Finally today I'm able to post my 2012 Minnesota State Fair Journal. A family crisis in August limited my personal time. While I was able to spend time at the Fair there was no time to process the experience by scanning drawings and writing about it the experience….The project has been sitting on a shelf waiting for attention.
During the final two weeks of 2012 my time opened up and I used it to work out some "glitches" with a new camera. As I did that I realized that the long, multi-part post I thought would be necessary to explain my 2012 Fair experience was unnecessary. I could show it quickly in a video. Is it as detailed and exact as I would like it to be? Nope. But the video does give you a sense of what was going on in my mind and why I made the choices I did.
I say in the video I didn't want to write a novel-length post, so I'll stop now and let you watch the video. I have one additional comment, which is a sort of correction. I speak several times about using the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen. It was one of my preferred tools at this event. However, there are many drawings which have very fine lines and those were completed with the Staedtler Pigment Liner (most often the .3) which is not mentioned in the video. You'll see what I mean when you watch the video, and even if you forget to wear your glasses (as I did when shooting the video) you'll see the difference.
I encourage you all to sketch even when you don't believe there is time to sketch, even when your life seems impossibly full or stressful. Those are the times when sketching can provide the greatest benefits by focusing our minds in the present moment and touching our wonder and our sense of play.
Note: I use Nichiban masking tape when I'm taping off areas before painting. It comes in a variety of widths and easily removes from "most" papers. (Do a test first—just about anything will pull up fibers on some of the softer printmaking papers.) I only rub down securely on what will be the wet edge (to keep paint from creeping), and I remove it as soon as the paint is dry. Tear the tape off slowly and carefully especially if the tape goes all the way to the edge of your page—it can catch fibers easily there and you could tear into your entire page. Sometimes I use decorative Japanese masking tape that is popular right now—I leave that in place on the page. You can see how I used decorative Japanese tape in my snow piles sketch here. Other times the tape will even be an important part of the image—you can see how I left decorative tape in place, even made a "sketch" with the tape, in this sketch of a finch here.