Sonoma County Fair


fountain pen and watercolor in Moleskin 5 X 8″ w/c sketchbook

We went in the back gate last Thursday and straight to the animal barns.  The 4 H youth had just shown their pigs earlier in the day and were lounging with their squeeky clean oinkers.  Jason looked so comfortable there in his white clothes, stretched out on the soft bed of his Pigglesworth.  How could we resist standing there for a sketch and a chance to learn more from Jason and his friend Tobin about raising and showing pigs, or hogs, or whatever they’re called.


We proceeded on to the chicken barn where there was judging going on.  A long line of people holding their white (maybe Legghorn?) chickens for inspection by the judge.  i chose this young 4-Her to sketch before the judge arrived at her spot and juried her chicken in!


In the cages were a diverse and noisy collection of hens and roosters of all breeds.  I chose this one for his elegant combs and his mellowness to hold the position.


I chose the wrong position to sketch this bird in.  It looked very prehistoric with its long legs, enormous eyes and outsized claws, but I started sketching when it was briefly in a position it never resumed.  So I was having to guess at details and finally just did the best I could.


In the cow barn it was nap time and there were two cows to a stall, resting peacefully side by side.  I couldn’t help wondering if they were related or whether bovine togetherness was just something natural.  There was little of interest to capture in the massive bodies prone on the hay, so I focused on faces partly buried by hay.  Then the hay in the air finally drove me off!

socofair6A study of sheep faces followed.  I was getting tired and finally sat down for a while on my tiny sketch stool to try to understand the unique “sheepness” of those eyes and the shape of the faces.



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