Fool’s Day Parade


Fountain pen and w/c in 6 X 8″Stillman and Birn sketchbook (alpha series)

This was the second year in a row Carole and I headed over to Occidental, the lovely little town nestled in the redwoods, for the Fools parade. (You can see last year’s sketches here.) It seems like the whole town turns out for this delightfully goofy event, and it appears that they all know each other. The optional attire is anything fool-ish, which leaves infinite room for invention. And you definitely don’t have to worry about standing out!  Most people walk/dance/whatever in the parade, which has no obvious organization, but plenty of pizzazz, and the rest watch.

Since we knew what to expect this year, we were better prepared. For instance there would be no sitting and sketching. So the sketchbook was open in hand and the pens and water brush in a pocket vest.

In fact, mostly we were walking and sketching. Carole even did some painting while walking! I made color notes as I sketched and added the paint later, when we could sit a moment and rest.

Some of these subjects had an official role to play, like Zero the clown, who later mounted the Podium of Impossibility to crown new royalty, and other foolishness.  Others were folks standing in front of me when I looked up and needed another subject.

Enjoy the parade!


In the first sketch I tried my Pentel brush pen, but it must have been a very dry day, because I couldn’t get much of a line, or maybe I was too rushed?


Following this guy, trying to get the hang of making lines while walking. Yes, that’s a boxing glove hanging from his waist, I think?


Here I was starting to get major costume envy.  Next year. . .


The Hub Bub Club is a marching band with more than one tuba, fabulous costumes and a super cool attitude that makes me want to follow them anywhere!


I’m happy to report that I had no time to take pictures.  Often it’s like, you can either take photos or sketch, but not both.


There was a band setting up to play after the parade. Picture a big guy, maybe the bassist? dressed in a bunny suit.  Now you’ve got the idea of Fool’s Day in Occidental.


You sketch what you have time for and leave out the rest. So the tuba grew out of a head.


A good place to end. . .with a benediction by a Cardinal.



  1. I enjoy really enjoy viewing your sketching and painting postings. So glad I had the chance to visit you in your studio a couple of years ago.


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