Today was a perfect day to go to the Minnesota State Fair! The weather was cool, sun and clouds, and comfortable. I did the Park and Ride and arrived at the crowded gates with many other fair-goers. As security finished searching my back pack, a man behind me with “#1 Drunk” on his T-shirt got his bottle of Jack Daniels confiscated. My first stop–the Fine Arts building. I like to see the work of my friends who got into the fair. After that, I began to wander around looking for something to sketch. This is my third year sketching at the fair. Last year I sketched Cafe Caribe and the Shrimp Shack. I find that color and strange shapes is what I gravitate to. I came upon the ferris wheel, and framed by some trees, it made a perfect sketch subject. I liked the crowds of people around the base of it, the green and white candy striping on the structure, and the colored cars moving slowly around. This was a complicated structure, so I sketched in pencil first until I was sure the sketch would work. Sometimes I go straight for pen, but not this time. I used watercolors and pen to finish the piece.
My second piece was at the Wacky Shack. I was attracted to the colorful ice cream shop in front of it, and liked all the crazy designs with the structure, the flying pink and blue flags, and the park bench with a dad and double stroller. I sketched in pencil first, then inked it in and added watercolor. I listened to families and people, music, and noise. Sometimes I find sketching at the fair overwhelming due to noise and distraction, but today I just got in the zone and tuned things out. Everywhere people were stuffing their faces with popcorn, bananas on a stick, ice cream, fried onions, and Pronto Pups. The clouds moved in and I was sure it would rain, but it held off. After awhile, I got the sketch to where I wanted it, so packed up and followed the crowds across the busy street, complete with traffic cop with a whistle, and found my bus. Tired children, babies, and people were everywhere, as were newcomers ready to party the night away. I am glad I was able to sketch at the fair today, it was tons of fun!