2014 Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out and a Video Flip-Through of My Fair Journal

September 22, 2014


Above: My favorite sketch from the Fair this year, a pigeon of course—Faber-Castell Pitt Calligraphy Pen and Montana Marker in a 7.5 x 9.5 inch soft bound Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal. Click on the iamge to view an enlargement.

Today I'm posting a video flip through of my 2014 Minnesota State Fair Journal.(See the end of this post.) The flip through contains all the pages in my Fair journal, as well as four page spreads from an auxiliary journal (the first was filled) and two loose sheet sketches I made (they were actually in a wirebound book but I always knew I'd be tearing them out for framing). I had a busy and productive four-trip visit.

I went on the first Friday of the Fair because it typically isn't as busy as the Thursday opening day and the first Saturday. I have to go that weekend because that's the 4-H weekend and I want to see the PIGEONS! I ended up staying for about 4.5 hours. Most of that time I spent in the barns sketching, but I did get a corn dog and take time out to make some spin art!

I also like to go on that first Friday because it gives me a chance to start diving into my journal and get a feel for what I might like to bring for media on the day of the Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out.

This year was the 6th Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. Unlike previous years it was held on two days: Saturday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 26. On both days there were meetings.

The weather was a bit humid the first couple of days at the Fair but then we had cool temps and bright sun for the rest of the run. There was a record 1,824,830 attendees this year. (Since I went 4 times that's really only 1,824,826.)

140823_sketchers-CropLeft: Attendees on the first sketch out day. From left: Sallie, Kiki, Gwen, Marty, Patty, Roberta, Roz, Shawn, Thomas, and Suzanne. Click on the image to view the enlargement. (Vic, Marty's wife, took the group photo.)

On Saturday, August 23 I went for 8 hours but only 7 of that was spent sketching. I also spent time at the wrap up meeting at 4:30 p.m.

We had a great group on Saturday of dedicated sketchers who created some brilliant Fair sketches.

My only regret this year is that we didn't have an organized system for collecting images and everyone was left with instructions to send links to their Fair sketches. Sadly I haven't seen any links come, but if you came to either sketch out and want me to include a  link I would love to add it. 

I have Marty Harris' Flickr page where you can see some of his Fair sketches from past and current Fairs. His work is amazing so check it out. If you are on Facebook you can check out some Fair sketches from those attending who are in MCBA Visual Journal Collective, MetroSketchers, and UrbanSketchers Twin Cities.

140826_Sketchers_TuesdayDSC01962Left: Sketchers present on the second day of the Sketch Out. Those labeled "X" are individuals I didn't get names for. Front row, left to right.: Amber, Daniel, (X)
Second row, left to right: Jo Ann (light blue plaid shirt), Kiki (just behind Daniel), Cathy, Roz, Theresa.
Third row, left to right: Liz, James, Karen (black shirt), (X2 in pink), Jerry, Tim, (X3 in Green shirt), LisaMarie, Todd (husband to X).
Back most row standing on stone bench left to right: TJ's son, TJ, (X4 in glasses just above Roz and next to Tim), daugher of X3, Ruth.

Tuesday, August 26 was the next Sketch Out day. I put in about 9 hours but again only 7 of those hours were spent sketching. I spent time walking around looking for a friend I never found and then of course attended the meeting.

Since Kiki and I attended both days that brings our sketch out attendance to 28 for the two days combine. Not as high as our best single day sketch out, but a good total with a vast quantity of sketches sketched!

My final visit to the Fair was on Sunday, August 31. Dick came along with me to video tape my as I sketched in the barns. We got great footage which I will be using for an online class in January (more information about this to come).

We didn't spend much time at the Fair. It was a long week and I was sleep deprived. We walked around a bit and saw some sights and then agreed it was time to go home and watch a movie!

See my video below. 

Also take a moment to mark your calendar for 2015.

The 7th Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out is Tuesday, September 1, 2015

And finally, if you have a sketch that you did this year at the Sketch Out and you think it would make a good button please email a jpg. I'm already planning that!

If the video below doesn't run, please see my 2014 Minnesota State Fair Journal here on YouTube.

    • Karen
    • September 22, 2014

    absolutely awesome. The ending video puts it all in perspective. You accomplished all those drawings amid all that noise. Incredible! Congratulations on a great video flipthrough, and not at wasp to be seen!

  1. Reply

    Thank you Karen that means a lot to me.

    It’s funny about the noise. I know it bothers us all, but something happens when I get in the barn with all those birds I just stop hearing it after awhile (a very short while). And I don’t hear my phone either!!!!

    But then afterwards, esp. if I’ve been at it for hours, I get outside and the Fair is so “QUIET” (Ha) by comparison, and I feel physically pummeled.

    I do enjoy it though, every moment looking at the birds.

    Thursday the exterminator came for the 4th time. About 12 on Friday and then we’ve had a decrease, 6, 5, and only a couple today, but I was gone most of the day—I escaped to the zoo for a couple hours with LisaMarie. Because of my shoulder I hadn’t been in so long. I love the changes to the ape house.

    Oh, so to avoid the wasps in my flip through, and to avoid people having to listen to me knock chairs over as I reached about with a fly swatter to kill wasps, I scanned all my pages the past few weeks a few at a time, between bombardments.

    I thought it was the most sensible way to go.


  2. Reply

    Your video is absolutely delightful, Roz. I’ll watch it again, probably several times. As a child I entered embroidery in the local fair and loved visiting the state fair, especially the animal barns. I wasn’t drawing then, though the sounds at the end of your video bring back happy memories of fairs and of home. We had a chicken yard behind my childhood home and I couldn’t get enough of watching them strut and preen and scratch in the dirt for an unsuspecting worm where I threw the table scraps after each meal. Thanks for sharing this video with us.

  3. Reply

    Thank you Jo for sharing your childhood memories! I love hearing about how you fed the neighbor’s chickens table scraps. I’m glad you had an enjoyable time going to your own fair and hope you can do it again sometime soon.

    It is my favorite thing. I look forward to it all year and feel tired but very, very productive and happy when it’s over. I have some sketches I’m going to turn into paintings and that will just keep the experience alive.


    • Julana
    • September 23, 2014

    Great drawings. I went to the fair but had my hands full with other things this year. Hope to try another year. That turkey has heard of Thanksgiving. I can tell. Sorry.

  4. Reply

    Thanks Julana. Yes, you need to go and sketch! You’ll have fun.

    • Alison A
    • September 27, 2014

    This is great Roz, really enjoyed watching the video… I particularly love your drawings of the pigs, and also the eye expressions of those turkeys! Looks like a great event…

  5. Reply

    Alison, so glad you enjoyed the video, thank you. I had a lot of fun sketching. It was a great event. The Fair is always interesting with something for everyone (as long as everyone can put up with crowds), but for me it is especially great because of the access to the animals.

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