– Bob Bahr reporting, Editor PleinAir Today –
Mike Mahon likes the view he gets from on top of his vehicle. So he developed a system to let him paint up there.
Lead Image: Mike Mahon’s truck-top painting platform in action
The Santa Fe pastelist says he thought up this rig to create more plein air painting opportunities. “I can see over high brush on the side of the road. I can get unique angles otherwise not available,” says Mahon. “Anywhere I can park my car, I can paint, which opens up new opportunities, especially on city streets and tight road waysides. One very important aspect, especially when painting alone in remote areas of New Mexico, is that it is difficult for a person or animal to sneak up on me. Even if they do, it would be hard for them to reach me without my awareness. Just saying.”
Mahon calls it the Over-the-Top Painting Platform. It fits on the roof of his Ford Explorer, and has hooks that allow him to attach cords with carabiners to keep him and his gear steady up there. “Two diagonal corners have special attachments that allow for attaching my umbrella,” he explains. “The platform is designed so that I can face in any direction and work with my umbrella. I can also stand if needed. I use a telescoping aluminum ladder to get on the roof. I can set up my gear on the roof almost as quickly as I can on the ground. I use it with both my oil and pastel setups.”