Sunday, August 30, 2009

Progress: Kim Cope's Conan O'Brien on a Schtick

Steps in creating my Conan O'Brien crop art for 2009:

1. I thought of an idea and drew out a rough sketch. I chose Conan because he promised to bring his show to the Minnesota State Fair for a week if he got his weight in chocolate-covered bacon, then he changed his mind. This way, Conan is still at the fair (so to speak), plus I used the word "shtick" in the title because it's a synonym for a comedy bit.

2. I searched the Internet for some photos, cartoons, and caricatures of Conan to use as a guide when drawing out my design.

3. I wanted to include a hand holding the stick Conan's on, so I took a photo of my own hand holding a wooden spoon handle to use as a reference.

4. I painted an undercoat of flesh-colored acrylic paint where Conan's head and my hand would go. I glued down the background seeds radiating out from his head. I thought the red lentils spelling out the title on the bottom would be readable, but they didn't stand out enough so I ended up outlining each orangish lentil letter in black carnola seeds.

5. Two days before it was due, I had most of the lettering done and was still trying to decide how to put the detail in Conan's face to get a semi-close likeness. (I was also working on my Michele Bachmann "Patron Saint of Wingnuts" crop art at the same time and had to switch back and forth between the two pieces while sections of each dried.)

(Click on picture for a closer view.)

6. After I finished, I sprayed Conan with two coats of quick-drying polyurethane clear glossy spray a couple of hours before it was due at the Ag-Hort building. I put it in a frame and attached the hanging wire and legend card. Then it was off to the fair with a couple of hours to spare.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thurs., Aug. 27, St. Paul Saints baseball and crop art

Liz Schreiber is the featured artist tonight at the Saint Paul Saints baseball game. Her portrait of the Baron Von Rashcke will be auctioned for charity during the 7th inning. The Baron himself will be in attendance.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Progess: Scott

Wearable crop art. Canola, millet and red millet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress: Suzanne

I used shellac/lacquer that I brushed on instead the spray on. Much more shiny.

I had to add some glitter paint to the background, because when I applied the first spray on coat of lacquer there was some discoloring to the silver paint.

I then tried to repaint with the original silver, while covering completed Barbie with tape, but of course could only get so close to the edge, since I was using silver spray paint. So off to the store to buy more silver to hand paint on.

THEN I saw some super silver glitter paint, so I bought that instead of plain silver and painted that over original silver background.

Tired yet? THEN I did a 2nd coat of silver glitter paint, followed by 2 coats of paint on lacquer. DONE and off to the fair.

Crop art article

Nice crop art article and photos focusing on Sandra Fjerkenstad-Budel at the food Web site

Photos by Lori Writer / Heavy Table

Progress: Teresa

A deft combination of the Fair's Midway sideshows and political commentary.

Progress: Linda

Linda wielding the jeweler's drill. Making holes in soybeans.

The finished product. Linda writes, "It’s a necklace of soybeans with a sterling silver pendant featuring a burned husk from last year’s Corn Roast stand." Great job -- beautiful!

Progress: Greta

Greta, Linda Koutsky's niece, did this. Sharp design skills run in the family!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Progress: David

Frame painted, crop art in the frame, seed legend card on the back. Delivered. Done.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Progress: David

Wild rice hair. Teeth made out of navy beans.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Progress: David

Spaced out navy beans in the background.

Progress: Sandra

Progress: David

Question: Seed legend cards in a bag

Hi David,

Here's a question. Remember how last year I was one of the few people who followed the new directive to put my index card in a baggie and tape it on the back? And how mine was the only legend card that wasn't hanging so people could read it???? (Being that it was still taped on the back.)

The rules say the same thing this year--should I/we ignore that particular instruction? Perhaps the reasoning was to keep the cards clean and free from entanglement while they were being delivered and judged, but if they stay taped to the back, how are the fair-goers going to learn about Minnesota crops? (Some sarcasm there.) On a more serious note, my legend card is part of my overall theme this year, so I need it to show.

As I write this, I realize your answer will be, "At the most you'll only lose a couple points..." so perhaps I have answered my own question. But I am curious what others plan to do...

Thanks and good luck on finishing your piece!




The hanging legend card was discontinued last year and I hadn't read the rules, so I was wrong. You were indeed right in putting it in a sandwich bag and taping it on the back. It was an oversight to have your legend card hidden. Most people who bagged the legend card had their legends properly displayed alongside the name tag.

I think the change in rules was to make the legend card easier to display with the name.

(Incidentally, if you see your crop art -- or anyone else's -- crop art improperly displayed at the State Fair, talk to the nearby Fair employees. They usually are very happy to fix things that are wrong.)

My advice: Do put your seed legend in the plastic bag again. It's the way it's supposed to be and helps the people hanging the display. That yours was improperly displayed last year was a mistake. And as for the rules and the points -- hey, a couple points here, a couple points there . . . .

Thanks for the wishes on my finishing this year. Looks like it will be a race to the finish!


Progress: David

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Progress: Suzanne

Here's Suzanne on her project:

I got some pix of my entry for this year. Barbie at 50. These are paparazzi style photos, the first being blurred and the other only partial, since her publicist was there. What a Diva!

[Editor's note: Very funny! The three pictures have been combined into one for this blog post. Click on the picture for a larger view.]

I only did the under painting technique on the "Barbie" logo, and wished I had also followed your advice on her suit. She's supposed to be turned at a slight angle at the waist, but instead it looks a bit like a sloppy swimsuit at this point. I may go in a do "seed over lay" or "double seeding" for better coverage.

This crop art! You give yourself ample time, and then perhaps nitpick vs. rushing in the 11th hour. A bit stressful no matter what, but either way, so exhilarating! I will also follow your advice and use painted vs/ sprayed lacquer.

[Note: If we did this year-round, we would be really good at it, but as it is, we seem to relearn stuff every year and only get good at it when we're almost done.]

Also new technique I learned:

To color the flax seed for fingernails, I was having trouble using a sharpie, since flax is so slippery, but I need that shape for the nails. So I ended up gluing seeds on paper, coloring them when they were well glued down and then removed and put on the piece. Good idea, huh?

[Note: Flax is difficult to work with, that's for sure! It is a good idea to paint it separately.]

Progress: David

Outlines: wild rice. Eyes: birdsfoot trefoil and alfalfa. Lips: wild rice, birdsfood trefoil and red millet. Skin: millet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Progress: David

Got some wild rice on the hair outline. Painting backgrounds. Wishing seeds went on as easy as paint!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Progress: Teresa

Teresa is doing a three-panel piece titled "GOP Sideshow." Here's a close-up. Have to go to the Minnesota State Fair to see the whole thing. Sometimes a wild-rice cigar is just a wild-rice cigar.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Progress: David

Getting a bit of a late start. I'm abandoning the clock idea for this year. (One of these years that clock will be a heck of an entry!)

Since I'm just about completely out of time, I'm attempt a fast portrait. Of an advertising character. Getting the image on the board and the board painted.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Important reminder

NOW! NOW! NOW! You must register TODAY (Friday, Aug. 14) if you are planning on entering this year's Minn. State Fair Crop Art exhibit/ competition! Register online now -- before 4:30 p.m. today.

You have until Monday, Aug. 24 to finish your work -- but you must register TODAY (Friday, Aug. 14).

Also: Download the online rulebook (PDF).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Progress: Lisa

I had a July 31 deadline to finish the Our Lady of Guadalupe figure, her son and their aura. I missed it by 90 minutes, working into August 1 until 1:30 a.m.

(Better a partial-nighter now than an all-nighter later!)

((Her gown took months, as I laid them in contrasting stripes, barely distinguishable in this photo.))

My niece Evy helped me with the pour-and-pat technique, using beautiful canola seeds, for the background. Thanks again, Evy! Niece Emma also helped me place split peas on the left rose vine, but alas I decided they wouldn't work. Thanks anyway, Em!

Next challenge: finishing the rose vine and the roses. I have pretty red popcorn for the roses, all with the idea of framing the beautiful Our Lady. Note: I'm proud to use the homely and humble-but-intriguing-looking sugarbeet seed for the center of the roses. It's my homage to the northwest Minnesota staple crop.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Progress report: Laura

Laura is working on another opus. This one combining Precious Moments figurines and quotes from a famous Congresswoman from Minnesota's Sixth District.

A photo from the early stages.

Detail from one of the quotes. Laura has all the quote clouds done now and is working on the background.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sandra progress

Sandra is done with one and is working on another.

Bill Holm, R.I.P. Getting a likeness is hard work.

July 4th marchers

This from Teresa Anderson:

Kim (www.) Cope and Joel (cropart) and Teresa (.com) Anderson promoted Crop Art and in the St. Anthony Park 4th of July parade. (St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman had no comment.)

Signs made of seeds.

Flip side of the signs -- and Mr. Mayor.

Something to remember us by.

Thank you, Teresa!