For a long time I had no idea why anyone would really need a table-top easel. Table top easels are small easels that sit on your desk, intended for use with small paintings like my Astral Projection painting above. To me they seemed like they were a decoractive non-essential object, but a nice way to display a small painting. Sometimes I need for things to go horribly wrong before I realize that I am missing the right tools for the job.
Before I bought myself the table top easel above I was just putting the panels or canvas flat on the table. As I'd work on these pieces I'd notice that I would have terrible posture, I'd have to crane my neck far over the surface to get the best perspective. But if I tried to sit with normal posture I would get a distorted view on the work. In the photo below you can see what I'm getting at, the image has become foreshortened. Even the slightest distortion can really impact the work. I guess I learned my lesson one day when I was working on the table and then I tipped the painting upright and was really disapointed to see it stretch into a different looking painting! Eeek!
The table top easel solved my shifting perspective issues and had a few other bonuses.
My back got a break from hunching over the table and I could adjust the canvas higher or lower if I was working at the bottom of the piece or at the top. This also saved some back aches and pains.
PS. Here is my favourite strech for when I do get "painter pains" in the middle of my upper back. It's also good if you've been on your computer for far too long : ) Once I have my arms in position then I raise them a little and I'll get a nice stretch between my shoulder blades.