Sunday, August 14, 2016

Final Day at the Ekka - Day 10

I have just finished ten days straight of sketching at the Royal Queensland Show.

Rather than feeling tired, I felt kind of sad walking away. It's been interesting as an artist having a "job" to get to everyday, instead of going upstairs to the studio. Of course in both cases it is totally a case of self motivation.

My thoughts on the last day,-
"Is there anything I have missed"?
"Have I covered it all"?  - Impossible of course but I do think I have given it my best shot. My goal was to go along to the Ekka for the 10 days, capture what I could by working on location or en plein air and then come home and blog each night. I have managed to do that.

I've arrived at 9am each day and worked until about 4.30pm, went home for a break and then blogged at about 11.30pm. I could definitely do a day job like this if there was such a job for artists.

I have basically spent the 10 days observing and recording sights and settings, behaviour and body language.  People have been so polite and friendly even in the most crowded of spots, and members of the public have been genuinely surprised when they realised what I was doing. Parents in particular have made sure that small children understood what I was working on. Most kids love to draw so seeing the scene before them unfold on paper was a new experience for many of them. (Kids generally draw from imagination and memory, not from the scene before them.)

The first one I did today (shown above) was from the Pink Events Catering,  Dagwood Dog Outlet looking across Gregory Terrace. There are orange horseshoe shapes painted all over the bitumen which I didn't notice until I sat there.

This second one was also Gregory Terrace but looking in the other direction. I like to include the street furniture such as the type of signage that is usually edited out as it is a genuine part of the streescape. Lovely yellow and black No Parking sign in the foreground.

I had to include the famous Paddy's baked potatoes and I was happy that this family in the foreground stayed there just long enough for me to sketch them.

I also went back to the Dodgem cars to finish this one from yesterday. I have added a few more spectators and a lot more lights. So this was my final one on location. I will work on some bigger pieces after my October exhibition is over.

I have a few final thoughts I would like to share.  Sketching at the Ekka is not something that I imagine would appeal to many artists but the subject matter suits me down to ground. I love the variety and the action and my Urban Sketching training has made me develop skills I didn't have a few years ago.  Many of the exhibits at the Ekka come from the natural world and many of my particular interests are covered. Added to this there is all the visual drama of Side Show Alley which I find very stimulating also.

I made a few notes in the bus on the way home while the whole experience was still very fresh. I do feel  sense of relief that I managed to acquit myself well at Toowoomba, Manchester and now the Ekka , all back to back so to speak, without missing a beat.

A couple of final photos from today.

And now it is back to the studio but before that a tad of house cleaning to catch up on!


  1. You are an inspiration Robyn. You deserve a well earned rest. I can't wait to see your EKKA paintings, your sketches from the last 10 days are wonderful. 😊

  2. You are an inspiration Robyn. You deserve a well earned rest. I can't wait to see your EKKA paintings, your sketches from the last 10 days are wonderful. 😊