Above: a sketch from my 2004 Minnesota State Fair Journal: two cows sketched with a black Pentel Color Brush (the ink of which is watersoluble and so blends with the paint) and gouache, on Fabriano Artistico cold press 140 lb watercolor paper. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Follow the link to see other sketches from this journal on my website.
In 2010 I'm going to spare blog readers another bout of prep posts on the Minnesota State Fair. I think I pretty much covered what I wanted to cover the first go around in 2009. (I started my blog in October 2008 so the first Fair I could write about here was 2009's.)
This page serves as a special compendium of posts I wrote about the Minnesota State Fair in 2009. These posts originally appeared between August 12 and September 20, 2009. I posted about my preparations for and attendance at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. This page is a sort of "index" of these posts.
Don't try to read all these posts in one sitting. Pace yourself, just as you would, when eating Fair treats!
If you live in the Twin Cities area I encourage you to go to the Minnesota State Fair and enjoy yourself. Even better, if you sketch, I encourage you to attend the Second Annual Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out.
Even if you have no intention of going to our Fair or any fair (gasp), I hope you take a moment to look at some of the following posts. They contain useful information on planning a sketching outing, sketching in public, drawing animals and people, and of course eating odd things without guilt.
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 1: The Heavy Equipment
I select a folding stool from REI. Typically I stand when sketching, but sometimes there's a need for portable seating. Here's a very lightweight yet durable candidate.
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 2: Have a Plan
I discuss how I divide my time and where and when I'll sketch. It's important to have a plan so that you can be as productive as possible. Other useful tips on having a successful and happy Fair visit are included.
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 3: MCBA Visual Journal Collective's August 2009 Meeting
Art from Ken and Roberta Avidor make this post about a meeting now long past still worthwhile to view!
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 4: "Travel" Essentials for Sketchers
I share tips on how to pack light, but remember all the essentials, for your State Fair Trip. (I've been doing this a long, long time, you might want to check this post out if you're making your first visit, whether or not you plan to sketch.)
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 5: Fair Food Made Simple and Some Thoughts on Exercise
One of my favorite posts—I tell you everything you need to know about Fair Food—how to indulge without suffering! I give you tips on power eating and warn you off the foods that really are wasted calories! (Note: the link may say 4, but it will get you to part 5.)
Minnesota State Fair EXTRA: Salt Water Taffy
Some non-US resident readers needed more information on Salt Water Taffy so I found a video on how it's made.
Minnesota State Fair EXTRA: Fried Cheese Curds
Ditto re: Fried Cheese Curds (but it was US readers who needed this info).
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 6: Dressing for Success
I bet you never knew I was a fashion maven—well when it comes to Fair going I can tell you a thing or two about selecting a wardrobe.
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 7: Sketching Animals (or People) at the Fair
Tips for sketching animals and people at the Minnesota State Fair (or fair of your choice for that matter). It's why you're going right? (Note: the link may say 6, but it will get you to part 7.)
Want to know more about the history of the Minnesota State Fair? My friends Linda Koutsky and Kathy Koutsky have written the best book about it—it includes recipes!
MCBA Visual Journal Collective August State Fair Prep Meeting
Tips from the Avidors on sketching at the fair—no one does it better than Roberta and Ken! And the MCBA Visual Journal Collective members weigh in with additional information and visuals.
Prepainting Journal Cards—Whether or Not You Are Going to the Minnesota State Fair
How to prepare pre-painted journal cards—something you just might want to do if you're going to the state fair!
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 9: Don't Make the Fair about Work
Why it's important to visit the Fair and sketch!
Notes on how I'm weeding out what medium I am going to use at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. My efforts might inspire your own experiments.
Minnesota State Fair Prep—Part 11: Paper Selection
You can't sketch if you don't take some paper with you to the Fair. Here I walk through some choices I'm considering and which paper to take and why.
Looking into the Promised Land: Gate 5 at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds
The Fair hasn't started but I'm already sketching the Fairgrounds!
Paper Choices: Strathmore Illustration Board for Wet Media
More on how I'm making my paper choices for the Fair.
Speaking of Pigeons: My First Visit to this Year's State Fair
My first visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.
The Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Show
I get to see a preview showing of the Fine Art Exhibit at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.
Flexible Intent: Sketching at the State Fair
My second visit to the 2009 Fair which includes sketches made at the Fair and some more sketching tips!
The First Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out
A short video of the inaugural Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. (We are having a Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out in 2010, of course. Join us!)
Draw What Interests You: Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair
Another post with drawing tips.
Getting Serious about Spin Art
I think the title of this post says it all. Never made spin art? Let me show you the technical aspects of drippy drips and stops and starts!
Journaling Superstitions #10: You Must Use Just One Medium in a Special Journal (and, Not a Superstition: How to Find Your Second Wind Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair or Anywhere Else)
A journal superstition and a Fair post rolled into one! I write about using more than one medium in a journal—even your State Fair Journal! I also write about how to find your second wind during long drawing sessions.
Last Chance to Visit the 2009 Minnesota State Fair
More of my 2009 Fair sketches.
Sketching with Colored Pencils: Why Blue?
Overviews of the Minnesota State Fair
Gigapanning with my friend Tom at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. If you can't be there in person, Tom's photographs will help you put the scene in your mind!
Designing My 2009 Minnesota State Fair Portfolio
What to do with all those journal cards????
Using Watersoluble Colored Pencils for Quick Backgrounds
More of my 2009 Fair sketches—showing how I used watersoluble colored pencils wet and dry.
When Things Don't Go Your Way: Sketching Animals (at the Fair, or Anywhere)
Thoughts on improvising at the Fair, or wherever you may be sketching. (Includes 2009 Fair sketches.)
Another Note on Taking a Mental Break To Get a Second Wind
An essential sketching tip for Fair goers.
But Wait, There's More…Some State Fair Oddities
More sketches from my final visit to the 2009 Fair.
My Last Sketches at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair
I wrap up my 2009 Fair sketching experience with my final sketches and a recounting of more Fair adventure—and life gets back to normal.
It's Official: Chickens Are Popular
A study made of a white Guinea Fowl from sketches I made at the 2009 Fair.
Want More State Fair?
In 2010 I will post new images I create at the Fair. You'll find them tagged with the "Minnesota State Fair" category. I also have additional Fair-related projects coming up…Watch the blog's daily post for details.
Can't get to the Minnesota State Fair because you live too far away? Are you going to your own state or county fair? Send me an email with an image. I'd love to hear about it!