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Crop Art diary

A journey to the Minnestota State Fair Crop Art Competition

[Elmers
icon]

"How's that crop art coming along?"
[tiny seed]

This year's crop art diary.
Maggie Cheung 2005 crop art diary. Please note: It's large download.

Because I've finished this piece, and there will be no more daily updates, I've rearranged the crop art diary to run in non-blog style. So, let's start at the beginning ...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

You see, a cartoonist pal, Steven Stwalley, does this online comic strip called Soapy the Chicken. And he encourages people to do interpretations of his character. Steve, you asked for it.

And, yes, now that you mention it, I am starting my seed art later this year than I did last year. Last year (Note: Big download) I started July 10.


Here's the first sketch of the piece. It could work. Decided to go three-dimensional with Soapy. It will take some construction, not usually what I do with crop art, but the design of the drawing is very simple and I figure if I add some complexity by making it 3-D, the coolness factor goes up just a little. It's a gimmick.


Painting the board. I like to paint the design on the board before I start pasting seeds. Gives me a good idea of how the final art will look. Painting the board is also an excellent procrastination technique.


More paint. Next up, some cutting and sanding. And then I'll get to pasting seeds already.

--David Steinlicht
4 hours


Friday, July 28, 2006

Took the boards over to Mike Madden, a friend with a knack for woodworking, and he cut the shapes out just as nice as you please. Thanks, Mike!

One by one, my excuses are disappearing -- it's close to the time when I will have nothing to do but to glue seeds.


Here's the base of Soapy, all cut out and just about ready to go. I'm working on getting the lettering right. Not there yet.

--1 hour


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Painted the lines black on Soapy. Black will make a good background for the seed I'm planning on using. (The Coke can is there to give the photo some scale.) (Soapy is 23.5 inches tall, the lettering oval is 9 inches tall.)

Soapy is ready for seeds. But, first I have to solve the word oval.

--0.5 hour


These pictures show how the word oval has evolved. Starting, stopping, pondering, procrastinating, painting out with white, repainting. And finally, good enough. Ready for seeds.

--3 hours



And finally, let's glue seeds! Canola for the black parts. I'll be doing canola for a while.

--3 hours


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Canola around all the letters.

--4 hours


Monday, July 31, 2006


Canola.

--6 hours


Tuesday, August 1, 2006


Canola.

--3 hours


Wednesday, August 2, 2006


Canola.

--3 hours


Thursday, August 3, 2006


Canola finished on this part. Next up, millet.

--3 hours


Friday, August 4, 2006


Millet. Note the single lines of millet to help me keep the overall seed pattern straight.

--4 hours


Saturday, August 5, 2006


Millet.

--6 hours


Sunday, August 6, 2006


Millet. More millet.

--6 hours


Monday, August 7, 2006



Finished the lettering thingy. You may note that I've left some blank places. That's space for me to nail the board to the base. And once it's nailed, I'll put seeds in over the nail heads.

Started on the main piece featuring Soapy herself. This should go fast! Yes, it's back to the canola for a while. Haven't decided if I'm going to do the millet on Soapy just horizontally, like I did with the lettering, or if I'll kinda curve the lines of millet. It'd probably look better curved.

--6.5 hours


Tuesday, August 8, 2006


Canola.

--2 hours


Wednesday, August 9, 2006


Just about done with canola.

--2 hours


Thursday, August 10, 2006


Canola, out. Millet in.

Deadline alert! If you are planning on entering the Minnesota State Fair's crop art competition/exhibit, you have to register by tomorrow (Fri., Aug, 11). You can register online at: www.mnstatefair.org. The art itself is due Mon., Aug. 21, but you need to register by Fri., Aug. 11.

--2 hours


Friday, August 11, 2006


Deadline! Today (Fri., Aug, 11) is the last day for you to register for this year's crop art competition. And you have to register before 4:30 p.m. Thankfully, you can register online: mnstatefair.org. The art itself is due Mon., Aug. 21, but you need to register today.

Not much millet.

--0.5 hour


Saturday, August 12, 2006


Millet.

--2.5 hours


Sunday, August 13, 2006


Millet.

--2 hours


Monday, August 14, 2006


Millet.

--4 hours


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Millet.

--3 hours


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I got a note from a friend who's a mosaic artist with the grout and the pieces of ceramic and the glass bits -- you know, real mosaic art. She writes, "The use of curved lines to lay your millet is called 'Opus Vermiculatum' or could also be considered 'Andamento.'" To which I say, "Cool!" Thanks, Val!

Millet applied in the Opus Vermiculatum style.

--3 hours


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Millet.

--2.5 hours


Friday, August 18, 2006


Done with the millet. Done with the whole thing. Except for touch up. And assembly. And the legend card.

--1 hour



Scraping off seeds. Drilling holes. Screwing in screws.

I was going to do nails to hold the thing together but I had second thoughts about hammering away on the seed-covered boards. So I decided on screws.

The screw heads didn't sink into the board enough. Probably nails would have been easier to hide. There will be some unsightly bumps in the finished piece.

Ladies and gentlemen, there she is . . . Soapy the Chicken.

--2 hours


Saturday, August 19, 2006


Pasted seeds over the screw heads. Made a legend card.

--2 hours


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Fussed with details.

--1 hour


Monday, August 21, 2006

Deadline day. Get your crop art in to the Ag Hort Bee building before 4:30 this afternoon!

I took "Soapy the Chicken" in and was lectured on not following the rules. There's a new twist this year to the rule (rule 6, page 22) that used to say "Name and address may be placed on the back of the exhibit ..." New this year it reads "Name and address must be placed on the back of the exhibit ..." And "must" is underlined.

I missed that. And I was gently scolded by the person checking in this year's entries. Fortunately, Post-Its, masking tape and pens were supplied to accommodate non-rule-readers like myself. And once I got my address afixed properly I left "Soapy the Chicken" in the hands of the Farm Crops Division of the Minnesota State Fair.

--0.5 hour

[tiny seed] Images on this page ©2006 copyright by David Steinlicht. Soapy the Chicken character ©2006 copyright by Steven Stwalley. Crop Art web site ©2006 copyright David Steinlicht. Use of these images without permission is prohibited. Questions or comments? Write to steinlicht@pobox.com.