Finally, a birthday present (offered in April, mind you) is reality. I must give all the credit to my procrastination but I am happy to have a wonderful new easel for the studio. It is massive but just right for my needs. I love doing large paintings and this one will support them perfectly. With two masts, I can even paint two canvases at once. I saw tall, narrow canvases in the art store and side by side, they would create a interesting piece of art.
I read all the reviews before deciding on this one and the only fault anyone could cite were the assembly directions but they said the same thing about other easels. Armed with that knowledge, I went slow and managed to get it together - all 66 pounds of luscious wood. They were right, though, the directions were the pits. Thank goodness for online photos!
I have used the same easel for most of my life. It only presented a problem when I wanted to do a large painting. I'd have to hold it steady with one hand, wield the brush with the other and play a demented game of Twister to load the brush with paint. Since Chris works with a smaller format, I have now passed it along to her. The one my parents bought me when I was in my teens is now my daughter's. It is nice to know that it will witness her artistic growth as it did mine.