Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to Paint the County Fair, August 2, 2017

This is the second of three plein air oil paintings of the county fair.  You can see the first one HERE and the third one HERE.

I set up at the same spot as yesterday because I really liked the view and the composition with the rides and lights.  You can see yesterday's painting and how it was done HERE.  I arrived, again, half an hour or so before sunset to get started. As I was setting up, I found my paintbrush from the day before that must have fallen onto the ground, unbeknownst to me!  Good thing I found it, because I usually only carry one brush for laying out the initial drawing and I would have been lost without it.

Heavy rain earlier in the day around 3:30 p.m. meant there was a bit of mist in the air giving a bit more depth and dimension to the hills and tree.  My waterproof boots and wool socks were still wet from my earlier walk in the woods.

So I got set up around 8:30 p.m., at dusk, with the sky turning some nice sunset colors.  I love the lights of the rides against the dusky sky and think I will try to get out there earlier tomorrow.  Once the sun sets, it gets dark quickly!  I forgot my headlight so I knew once it got dark, I would be very limited, mainly going for the values more than the hues.
After the initial sketch, I quickly laid in the basic large values and shapes.
While immersed in the painting, a young lady ran up from behind me, so excited and thrilled to see I was painting the fair!  She had a dollar bill in her hand that she tucked into mine.  So sweet!  I dug out a postcard and a business card and told her she could sign up for my newsletter and follow my blog.  Her excitement was contagious.  She then ran back to the car loaded with her friends on the road behind me.
So I went back to my painting, adding more details and popping in the lights and action of the fair in the darkening night.
Later, as I was bent over packing up, I heard from the road behind me, "Are you all right?" "Huh?" I turned around and saw the local police in their SUV.  The young man asked again if I was okay.  "Yep, just packing up my painting and gear."  Earlier, another gentleman walking by asked if I was painting again -- he must have seen me the night before.  So, I seemed to attract a lot more attention during this session which is great!
After I finished the painting and put my gear back in my van, I walked back to the fair to tour the exhibits and chat with friends.  There were more people this evening than last so the rides stayed open later, until the Ferris wheel shut down at 10:33 p.m.
While waiting for the Ferris wheel lights to shut off(which signals all the other rides and vendors to shut down), I stopped to talk to the lady than ran the fried cheese food truck -- cheese curds, I think they are called.   Turns out she does six events a year, all local fairs and festivals in adjacent counties to her home, and makes ten times what she made as a full time nurse!  She says she will still do some nursing on a "as needed, when available" basis.  She has her own camper, with her dog, she prefers to stay in rather than drive home each day.  She leaves the running of the household to her family while she works the show, hanging out and shopping when off duty.  She said she was the only independent vendor in the show -- the rest were all owned by Fun Times.
I am always amazed at how these mini-villages appear in a few hours and disappear just as fast.  The cheese curd lady said that they pack up late Saturday night after the show closes for good and are wrapped up in just a couple of hours.  Just like the art fairs I exhibit in.  Three hours after the closing bell on Sunday, you wouldn't know there was ever a show there.  

Here's the finished painting:
"County Fair, August 2, 2017", plein air oil on panel, 12" x 16", c. 2017 by Charlene Marsh.

I have one more county fair painting I managed to paint before the carnies packed up and left town so stay tuned.  

Let me know which one you  like the best.  You can see the first one HERE and the third one HERE.

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!



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