The First Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out

September 2, 2009

Above: A video of the first Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out made by Ken Avidor. Read below for more information and if the embedded video doesn't work go to You Tube.

Tuesday, September 1 was discount day at the Fair ($9) and the inaugural Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. Sure a lot of us sketch out at the Fair every year, but this year we thought it would be a great idea to do it as a group and artist Ken Avidor captured some highlights on video. Go check it out.

It was a great day: sunny, a cool 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a light breeze but no windiness to toss up the dust. Ten sketchers showed up at our first meeting (12:30) with sketches in hand (everyone arrived on their own schedule). After about 40 minutes of chatting and sharing sketches we adjourned to the Poultry and Cattle Barns where we continued to sketch, and where Ken caught some sketchers on video. At 5 p.m. we reconvened for "debriefing" about how the day had gone. Everyone had great work to share and fun encounters to recount.

If you couldn't join us on Tuesday, but still sketched out at the Minnesota State Fair, contact Ken so he can put examples of your work up on Urban Sketchers-Twin Cities. The Sketch Out really lasts all 12 days of the Fair!

And equally important, mark your calendar for the Minnesota State Fair 2010, which runs Thursday, August 26 through Monday, Labor Day (Sept. 6). We'll do it all over again! Come and join us. (Watch this blog and Urban Sketchers-Twin Cities for details sometime in July 2010)

  1. Reply

    I think the video is great. It’s fun to hear the voice behind all the blogging. The sketches look great too.

    • Roz
    • September 3, 2009

    Jon, glad you enjoyed the video. Everyone did such cool stuff and worked hard! Happily it’s enjoyable work.

    And about that voice—eee. It’s always hard to accept you have a cartoon voice! It doesn’t sound like that in my head!

  2. Reply

    I enjoyed the video too! The fair wasn’t quite like I expected – far more animals than I imagined. Maybe that’s because I just got back from sketching at the zoo and I was under whelmed with the animals – it was pretty dinky. BUT we still were excited to get out of our comfort zone and paint with people around. I am a slow painter so I was constantly getting frustrated with the moving animals and found myself painting models that didn’t move (rocks, buildings, etc.) :). I painted an ostrich a couple of times – it stayed still for me – when it did get up I realized it had a hurt leg… so I guess I spent the day painting the non living and lame. It was still fun. I’ll be posting about it soon. Thanks again for sharing the video!

    • Roz
    • September 4, 2009

    Sandi, There are a lot of animals at the Fair, but they are segregated in the barns. There is a huge other area of the Fair that is about rides and carnival games (the Midway) and the rest is about vendors, crafts, displays and such. Go to the website and check out a map to get a sense of it. From the short video, and since we were all sketching in the Poultry Barn for the filming, so then we could split up again, it is deceptive.

    There’s lots at the Fair besides animals (for some people) to sketch.

    I understand your frustration at drawing moving animals but congratulations for working at it. It will get easier and easier.

    When I go to the zoo I often have several sketches on one page because animals in captivity tend to “roam” or move in the same way over time. So I sketch a little bit on A, then when they move get a couple seconds in B pose, and so on around the page. Finally after several minutes something develops in all the poses. I stand for a long time watching and seeing what they will do before I start sketching, and that helps too.

    Doing quick gesture drawings (see Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for instructions on gesture drawings) is also a great thing to warm up with in these situations. It will get easier, or rather you will get more proficient and so it will be less frustrating—I’m so glad you worked out of your comfort zone!!!

    Sorry the Ostrich was lame, but glad you got the opportunity to really look at it!!!

    • Donna
    • September 4, 2009

    This video is so great Roz, thank you Ken for shooting it. It is always fun to see others sketches and to watch you in action Roz. And loved your spin art pieces, especially after you added the black.

    • Roz
    • September 5, 2009

    Thanks Donna, as for the Spin Art, well you need contrast and I was down to Red or Black paint since the selection of paints was really bad at the booth (I didn’t want to walk across the Fair to the other one I know of, on the off chance they had a greater selection). You just have to trust the process—and remember you can paint over, but I try to avoid that.

    I’ve already scanned it and printed it in various sizes and even made little cuttings out of one piece. They will become a design element on the “day” cards that open each section of my journal, and of course, will appear on the portfolio.

    Sometimes things work out in ways we can’t expect. While these aren’t colors I would normally use they will work really well because I have some blue bookcloth that will be perfect—it has a bit of black in the weave.

    It will be fun to put the portfolio together.

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