paint all the way to the edge of the panel.
When I am traveling to paint, weight of my gear becomes even more of a consideration than ever. For my recent trip to Cuba with Eric Rhoads and Plein Air magazine we had a 44 pound weight limit. For this trip, I packed linen canvas cut to one 11×14 size in an Art Cocoon carrier and a roll of masking tape, cutting the weight down to a couple of pounds. On location, I chose my size and simply marked off the canvas accordingly. I used a quick drying medium so all of my studies were dry by the end of the week and packed neatly into the Art Cocoons for my return flight.
I have multiple plein air set ups, but my favorite is my Soltek easel for it’s compact size and ease of set up. I can have it up and ready to paint while others are still unpacking the components of their set up. The one big disadvantage I have found is that when conditions don’t allow me to use an umbrella, it is very difficult to keep both my painting and my palette in shade. I discovered a quick easy way to fix this problem. With the easel set up against the light, I attach the top panel of my Art Cocoon to the easel with a bungee cord just above the box part of the easel. This keeps my palette in shade.