Paws On Grand Is Almost Here

July 29, 2013

Above: very quick sketch of a dog using Montana Acrylic Marker, gouache, and a smidge of Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for those great black lines. (Not quite 9 x 12 inches, on a piece of Fluid 140 CP watercolor paper.)

At this time of year my mind always turns to "what can I get down on paper as fast as I can?" Why? Not just because the Minnesota State Fair is coming up (which it is), but because it's PAWS ON GRAND!

Sunday, August 4, 2013 from noon to 3 p.m. a group of artists (myself included) will attempt to sketch a ton of dogs (much more than a pack), one lovely wet nose at a time.

We'll be at Wet Paint on Grand Ave. in St. Paul, doing free, fast, pet portraits. (Donations for the sponsored pet charity are welcome.)

Go to the corner side of the building and there will be awnings out to protect the artists from the sun. Sign up and receive a number. As soon as an artist is finished with the previous portrait someone will call out the next number and that artist will make a portrait of the next pet. (There are chairs for you to sit in opposite the artists as we draw. Otherwise you'll be standing—though there are water dishes out for the pups, and we do have biscuits to thank them when we finish their portraits.)

I am fortunate (or crazy enough) to have participated in this event since it started (I think it has been held for 5 years, but I lose count). It has become more and more popular—I mean what's not fun about watching artists melt down as they work as quickly as possible with models who don't stand still, but are darn cute! (Why isn't this a reality show? Ken Avidor is pretty entertaining, let me tell you!)

Because the event is so popular I recommend that you come early. Based on how quickly we are working at the front end of this event, and allowing for fatigue, at some point Virginia, who organizes this event, does a rough guestimate of how many portraits we have left in us. Then she stops handing out numbers. So if you come at 2:45 you'll be able to still see us sketching, but you might not be able to get a number. Come early, it's more fun to socialize with all the other folks and the dogs anyway.

(Note: there is a limit of one pet portrait per person.)

If you use this blog's search engine and look for "Paws on Grand" you'll find posts about past years, with photos of some of the pups and the sketches I did—like the characters from 2011 in this linked post.

In past years I've worked in black Stabilo All, and in blue Stabilo Tones, and frankly I'm a little concerned about how my waxy pencils are always melting on me and jamming up my sharpeners. One year I went through SEVEN pencil sharpeners (double-barrelled sharpeners)!

So I'm already thinking what can I use that will allow me to work fast, and get something down on paper.

I have to tell you right now I have no idea what I'll use on the day, but I know I'm going to have a lot of fun. (I plan to sit next to Ken Avidor.)

I hope you can join us, support a dog charity, and socialize with other dog and pet owners all up and down Grand Ave. in St. Paul. (Well-behaved pups are allowed in Wet Paint, so you can always pick up some art supplies while you wait for your number to be called.)

And you don't have to just bring a dog—cats might be a little nervous with all the dogs hanging out, but people have brought birds, and last year a woman brought a bat. Ken did the most wonderful drawing of it! The owner had it in a sock or something I think.

Anyway, we're going to have fun and you're simply silly for not joining us.

  1. Reply

    Oh man, I wish I could come! Living in Victoria BC would make it a little difficult. I am a dog lover too and it would be so fun to watch you guys at work. Love your sketching! Have fun.

  2. Reply

    Paula, it would be lovely to see you and Sophia Grace, but just a heads up—in all the years I’ve done this I have only two times been assigned a dog I actually knew. Otherwise they all went to other folks—which is probably good because then you get a portrait of SG by someone else!!!

    I’d love to see you one way or the other sometime soon.


  3. Reply

    Patti, that would be a long haul for you. I think it will be fun here though and there will probably be some photos posted. Roz

    • Paula
    • July 30, 2013

    I told my mom about it so we might come down just to walk around I think its going to be nice weather. If we do ill find you

  4. Reply

    Very fun. You won’t be able to miss us, at the corner of Wet Paint, and the big crowd of dogs.

    But if I don’t see you then I’ll hope to see you another time soon.

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