June 30, 2015

The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society

Suhita Shirodkar in Half Moon Bay, California.

How fantastic a name is this? The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. To top that off, this live jazz venue is located right on Miramar Beach in Half Moon Bay. Sketching to live music is one of my favorite things to do: capturing the music, the atmosphere and the action (with a glass of wine at hand)... it doesn't get much better than that. 

Here are some sketches of the Marcus Shelby Orchestra featuring Tiffany Austin.

Since I sketched almost all the pieces from one spot, it was interesting to see how the sketches got simpler and simpler, much less like portraits and much more a capture of the energy and the music as I went along. 

More sketches from the evening and a little bit about the sketch kit I'm using here on my blog.

London Summer Sketch with Spit!

I must say, it was extremely hot in London today!

I discovered a nice spot of shade under a tree where I chilled did all the sketching

It made me have feelings of being in Nigeria again!!!

Picture of the scene I decided to sketch and paint, I was drawn to this scene because of the tree.

The morning was so warm, I couldn't resist sketching outside!!! So I did a double trip-Since I'm trying to knock a few pounds off my tummy and also keep my summer sketching flowing, I jogged and took along some sketching materials....but I never knew I forgot water for the watercolours!

Black and White sketch of the scene.

Everywhere looked so green around the neighbourhood where I live, everything seemed to be shouting, "sketch and  paint me". But as I jogged I came across this lovely tree, it was completely divided into light and shade, which made it very interesting to sketch and paint! So I chose this scene just for my love for trees, I simply love trees, the movement, the organic shapes, the mysterious darks, just make it a pleasure to work on!

Colour Rough of the scene

After I finished my black and white sketch I went on to do a colour rough with watercolours and Ball Point pens. I opened up my kit only to find out that there was no water in my bottle!!!!! Grrrh!

The sketch and colour rough and the scene

So I didn't want to give up sketching in colour, I had to improvise! I decided to use spit! It worked for a while until I had no more saliva left in my throat.

My spit mixed palette, not a great sight!

Location Sketched-Yarnton Way, Thamesmead. near the Business Academy.

Materials used for Black and White Sketch-  (Green and Stone) Sea White of Brighton 8" x 8" Hard Bound Sketchbook, Black Bic Ball Point Pen, H and 2H Graphite Pencils, a Soft Oil Base Pencil, Black and Grey Coloured Pencils and white Gouache.

Material Used for Colour Rough- (Green and Stone) Sea White of Brighton 8" x 8" Hard Bound Sketcbook, Papermate Brown Ball point pen, Bic Black Ball point Pen, White Gouache, Blue coloured Pencil.

Falling down: Houses of Parliament, London

By James Hobbs in London

Never mind London Bridge, now the Houses of Parliament are falling down. A recent official report says that it could cost £5.7billion and take 32 years to renovate it and turn it into the kind of building a modern democracy needs. UNESCO world heritage site it may be, but it is also an outdated, crumbling, rat-infested, leaking, asbestos-ridden gentlemen's club that needs dragging into the 21st century. I've already written about the leaning Big Ben.

It could be that members of parliament and peers are moved out while the restoration work is undertaken, speeding up the process. But where would they go? The Olympic Park media centre in the East End has been suggested as one temporary option. But what about outside London? Getting parliament out of the capital could invigorate its work and help change our jaded attitude to it. What about the city of Manchester, for instance? That would be an excellent choice.

June 29, 2015

some sketches at Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, Seoul

By Lee Yong-hwan in Seoul, Korea

Acrocanthosaurus on the Central Hall, pen and watercolor

Central Hall of the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, pen and watercolor

Earth Environment Hall on the 3rd floor, pen and watercolor

Allosaurus at Dinosaur Park, pen and watercolor

Human & Nature HAll on the 1st floor, pen and watercolor 

Sharks of Korea at Life Evolution Hall on the 2nd floor, pen and watercolor

Diversity of Terrestrial Life at Life Evolution Hall, pen and watercolor

front view of the Seodaemun Museum of Natural History, pen and watercolor
( pen and watercolor, 21 x 29.6cm sketchbook )
Seodaemun Museum of Natural History is located in Seodaemun-gu in Seoul, Korea. The museum was planned and constructed by the Seodaemun District Office. After 6 years of planning and construction, the museum opened on July 10th, 2003. The purpose of the foundation is to preserve, to study and to exhibit geological and biological records about the local environment. The museum is organized around three main themes over three floors, and displays the history of nature and life vividly through various real specimens of minerals, rocks, and fossils (including dinosaurs, animals, and insects from all over the world), but also displays them with up-to date display technologies such as models, dioramas, and stereopsis displays.
These days I visited the museum with pleasant surroundings and enjoyed exciting sketch time in and out of the museum, appreciating the precious natural assets.

June 28, 2015

An Afternoon Outing, Sketching by the Sea

by Shiho Nakaza, in Santa Monica, California

I spent a bit of afternoon sketching with Pete Scully, who was visiting Santa Monica - his account of the weekend is here.

While I've sketched at Santa Monica Pier numerous times, sketching together and chatting with a fellow sketcher made me look at the familiar scene with fresh eyes. Using a panoramic format (a Handbook panoramic sketchbook that I found in my stack of sketchbooks) made me notice the expanse of the ocean and the sky. I don't like the crease in the middle of the spread, but this sketch is a fun reminder of escaping my daily routine in my own town.

Urban Sketching trip to Bukit Pasoh, Singapore

By Don Low, Singapore

When I was sketching my piece, I asked a Malay friend, what does Bukit Pasoh stand for. I knew "Bukit" means hill, he told me "Pasoh" means vase. I checked the meaning from Wikipedia, and it says pasoh is a Malay word for flower pot, or earthenware, and people used to store rice and water in pasoh. I used to live near the vicinity. The road leads to Chinatown, where I hung out or work when I was in my teens. The road and its vicinity is now known as Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area which is bounded by New Bridge Road, Keong Saik Road, Kreta Ayer Road, Neil Road and Cantonment Road. The shophouses here are mainly in the transitional, late and art deco style. 

The turnout for the location drawing trip was overwhelming again, even though the notice of venue was given out a day before. But I think everyone was already waiting and anticipating for the announcement, as we usually come together every last Sat of the month. We even have several guests who joined us. Bryan from Chicago was on a business trip to Singapore and he said he just happened to see the notice. Orling from Santo Domingo was on her holiday here too. So we always have a mix of sketchers from different part of the world. 

Here's a shot of the sketchers who turned up for the month-end sketching trip. There was still a large portion of people whom I couldn't accommodate into the shot. We took a group photo in the end, as always, but I don't have it.

Show and tell. Everyone is welcomed to stay behind after the show and tell to share or to show more of their work to whoever asks to see more. I guess most of the sketchers are too shy. Most of the time the group is just too big which makes it difficult to get to know each other. The familiar faces would stick together for lunch or coffee later or continue on with their sketching spree. It is a good problem though.
I arrived late and have only 40mins left on the clock to sketch. I used up only 10-15 mins for this, while the rest of the time was spent walking, talking and simply sitting and enjoying the environment.  The sketch was done with a Hero fountain pen on Canson Kraft paper sketchbook. The brown of the paper gives good contrast with white added.

NTC at Liberty Station, Point Loma, CA

By Lydia Velarde
NTC was the location of the San Diego Urban Sketchers Meetup today. It is a former Naval Training Center located in Point Loma, The renovated Spanish architecture serve as civic, arts and culture district for the San Diego Community.

This sketch was created from the park on the corner of Cushing and Dewey.

One of the weapons on display at the park.

Love Wins...and the people of Ireland said it first

by Róisín Curé in Galway

Some people outside Ireland have certain ideas about our country, usually based on The Quiet Man, which we can live with, or Tom Cruise in Far And Away, which we can't. I still read cringe-worthy - and lazy - stories of leprechauns and twinkly eyes, from people who should know better. But you can't argure with the facts, and the Irish are very proud to have been the first country in the world to have said Yes to marriage equality by popular vote. 

I made this sketch of people voting in our recent referendum in my local village of Ballinderreen. I had no way of knowing which way the vote would go. I suspected the vote would be carried, and the vote was 63% in favour. Although I respect the other point of view, and can see perfectly valid arguments both ways, I am very happy that gay people in Ireland now feel they are no longer second-best.

We were also the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace, and the rest soon started to follow suit. The first to charge for plastic bags, which means that trees aren't bedecked in shredded bits of bag anymore.

I'm very proud of the changes that have happened in Ireland over the last few decades: we've moved on, without losing the national characteristics of kindness and humour. We've thrown the bathwater out and kept the baby.

June 26, 2015

bye bye vinçon!

byebye vinçon
today, I visited for the last time one of my favourite place in barcelona, the design store "vinçon" on passeig de gracia. it celebrated its 74th anniversary and will close definitely next tuesday.
since I arrived in barcelona, vinçon was the place I visited for inspiration, enjoying the last trends and great art show in the sala vinçon.
it breaks my heart to see the 2 exhibition floors empty this morning, and to talk to one of the employee that will be unemployed in a few days.
I did a last ride on the first floor, the magnificent modernist flat that was the home of the famous spanish artist ramón casas. I can’t resist to sketch the huge chimney thinking of the time ramón casas was still living there… this is the kind of place I used to visit each time I was passing in front, where I felt like home and that I never sketched until today, getting the feeling that it will be here forever.
bye bye vinçon, and thanks for this past years, it was awesome!

A Crosswalk is a Symbol

by Tina Koyama in Seattle

E. Pike Street and 11th Ave., Capitol Hill neighborhood

When I first saw media photos of a freshly rainbow-painted crosswalk yesterday, I assumed it was a temporary decoration for Pride Week. But it turns out that the 11 rainbow crosswalks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood are permanent, according to The Seattle Times.

Fabric banners and other rainbows are commonly seen on Capitol Hill, but knowing that these crosswalks were a permanent investment by the city gives them greater meaning. Sketching near the intersection of East Pike Street and 11th Avenue, I felt proud of Seattle for displaying these bold rainbows in the street.

Less than a week ago nine people were murdered in Charleston for being black. I would like to believe that Seattle is a safe place for people of all colors, beliefs and sexual orientations. Given that the particular intersections were chosen for these crosswalks because they had been the sites of violence against people based on their sexual orientation, I’m not sure how much confidence I have in feeling that way. Still, the crosswalks are a symbol of where we stand as a community.

In the wake of the Charleston murders, the controversy rages on about whether the Confederate flag should be removed from the South Carolina state capitol. Many people feel strongly that the flag represents their southern heritage; others point out that that heritage includes slavery and racism.

Symbols do matter.

June 25, 2015

big wind at Big Sur

The wind at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is powerful much of the time, but there are so many great sights to sketch. We camped overnight at Nacimiento campground, woke up to an amazing bald eagle on a branch near out tent, then drove down the mountain and up the coast to this beautiful spot. Although the beach hosts many visitors, almost no one sits out on the sand to soak up the sun, as the sand is blown constantly at tremendous speeds. We found a tiny shelter against the rocks, but my watercolor kit was filled with sand by the time I was finished, as was my water and everything we took with us. By the way, the beach is not marked from the highway, so it's very difficult to find. If you plan on visiting, it's best to stop and ask a local how to get there. >blog

June 24, 2015

sketches at the museum in Goyang city

 by Byung Hwa Yoo, Goyang city, Gyeonggi province, Korea

foreground garden of the museum - Centro Cultural de American Latina Y Museo, pencil, watercolor, 39 x 27 cm

inside scene at the gallery of Latin countries' traditional costume, 
pen, watercolor, 27 x 39 cm

one of the exhibited clothes, pen, watercolor, 27.5 x 17.5 cm

entrance of sculpture park, pencil, watercolor, 39 x 27 cm

exhibition hall of cathedral church, charcoal, 39 x 27 cm

Last month I visited Centro Cultural de American Latina Y Museo located at Goyang city, north of Seoul. The museum was founded by the former ambassador Lee Bok-hyeong who had served as diplomat in Latin American countries for 30 years. He and his wife collected lots of precious works to establish a museum. It's said that such kind of museum about Latin America is the only one in Asia.

The place was very beautiful with calm atmosphere. The garden was managed well with green lawn balanced with red brick buildings. There were art museum, religion building, sculpture park, and so on. Shiny weather added the pleasure to walk here and there seeing the sculptures in garden. I could appreciate lots of exotic goods such as ring, bracelet, wallets, and crafts in souvenir shop too. 

At that time there was a special exhibition of the clothes and textiles of those countries' traditional wearings. I sketched two there. I could finish using watercolors because the inside was not busy with visitors. I'd like to go and to sketch more about exhibited masks later.

Kolingsborg and spray paint

by Nina Johansson, Stockholm

Kolingsborg är vit!

I have been away from Slussen in Stockholm for a while, and now that I got around to spend some time there drawing again, the classic landmark Kolingsborg was suddenly boarded up and painted white! I had read about this in the papers, but not seen it with my own eyes.

Since Slussen is going to be demolished in a not too far away future (or so they have said for a long time now), the City has decided to invite graffiti artists to paint Kolingsborg - hence the white background colour. Not all people in the city love this idea, there have been demonstrations, and there is a big debate in papers and digital media. But for the new city government (since the elections 2014) this is a great way to put a big exclamation mark on skipping the "zero tolerance policy" for graffiti that was introduced by the last government. What better way o show these intentions than to cover a very visible building in spray paint!

Kolingsborg är vit!

I love street art, and Kolingsborg is a really cool building. Should be a good combination. But it´s sad that this is brought on by the fact that Kolingsborg will be demolished soon.

Meanwhile, until the graffiti artists are done, Kolingsborg looks like an unreal cream cake resting up there, overlooking Old town and the waters on both sides of Slussen. It is an interesting sight, no matter what you think about this project.

Scenes from an Exhibition

by Cathy Gatland in Johannesburg, South Africa

At the annual Rotary Art Festival held recently in a local shopping centre, I thought the art viewers would provide a good opportunity to capture some unguarded poses but it's amazing how quickly everyone moved and disappeared behind screens, or sensed they were being drawn and hid!

It was less obtrusive to sit on an upper level and look down at people, though they still moved fast - unaware diners at restaurants were easier but a bit distant to see properly.

And a life drawing session where I sketched some of the exhibiting artists busy drawing the models, who sat nice and still!

June 23, 2015

Precarious Positions

By Fred Lynch from near Boston, Massachusetts
Always check the back of an Italian town, I say. That's because the oldest ones (perhaps they're all old) are built in positions to easily defend - often on a high cliff, and they're always a fascinating subject. A perfect puzzle of buildings huddle together, perched on the edge. Often, a building at some point, has tumbled over!

That's where I found this view of the small town of Vitorchiano, in Central Italy. Walking back and forth along a narrow but busy road, I tried to find just the right view across the chasm before me. I was tempted to jump a fence into a private yard, but then thought better (sort of) and instead climbed over a fence at the end of a parking lot, right next to a Caution sign. Placing my collapsible stool carefully near the edge of a high, eroded cliff, I drew for hours. The town and I faced each other over a deep abyss. (Perhaps you can see my seat by the fence.) Some views are worth the risk. I bet you'd do the same.