Monday, August 29, 2016

Sketching at the Otsego County Fair, Part One

After such a delightful experience sketching at the Ottawa County Fair in July, I headed up north (in Michigan) to sketch at the Otsego County Fair in early August.

I took with me the same basic sketching kit:  5x7 journal cards made out of Strathmore Gemini 140 # watercolor paper pre-tinted with random splotches of quinacridone gold, two pens, a waterbrush, paper towel, and a Jack Richeson's child's palette box with eight Daniel Smith colors in it.

My plan was to sketch animals in context at the fair.  I wanted to develop portraits and scenes.

I also planned to talk to people, learn about what was going on, and capture dialogue in my notes when possible.

I completed ten sketches in just a few hours.

I think what I like most about sketching at the county fair is the respect everyone has for the animals.  Families work together to take good care of them.  Everyone from little kids through grandparents are happy to talk about the animals, taking care of them, showing them, and how all of that weaves through their lives.  I know that many of these animals are headed to market.  But still I am glad to see how much these people respect and care for the animals in their lives. 

As a result, I think, most of the animals are quite used to people and very few seemed skittish or out of sorts.  Most seemed curious and interested in interacting with me--a complete stranger. 

In addition to the scribbling itself, which always makes me feel connected to the world in which I live, I very much enjoy the sense of a connected web that runs through the animals, the people, the environment and their practices.

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