Pochade? Pochard? or Pochette?

dscn1114Àn artist’s tool can sometimes have a name that puzzles or confuses people unfamiliar with it. I have witnessed this confusion over the term applied to small, wooden “cigarbox” easels. These small tools have been called “pochade”, “pochard”, and “pochette”; but only one of those words actually applies to the small easel.

The root word “poche” is derived from a French word that means “pocket”.  From this same French word, a number of English words that share similarity in sounds have evolved, but they are vastly different in meanings when used in modern speech. These words are often mistaken for each other: pochade, pochard, and pochette.

The pochade is a small easel box. It is easily identified from other types of easel: the interior of the lid serves as the easel or to transport small paintings, a palette divides the upper and lower compartments, and painting supplies are stored within the bottom. The pochade is also known as the tabletop paintbox easel or cigarbox easel.

Unlike the pochade, the pochard is not a painter’s tool. A pochard is a European diving duck of the genus Aythya. The male of the species has a grey body, and a rusty red neck and head; the female is brown. The pochard would be a suitable subject of an artwork, or perhaps of interest to a hunter or biologist, but it simply is not a tool that can transport a small painting.

As an element of both fashion and apparel, the pochette is an envelope-shaped purse that is used by women in Europe. The pochette also might be a subject of artwork, or perhaps of interest to the fashionista, but it, too, is unsuitable for transporting freshly-made paintings.


Charity Goodwin, Artist

More than being an experienced Visual Artist in both colored pencil and oil painting, Charity Goodwin is also a Mixed Media Artist. Charity welcomes traditional media, as well as demanding and experimental undertakings in new techniques and their permutations. As both an avid artist and art instructor, Charity shares her artistic values and creative passions through a range of artistic endeavors and instructional efforts.

Charity Goodwin has been an artist for over three decades and loves to work with people and pets, nature, sky and sea. Charity Goodwin endeavors to show the world the life that exists within and around us all.


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