Thanks to Arts Fest and United Arts, the Mennello Museum was able to host a full day of folk performers at its annual Folk Festival. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a festival with blue skies and a cool breeze. Terry and I attended last year and we both decided it is one of our favorite events of the year. There are plenty of tents set up with artists of all kinds displaying their wares. We first stopped at the Kerouac House table where Kim Buchheit and Summer Rodman were having a lively discussion. I became infatuated with a book by Kerouac called "Sketches". This is an amazing book in which Kerouac describes scenes and places in bold poetic broad strokes. All of the sketches were lifted from small moleskin notebooks in which he jotted down his notes on the spot. With words he recreates scenes very much the way I sketch every day. It is an inspiring read. I am maybe half way through the book now.
Dawn Schreiner had a tent set up with all her wonderful portraits and doodles. She was sitting in the grass with her children and sketching. Next to her tent was an artist who makes elaborate cigar boxes which are encrusted with glued on objects. I stood and watches as he made a space ship themed box with day glow paint a space shuttle and plenty of beads as planets. I wanted to sketch him, but this was Valentines day, and I had decided to stay focused on my wife and maybe sneak in a sketch of the stage if time allowed.
We had lawn chairs and set them up in front of the stage. As Sarah Purser performed, I felt myself become fully relaxed and at peace. I sat back and enjoyed the sun and view overlooking the lake. It was time to sketch. Travis Blaise who is dating Sarah explained that she is classically trained and in fact performs for the opera. Her voice is stunning and she has a lighthearted humor that is infectious. In the foreground I sketched Gordon Spears who was wearing a distinctive red hat and leaning back talking to a friend. Someone told me that Gordon booked all the acts for the event. Later that night I had to take down my display of sketchbooks at the Cameo Theater and Gordon was there helping Louise Bova as she took down her work. I had never met Gordon before, but here I was bumping into him twice in one day. This town just keeps getting smaller.