Every year I look forward to the Twin City Urban Sketchers gathering at the State Fair. This year lived up to everyone’s expectations with beautiful weather, sunny and mild temperatures.
The day begins with making sure that what ever I am carrying is light weight and manageable. I usually just take a couple of pencils, my micron pen, water brushes and travel paint set. Once at the fair, it is a trick to finding the TC Urban Sketchers for greetings, mini-donuts, coffee and exchanging ideas as to where to begin the drawing. Marty suggests the Butterfly House and that seems like a great start. It was going to be a long day of walking -the Butterfly House had benches.
From the Butterfly House I found another empty bench in front of a food vendor. (My lucky day!) I drew and painted a sketch of the “Sweet Shop.” There were few people on this street, the building had fun colors and patterns. I shared my bench with many fair-goers. Sketching also includes conversations with the people who are interested in what I am doing, the materials I am using, and just wanting to talk to someone while they are taking a break from their Fair experience. Meeting people through an open sketchbook on my lap is the best part of drawing in public.
Mid-day I decided I needed some food and time to just look at stuff out of curiosity rather than possibilities for drawing. I ran into some other sketchers and we exchanged our progress for drawing, where we had been and bid “see ya’ later at meet-up time.” Eventually I found myself going into the poultry barn. The hens and roosters were just being put into their pens so it was quite a ruckus. Why I wanted to sketch this hyper-moving roosters was a great question. But I stood and sketched and patiently waited for the birds to resume the position I was drawing. It took awhile of waiting and observing but worth the wait. One of the farmers stopped and said, “You know it might be easier if you took a photograph on your cell phone!” Again, people looking over my shoulder and enjoying what I was doing.
At the end of the day the sketching group returned to our meeting place and we shared our work and stories of the day. It was another experience for drawing in public. 365 days until the State Fair is once again open for drawing!