Saturday, September 12, 2015

Home Arts at the Washington State Fair

The visitors to the Home Arts Exhibit were as many and varied as the pieces in the quilts displayed above their heads
Friday I was at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup with the ad hoc group of Seattle Urban Sketchers. I stood in the back corner upstairs near the elevator while sketching the handmade quilt display. It amazes me to think of the hours, weeks and even years of time that goes into these.

The center photo shows my viewpoint and sketch in progress. Tap/Click to Zoom
The table setting exhibit was set up behind me and to my left. The grand prize winner was a cowboy themed breakfast table full of nostalgic items like those my grandparents used every morning. Who uses a percolator on the stove top to make coffee any more?

I spent the majority of my morning just sketching right there in my little corner, as the apple and pear pie making demonstration progressed. During that time, three people working hospitality for the fair came over to offer me a chair (I almost always sketch standing up). After about an hour, I was ready to take them up on that offer, but I had already established my eye level. Speaking of eye level, there was an unusually large number of very tall people poking their heads above the display boards.
Here's how the two page spread looks together.
My way of sketching a series of events is to compile each impression into a combined happening. I want to express the effect of multiple sensory input and time compression to give the overall impact of having been a part of the entire experience.

The woodworking exhibit is new this year, with the star attraction (in my opinion) being the beautiful handmade wooden skiff. The workmanship was pristine and the color scheme made me think of fishing villages on the shores of Maine. There was a new place set up for woodworking demonstrations. I suppose I could have stayed for that, but I was anxious to go outside and see if I could find the rest of the sketchers.

Click here to see more about the left side of the spread. Spoiler alert! Dole Whip and Scones!


  1. You did a good job at hinting at the patterns in the quilts. Nice sketch page!

    1. Thank you, Joan. ;) It's quite a challenge to admire all that piecework so much and stay true to the idea of sketching, not replicating. That's a path leading down a very slippery slope!