New Boots and Getting Ready for the Minnesota State Fair

August 3, 2016


Above: A contour sketch and quick sketch of actor Raymond Burr in "Perry Mason." White acrylic marker was used on his ear on the right hand page and it transferred to his eye on the left page. Seawhite 8 x 8 inch journal. Platinum Carbon Black fiber-tipped brush pen. Orange Uni Posca at the left.

Life can be so busy sometimes. Between work, family, and getting ready for my "big, fun event of the year" A.K.A. the Minnesota State Fair, it seems that I don't have time to focus as much on any one thing as I would like. And I don't seem to find the time to run over to the zoo. (Which is important because I have to be able to stand in the heat and sketch at the Minnesota State Fair!!! You don't want to just jump into those conditions without conditioning—believe me.)

Last week I made a point to run out and buy a new pair of boots. I realized that the boots I typically wear to the Fair are getting a little worn. They don't support my feet for hours of fatigue-free walking and standing. Good drawings begin with a good foundation—the feet you stand upon.

I tried on about eight pairs of boots at Midwest Mountaineering and selected a pair that would be useful for hiking after the Fair as well. Usually I buy boots at REI, but on a recent scouting trip they had such a small selection that I needed to try other vendors.

The next morning I put the boots on—they still seemed to fit swell. I went for a 30 minute walk.

At first the left boot was noisy. I couldn't work it out. I stepped about in all sorts of ways, testing if it was how my footfall worked. (I must have looked possessed.) Then I told myself that if it was still making that noise when I ended my walk I was returning them. Nothing comes between me and my ninja stealth skills!

I'm happy to report it must have been a breaking in issue because in another ten minutes they were silent as I stepped normally.

Now I go out every day to keep up the breaking in process. I'll wear then on alternate days with my current boots at the Fair. (I'm not sure yet how many days I'll be able to go to the Fair—I like to go three to five times.)

Meanwhile, to keep sketching, if Dick goes to bed before I finish my work and I don't get to sketch him, I've been relying on my pal "Perry Mason." I've worked out the paper and pens I'm going to take to the Fair (and will post about them soon), but I still find myself working in my regular journal and grabbing anything that's at hand in the TV room to sketch with.

Next week, heat or not, I'll be making time for the zoo, and time for full paintings, just so that I can weed out any materials I won't want to take with me to the Fair. In other words, I'll begin to hone in more closely on my goals.

And no my goals do not include avoiding the heat by asking to sketch inside the butter sculpture fridge. Wait? Do you think they would let me do that????? It could be a goal???

I hope you're busy enjoying some summer sketching, or preparing for some summer sketching. 

NOTE: If you've never been to the Minnesota State Fair and want tips on how to prep for your sketching trip see my special blog page "Minnesota State Fair Round Up" for links to posts that will help you do everything from selecting your wardrobe to pacing yourself with Fair food.

    • Evie
    • August 9, 2016


    I enjoy your Fair-Prep posts and always look forward to them this time of year. Can’t wait to see what you have decided to bring with you.

    Glad to read your new boots are breaking in well (nothing worse than a squeaky-shoed Ninja!), and I really think you ought to at least TRY and get inside that butter fridge…



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