Stripe Up the Band
Pastel on paper, framed 50 x 80 cm
In 2009 Lethea and I visited her native Oregon and attended the famous Oregon Country Fair, a 3-day art, crafts, music, theatre, and sustainable-culture event that’s been running since the 60’s. The Fair Experience is a sensory overload of colourful craft stalls, delicious food odours, multiple entertainment stages, buskers, and festive crowds in various states of outlandish dress-and-undress — all set in an idyllic woodland near Veneta, Oregon. Periodic parades snake their way through the dusty pathways, with much colour and clamour, which anyone can join. When this group of stripely-clad musicians appeared in our path, Lethea quickly snapped an action-blurred photo which captured the flavour of the scene far better than any crisp stop-action image could have done. That photo was the inspiration for this painting, which recaptures my own rich and moving impressions of the parade and our whole day at the Fair.