Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Week's Sketch Out at the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival

Above: the third, and final page spread from my trip to the festival. I was intrigued by the thinness of the shorn Alpaca. After stopping in my car to write some catch up notes I decided to do a quick landscape—the fairgrounds have changed a lot over the past 20 years and I wanted to have some record and notes about it. Click on an image to view an enlargement.

May 8 was the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival in Lake Elmo, at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Lake Elmo is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of the Twin Cities, which means that sketchers here get to have rural options in their urban sketching. (I've said it before Minneapolis/St. Paul really is the best place to live!)

Cold, windy, sleeting weather kept the sketchers from the MCBA Visual Journal Collective away, but I was joined off and on by members Karen Engelbretson, Suzanna Hughes, and Karen Wallach. (I don't have sketches from Karen as she was taking photos on the day.)

Left: Karen Engelbretson joined me early in the day and sketched the cutest lamb in the world! Gertie, a Romney lamb. (She really did have the most angelic smile on her face.) Karen was working in a Moleskine with pen. Click on the image to view an enlargement. ©2010 Karen Engelbretson.

Karen came up to me as I was sketching and said she'd walked by me two times before she'd seen me sketching. I take that as evidence that the Ninja Invisibility book I read is working!

I bumped into Suzanne Hughes in the sheep barn when I was getting ready to move on. She was just getting started with the Merino sheep so we exchanged phone numbers and agreed to connect later. (Cell phones do come in handy.)

Left: Suzanne observed the details of llama anatomy and facial structure with pen and also brush pen. Click on the image to view an enlargement. ©2010 Suzanne Hughes

Suzanne worked in an Aquabee sketchbook (wirebound, square, about 8 inches  I think; the one that has the maroon covers and is good for wet media too). She worked in pen all day, capturing wonderful gesture drawings and more finished sketches of the animals she encountered.

Left: Suzanne captured two llamas dining on hay. Click on the image to view an enlargement. ©2010 Suzanne Hughes

Left: Here Suzanne examined sheep structure and caught the Merino ram in his full wool "coat." Click on the image to view an enlargement. ©2010 Suzanne Hughes
All in all it was a day well spent. A chance to have conversations with friends and learn fun animal facts (like how to shear an angora bunny!) Think about joining us next year—it's always mother's day weekend, and it's almost always raining on the day! (So dress in warm layers.) As long as it's warm enough for the water in the Niji brush to keep flowing I say it's all good!

You can see my other page spreads from the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival on Roz Wound Up.


  1. Wow Roz, I love the little landscape you captured before you left for the day. Thanks for sharing your love for drawing animals! It was my first time drawing in a barn and I had a great time even though it was rainy and cold.

  2. I wish I'd gone. Nice sketches!

  3. Thanks Suzanne. I didn't realize that was your first barn experience—hey, now you're all set for the Minnesota State Fair. There are bigger crowds at the Fair but there is also more room and more light! (It's those 3 or 4 story ceilings.) I'm so glad you came out to sketch. I love what you got down on paper.

  4. Ken I wish you (and Roberta too!) could have been there. You would have captured some of the wacky people. Or the herding dogs, or the band… I just couldn't take my eyes off the sheep and llamas. As per usual. I have to stretch and I am trying—I've been doing quick gesture sketches of the folks passing by at Art-a-Whirl. Now that's an interesting group of people too. And I'm warm and comfortable and not getting rained on. I like that.


To add yourself to the map, go to this link and follow the instructions (Note: You'll need to sign in with your Google account first.)