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Indiana State Fair Begins

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The Tochigi Sumo Wrestlers pose with Indiana State Fair Queen Denae Pyle.

Just where do you put your hand when posing with a half-naked athlete? The Tochigi Sumo Wrestlers with the lovely Indiana State Fair Queen, Denae Pyle. Photo by Lesley Spanos.

My local fair, the Indiana State Fair, opened its gates Friday, August 6th for a 17 day run. I consider myself very lucky to have the 5th largest State Fair in the US nearby.

There’s artistic inspiration everywhere I go on the fairgrounds! It’s almost overwhelming. I’ve been running around like a madwoman, excited by all the potential paintings I see. I snap photos everywhere so I’ll have them as references later in the studio.

Even though I’ve been shooting for this series of paintings for three years now, there are still subjects I’ve missed in past years, so I carry a list of things I still need to add to my series. It’s sort of like a treasure hunt as I search the fair for the subjects I need to shoot. Sunday I was able to cross fried butter booth, fried Twinkie booth, cheese sculptor, Jeeps, and Fair Queen off my list. The Fair Queen was just a lucky accident. I walked into the international pavillion, and there she was, posing with some Sumo wrestlers.

The problem with all this photographic research is that it leaves me very little time to paint. But rest assured, I will be painting like a demon once my fair is over. I am very pleased with how the series is going, and might extend it into the winter months.

Enjoy your Fair, wherever you may be!

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