I just got back from a trip to Minnesota to visit friends. I used to live there and I love the people and places, but most especially I love the State Fair. I went to the “Great Minnesota Get Together” every year I lived there, and this year was especially wonderful because they were having a sketchout organized by one of my Sketchbook Skool teachers Roz Stendahl. I was excited to get to meet her and to document my trip with my new sketching skills. The photo above was my favorite sketch of the fair, which is why I share it first. I especially love the way the watercolor paint blended where the colors mixed. This is going to be a bit of a long post, but mainly sketches. I did thirteen sketches, and I’m going to share them in order with a bit of commentary on each. I brought a sketching stool along, and I’m really glad I did, as the fair is exhausting even without a place to sometimes sit and draw.
I wanted to draw live animals, and this year there were no birds because of avian flu. Deep sigh, but I am hoping to draw birds at the Washington State Fair this Friday. It’s a mere shadow of Minnesota’s but I am still really looking forward to it. I started with the goats. Following recent experiments I have been working with changing the colors of things. The quick dashed background gave this a more finished look.
As I was drawing these fellows, another goat was perched up on the fence of his pen, begging for my attention. I drew him next.
I then moved on to the pigs, and was able to ask a farmer about the notches in the pig’s ear. He said they do them in patterns at birth to help identify them quickly.
The next pig just wanted to burrow into his bedding and get a good nap.
Cows came next, and I limited myself to two drawing of each animal so I could get a good range. The cow barn smelled MUCH better than the barn which had housed the pigs and goats. This cow was not at all interested in me or anything else.
I noticed one of the cows standing in a metal frame while they were doing some checks. I loved all the angles from behind.
On to the horses. I found them quite challenging. I also shouldn’t have been holding the brush pen in the other hand. Oops!
This one got off to a bad start. He was moving and I drew too quickly. I tried to save it with an interesting composition, and I pasted my ticket in later.
After the horses I went to visit the sheep. I first did a quick brush drawing which has some nice elements to it but isn’t quite what I wanted. I write haiku, so the haiku on here is mine.
Most of the sheep had been washed and prepared for judging, so they were lounging around in slipcovers. They were panting and appeared to be miserably hot. I felt for them.
After I finished the animals it was time to go to see some of the sights and find the amazing Swedish egg coffee which is served in a little diner structure that a Lutheran church runs on the fairgrounds. I sketched while I sipped.
I love the decorative food trucks, and so I sketched this lovely ice cream vendor. I wasn’t able to eat there. Darn you lactose intolerance! I did eat lots of other lovely things such as fried green tomatoes, lefse with lingonberry jam, and a small cup of 1919 root beer.
My last sketch of the fair was near the meeting area. I loved this view which shows a bit of the distinctive agriculture building and one end of the sky ride that goes over the top of the fairgrounds.
Then I got to meet everyone and see some of their amazing sketches which are posted on the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers Facebook page. They also took this great group photo of us. I’m in the center with the black hat and the red.
It was great meeting everyone and seeing their lovely sketches and I got to meet Roz, which was a huge thrill for me. I love our online klasses, but it’s really fun to meet fakulty in person, especially when you’ve learned so much from their lessons. I also really appreciated the buttons she made for us, including buttons with sketches of the birds which said “we miss you”. The sketchout was the highlight of my summer and I really appreciate everyone who made it possible.