The fair is for having fun. For some that means cruising the fairgrounds with a completely new look. How about a mountain lion or a butterfly? Why not?
There was a steady line of customers at the face painting booth located outside the Commercial III building on the State Fairgrounds on Tuesday. Underneath a shady canopy, Ashley Pickin of Hampton, Va., was dipping her paint brush into a variety of colors. She was making liberal use of sponges too, all for the purpose of giving customers the look they desired.
"Oh gosh, pretty girls like cats and butterflies and lace," said Pickin while adding some whiskers to a young customer's face painting. "Little boys have been a lot of Androids and dragons and things like that. Cats are also real popular cheetahs, kitty cats, mountain lions and all that sort of stuff."
Ariana Estuider of Parshall chose a mountain lion for her face painting design. Getting the cat-like eyes correct required that she keep her eyes closed during that portion of the painting. When Pickin finished and handed Estuider a mirror, Estuider showed her pleasure as a smile emerged from beneath her now whiskered face.
"I felt it would be fun to do it. I like the eyes," laughed Estuider.
Dawn Dewitt Studios, the face painting company, is owned by Dawn Dewitt of Wyoming. Dewitt has been at the State Fair in previous years, but this year contacted Pickin to provide some additional help. A good thing because of the heavy demand for face painting at this year's fair.
Ashley Pickin, Hampton, Va., completes a mountain lion face painting on Ariana Estuider of Parshall during the North Dakota State Fair on Tuesday. The face painting booth is located outside Commercial III on the fairgrounds.
"It has been kind of crazy," said Pickin. "I was told it would be really slow on Monday and Tuesday, and we've been packed every day."
Those who wish to have their faces painted can choose from one of the designs on display or request something of their liking.
"You request it, we'll try it," said Pickin.
Customers seemed to enjoy the talented and efficient artist, sitting quiet and still while Pickin produced her facial art. Friends stood close by and watched the process, expressing oohs and aahs at the finished product. For those who tried it, having a face painted added to the fun of the State Fair.
"This is really impressive," responded Pickin when asked about the fair. "I've been to a lot of state fairs and this one has a lot of cool stuff I don't see anywhere else. It's really interesting."
Interesting too is the number of cats prowling the fairgrounds. No, not the real kind but rather those created through face painting outside the Commercial III building.