If the above embedded video flip-through of my 2011 Minnesota State Fair doesn't work please view it here on YouTube.
The other day I met a woman who loves animals and loves painting animals, but when I asked if she sketched her cats she replied, "You can't sketch animals from life."
She was adamant.
Well, I'm equally adamant that you can. I do it a couple times a month at Como Zoo (sometimes I even get down to the Minnesota Zoo). I do it when I visit friends who have dogs. And I do it every year when I go to the Minnesota State Fair.
I don't think I'll be able to convince this woman to sketch animals from life, but I hope over time, if you read my blog, I can convince you.
To that end I finally had an opportunity to make a video flip through of my 2011 Minnesota State Fair. In the video I discuss the types of pens and paints I'm using. I worked in a handmade journal that was 7 x 8.5 inches. I filled 84 pages this year, which is down from last year's total of 121 pages; but I'm pleased with the results.
You'll see that there is a color image insert on the front cover of this book. That was made by creating a depression on my cover board before the board was covered with fabric. At the Fair I made two pieces of spin art. I scanned both pieces, selected a portion of one of the spin art pieces, and printed it out as a full color, archival print. It was sized to fit the label depression I'd earlier created in my front cover. Before attaching the color image to the front cover depression I laminated it to protect it. I scruffed up the back of the photo paper so it would adhere better and glued the image in place with PVA.
Tip: I put wax paper over the image and then put a thin piece of foam or a towel over the cover before adding weight for the drying process. The soft material helps push the label into place better.
In the video you'll see some tabs in the gutter where pages have been cut out of the book. These pages were cut out at the start of the Fair, before I had worked in the book. This process allows me to add collage material without bursting my spine. If a tab occurs on a page where I want to work across the gutter I simply paint over it.
Before I started this blog in the fall of 2008 I would post journal selections on my website RozWorks.com. If you look down the list at this link you will find Minnesota State Fair Journals from as early as 2003.
If you would like to look at Minnesota State Fair Journals from 2008 to the present please use this blog's search engine to search for key words, or click on "Minnesota State Fair" in the category list in the left column of this blog. (As you scroll down the posts in that category you'll also come across video of some of our sketch outs at the Fair.)
I have kept a variety of journals for my Minnesota State Fair Journal over the years. In 2007 and 2005 I made portfolios to contain journal cards like these used in 2007. Sometimes I even create a box that is painted to match my pre-painted cards (as I did for my 2003 Minnesota State Fair Journal.)
Whatever form your State Fair Journal takes, make sure to take part!
And note that my posts on the State Fair include a variety of informational posts on how to dress for sketching success for the Fair, manage your sketching time, sketch from life. If you haven't been sketching at the Fair before be sure to read my packing light recommendations. (Use the blog's search engine to look for posts on "Minnesota State Fair Prep."
Please check back during the summer when the date for the Fourth Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out will be announced—it will be at the end of August 2012. There will be buttons again, for sketchers who shows up at the sketch out to sketch from life at the Fair. You don't want to miss out on the fun.