Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Taking Sketch Notes at the Common Ground Fair

In 2014 & 2015 I did photo blog posts of the Common Ground Fair, one of my all time favorite events.
 But this year I quick sketched, & truly Sketchbook Wandered. 
It's probably what I love doing best, even though it is, well, sketchy.
We arrived early. Even waiting in the line outside the gate was enjoyable.
 The book is small, the lines are fast. I quickly add color later,
but I write/jot down some color names while sketching.
Recently, while seeing seeing some very refined & illustrative sketchbook journaling, 
I'd started to question & wonder about my process. 
But Saturday I came back to myself, doing what is most natural to me. 
This note-taking is my best way to put me in touch with my experience.
Seasonal still lifes are everywhere, 
especially at the Farmer's Market stalls.
One of the highpoints was The Gawler Family Band (Google them!). Oh, the JOY that they radiate!

There were 6 of them this year, the Mama & the Papa, the 3 musical daughters & the musical son in law.
 And we got to join them in sing alongs, musical folk tradition at it's best. 

Later on some of the family would be leading a work song workshop 
while shucking garlic.
For the first time I got to see the Vegetable Parade, a tradition since 1990!! 
People of all ages wearing exquisite hand sewn vegetable costumes! 
It's the best parade I've ever seen!! 
Sometimes just a quick second is all it takes to capture some of the magic, in this case "garlic braids". 

There is so much more to show & tell, but for now I'll say,
What a way to celebrate together & to greet Harvest Time & Autumn!!


  1. What a fun and "active" collection of memories of the fair

  2. How fun is that? I'm hoping to go to an orchid expo tomorrow, and if it isn't too hot, I might take my sketchbook. I would love to see a vegetable parade :).

  3. I like the idea of capturing quite a lot this way. Especially at an event like this; so much to explore!

  4. I love your 'sketchbook wandering' so much. You take me to new places, show me new things. . . xx

  5. Thank you very much for your visit and comment.
    What you're doing is beautiful.

  6. Rita, I love your art. How can I get prints of your art? Do you have a web site? I can't seem to find your full name on this site. Please email me

  7. Not sure if my comment published. Love your art and I want to buy your art. Please email me at

  8. I grew up in Maine, now I'm in Washington State.Your pictures bring back so many memories.They make me a bit homesick and nostalgic especially the Common Ground Fair. We miss it a lot. Nothing like that out here. I'm just learning to sketch and watercolor. I love your style.


Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!