Gear Updates: Tips, and Reviews

Last week I wrote a little Gear Update on Backpacks. Why? It seems a big task to update you on everything all at once. If you have read past posts on Taking Flight: Tips for the Winged-Artist, Gearing Up: the Sequel, "It's Plein air Season: Choosing an Easel," (or even the latest Gear Update: Backpacks), and then take a workshop with me, you may find that a few things have changed. That does not mean those items are no longer , "Lori approved." It just means I'm always looking for better, lighter, sturdier, and more convenient replacements. Some weeks I may decide to write a little mini-review for pieces of equipment I have tried. Some of these products may become a standard for me and some may not. These reviews are only one person's option, but it may help you as you begin choosing your own gear. I will also include information on things I find for painting in the studio.

Here's a  find from my trip to Crested Butte last summer. I seem to have a lot of trouble with leaking, sealable OMS pots/brush washers. I have paid a lot of money for the "best" on the market, only to have them leak all over everything every time my backpack turned over. I saw this little $2.37 Rubbermaid container and thought it looked like it might fit perfectly in the Open Box M's wine glass holder.  Ta da! No more leaking. Plus, because I tend to actually use a lot of OMS during the painting process, I get fresh Gamsol for every painting with very little waste.

Open Box M wine glass holder
Rubbermaid container with OMS (lid removed).




I won an award a year or so ago that included a very generous product certificate from M Webber/Martin Universal. (This was BEFORE I found my fun little solution shown above).  I decided to give their sealable OMS container/brush washer a try. Not only does it leak, the bottom of the cleaning grate has seriously sharp edges on the holes, just like a cheese grater. It cut the hairs on all of my Rosemary brushes and ruined them!

When I saw the company at a convention some months later, I thanked them for their sponsorship and the award, and mentioned the problem to them. I  made it clear that I was not trying to get more product out of them or even replacement brushes. I just thought they would want to know that this is a serious design flaw that should be investigated. They suggested I give a call when I returned home, so that they could speak more with me about it.  I called them and they said they would look into it and get back to me. Several weeks passed and I sent an email to them as well.  No response to this date.

Have a product you want reviewed? 1. Send an email to me at with the subject PRODUCT FOR REVIEW so that I know to be watching for it. 2. Ship product to: Lori Putnam 1225 Breeden Rd Charlotte, TN 37036 3. Be sure to include a return shipping label if you wish the product to be shipped back to you after the review.