Kevin Russell and Friends

Gravenstein Apple Fair

Things got a bit away from me while I was away on recent trips. The Gravenstein apples were ready to harvest and couldn’t wait any longer to be picked! Here they are under my studio tree where I finally got around to collecting and painting some while swooning over that late afternoon fresh apple smell.


We get all proud of our Gravenstein apples here in Sebastopol around this time of year and celebrate with a festival, real country style, where the star is not wine but the humble apple! The Ready Set Sketchers had a meet up on Saturday to sketch the scene. I joined in and ended up spending the whole day there.


A few paces from the entrance was Charlie Kennard, bee keeper, basket weaver and teacher of California Indian and European techniques.  After listening and sketching for a bit I was ready to get started weaving my own. . . but the fair beckoned. . .


I’ve sketched Kevin Russell’s band a number of times and always enjoy their music. Their Western Swing Caravan did my favorites with all their star musicians and the “Cheerful Little Earful” Cory Wood’s velvet country vocals delighting! Never get tired of hearing them, even though technically I guess I’m not a country music fan per se, or maybe I am?


The Slow Food booth where the crew was making fresh pressed apple juice and handing it out to the crowd for free was a big hit, especially with the children who were invited to climb up and feed the apples into the pressing monster! My sketch might be a bit confusing, mixing two steps in one as it does! so please use your imagination. I’ve been playing with this technique of gluing construction paper down randomly and then doing the sketch over it with pen and pencil. (More on this in a future post.)


I caught the tail end of a cooking demo by Mateo, chef and owner of Mateo’s restaurant in Healdsburg. A delectable Petrale sole on a bed of cucumber and fragrant herb salad which the audience was each given a taste of!


The next band I enjoyed was the Royal Jelly Jive. There were so many dancers blocking the view of the stage that I moved to below the stage on the right for a very different perspective, good for band and dancers who were getting zasty (zesty plus nasty) according to the band. My pen had to do its own form of zasty to get the scene in motion!


What would a country fair be without animals, and a Sebastopol fair without llamas? Unthinkable! These were beauties, brushed and groomed. You’ll probably have no problem guessing which of these was standing still for more than 30 seconds.


Thanks for joining me at the Fair! Time to make apple sauce.