Review: Millard Sheets Palette (NOS*)
MEDIA: Portable covered watercolor palette w/storage (NOS*)
When artist Carolyn Lord (NWS,CAC) emailed me a few
Well it IS different in it's own unique ways and it has a pedigree of the highest order. Carolyn sent me one to check out and it's been hangin around my studio for while, so I thought I'd let you know about it and how to get one for yourself. They aren't available in stores anymore.
Millard Sheets (1907-1989) was an influential artist and teacher who held court with other artists in the Southwest in what came to be known as the California School of watercolor painting. The California School is famous for it's bold, loose style that reflects the light, color, and landscape of the southwest. Millard founded the California Watercolor Society and gathered other members of the group that included artists like Rex Brandt, Milford Zornes, Robert E. Wood, Phil Dike, and Dong Kingman.
"In the 1940s choices of painter's palettes were very limited, so Millard Sheets with his typical creativity designed his own. Today, with many palettes on the market, Millard's design remains unique" the Sheets (from original advertising)
Carolyn's 20 year old Millard Sheets Palette
The palettes are *New Old Stock (NOS). Carolyn had been using her Millard Sheets palette for 20 years (see pic) and they were no longer available. But she wanted a fresh palette as a back up, just in case. With a little detective work she happened upon a stash of them in some forgotten corner of a warehouse. This palette has been her preferred palette for years and it seemed a shame they should spend the rest of eternity not seeing the light of day or being splashed with paint.
So she bought them all.
All available Millard Sheets Palettes are brand new old stock. There may be some slight discolorations on the edges, but the interiors are still pure white and fresh as a dusty daisy.
What's so special about this palette besides its heritage?
Newly filled Millard Sheets Palette
The material appears to be durable, stain-resistant white plastic, the overall dimensions being 15" x 12 3/8" x 1 1/2" deep, designed with a welled base and a form-fitting lid.
There are 23 - 1 1/4" x 1" x 3/8" deep wells that wrap around the main mixing areas. These can hold your colors as well as be used for mixing smaller washes.
The 6 large mixing wells are each about 4” square and taper to a depth of 1" making them excellent for mixing large washes.
Snug fit cover doubles as extra mixing area.
The rest of the inside of the palette is a 14" x 2 1/2" x 1" storage area for brushes, pencils, sponges, tissues, or whatever you need to take with you. The 14" length makes it friendly to long-handled watercolor brushes. The snug lid keeps everything from falling out by accident and helps keep colors moist between sessions.
This palette is the equivalent of two extra-deep three-well Eldajon palettes with bonus brush storage and a lid! The top of the lid has an 8 1/2" x 11" flat area that can be used as an auxiliary mixing area.
There's nothing else like it out there and personally I can highly recommend it. These are top quality artist palettes that would be an excellent choice for plein air work or for those artists who need to conserve some studio space or keep all their watercolor stuff all in one kit.
As far as wash capacity in palettes go, the wells in these Millards fill more than any others. (ha!)
DISCLAIMER: I have agreed to handle the sales of the remaining Millard Sheets Watercolor Palettes for Carolyn. You can order below and Carolyn will ship you a brand-new-old-stock Millard Sheets Watercolor Palette.
Update 04/26/2010: Carolyn has informd me that her stock of Millard Sheet palettes has SOLD OUT. If you know of anyone else selling these palettes, please so we can direct our readers.
The Millard Sheets Palette
$30 ($23 plus $7 s/h)
It appears I wrote a review and a sales pitch in one. So I might as well rate it. Millard got it right. I blow off the dust and give it 5 stars.
FYI Watercolor Palette price comparison August 2009: Robert E. Wood 18.99 (plus s/h), Eldajon 8.95 (plus s/h), John Pike 29.95 (plus s/h), Sterling Edwards 24.95 (plus s/h), Aqua Pro 19.95 (plus s/h), Tom Jones 29.95 (plus s/h), Tom Lynch 18.95 (plus s/h), Zoltan Szabo 14.50 (plus s/h)
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