Hey all, I tend to work all over my canvas and I have always had to spend a certain amount of time repairing damage I did by resting my hand on a tacky portion of the painting. (and oils can stay tacky a long time:-) So after doing this for the upteenth time, I came up with this simple (cheap) rig.
What you will need:
1 pvc slip t-connector or a short ridged tube that fits the dowels
2 round dowels
2 broom holder clips
Get 2 long dowels or broom handles. They need to be round so that the pvc connector can slide and rotate. I used pictured above are 4 feet long.
Mount the holder clips to the easel's top canvas support. I found these broom holder clips in the home organization section at Walmart. Clip on one of the dowels then slide on the pvc connector. Rubber band the second dowel at right angles.
The pvc allows you to slide the mahlstick horizontally and the rubber band allows you to slide the verticle stick up and down to adjust for different sized canvases.
If you wanted to spend more time I'm sure you could come up with something better than rubber bands, but I'd rather be painting.