October 1, 2014

Around the corner

I am inspired by Rob Carey's post from yesterday. Living in the suburbs of Montreal, I often have the same problem as Rob. My sketching time is limited and I want to get out and draw something. My immediate surroundings, at first glance, are not that interesting. Suburban houses and strip malls. But if you take a bit of time to look around, you realize there is always something to sketch. If the day is sunny, there's the play of light and shadow on one of those houses, or the colours in the trees around the corner from my street, or the old man on a bench in the park in my neighbourhood. Of course I'd rather be sketching a panoramic view of Montreal from the mountain, but when time or distance is a factor, I'm much happier sketching not much at all than not sketching anything.

Drawing Attention – October 2014

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Paraty symposium staff and volunteers ham it up at the final sketchwalk.
(animated GIF by Greg Mullin)

The next International Urban Sketching Symposium could be in your hometown! Submit a proposal by Oct. 20!

Fort Worth-based urban sketcher, urban designer, writer and educator Jim Richards will teach a workshop in Savannah (USA) at the Telfair Museum in conjunction with its Port City exhibit Oct. 4. The workshop is sponsored by Canson.

Wonderful sketches and fun photos are still pouring into the Urban Sketchers Paraty 2014 Flickr group!

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Barcelona's Mostra & Comparteix

Urban Sketchers Barcelona (Spain) is organizing Mostra & Comparteix (Show & Share) Oct. 9. "It's a kind of party where people share their sketchbooks after summer and spring," Swasky said, when sketchers have had more opportunities to sketch outdoors. He hopes the idea will catch on with other USk communities. 

Urban Sketchers Oahu (USA) had a kick-off event Sept. 21 on Magic Island. "We started sketching at 8 a.m. to escape the heat of the day, and ended the morning by gathering together and sharing our sketches," said co-organizer Sebastian Sievert. "Looking ahead, we plan to sketch in a variety of locations around the island, covering both iconic and unconventional sights of our home state, from lush landscapes and beaches to industrial installations." Sebastian invites any sketchers visiting Hawaii to contact USk Oahu for a sketch outing. Find USk Oahu on their blog, on Flickr and on Facebook.

Urban Sketchers Oahu sketching on Magic Island.
The Great South East, a Brisbane (Australia) television station, aired a story about USk Brisbane Sept. 21. Organizer Judy-Joy Bell says that in the two years the group has been sketching together, membership has grown to nearly 190. "We like to document the historical aspects of our beautiful City of Brisbane mostly, but also haunt public gardens and parks as well," JJ said. USk Brisbane was also featured in a Brisbane Times article back in April in conjunction with Anzac Day.

Urban Sketchers Eskiltuna (Sweden) is having a group exhibition through Oct. 16. 

Urban sketchers are gathering in Ithaca, NY (USA), for a free sketching weekend Oct. 17 - 19The Trip Hotel Ithaca is the paintout's home base, according to organizer Marc Taro Holmes. Details are still being finalized, so check out the Google Maps Engine page for information.

Urban sketchers in Zurich.
Urban sketchers had a fantastic sketchcrawl in Zurich (Switzerland) Sept. 27, according to André Sandmann. In addition to an opportunity for great sketching, André said that one purpose of the gathering was "to collect impressions and results as a documentation of actual USk movement in Switzerland," which was initiated by Mario Leimbacher for the magazine HEFT of the Society of Swiss Art Teachers. The article will be published in the next edition. Some of the sketches will be exhibited at Kantonsschule Enge.

Urban Sketchers New Jersey (USA) has just launched its blog! Go see their sketches of "Awesomeness Behind NJ Turnpike Exits."

Sketchers in Action

A summit of urban sketchers in Liège (Belgium) received great coverage Sept. 11 in the Liège newspaper Le SoirGerard Michel, Antoine Michel and Fabien Denoël hosted the event, and sketchers Inma Serrano, Simonetta Capecchi, Corinne Raes, Lapin, Miguel Herranz, David Magli, Rolf Schröter, Rene Fijten, Luis Ruiz and Florian Afflerbach were invited to participate.

Gabi Campanario's latest book is based on his Seattle Sketcher column.
Urban Sketchers founder Gabi Campanario, better known in Washington State's Puget Sound region as Seattle Sketcher, has a new book hot off the press! Published by The Seattle Times, the book includes many of his most popular sketches from his weekly column in that newspaper. You can still pre-order the book at the special price of $29.95 (a 15 percent discount) through Oct. 5. The book starts shipping Oct. 10. The first book-signing event will be at the University Book Store in Seattle Oct. 11.

Elizabeth Alley, Urban Sketchers Executive Board Vice President and Events Director, published an article on Creative Bloq Sept. 5 about the fast-growing urban sketching movement. Creative Bloq is an online magazine of design and illustration.

An image from Adebanji Alade's prize-winning sketchbook.
Congratulations to London (UK) artist Adebanji Alade, who just won a £2,000 first place Buxton Spa Prize award for his sketchbook! 

USk Seattle (USA) co-organizer Jane Wingfield's sketch of Walla Walla caught the attention of a journalist for the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. The Sept. 23 article in that newspaper mentions Urban Sketchers and the Seattle and Tri-Cities USk groups.

Shout it Out in Drawing Attention

Not seeing anything about you or your Urban Sketchers group in Drawing Attention? Then we want to hear from you! Please send your urban sketching news items with links and images to: drawingattention@urbansketchers.org. Or tag me, Tina Koyama, on news you post on the Urban Sketchers Facebook page. Subscribe by e-mailHappy sketching!

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

I sometimes wake up in the morning with a strong urge to sketch a specific topic.
In the past I've had an urge for classic cars, buildings, construction machines, people etc

This morning it was Dinosaurs and since I've sketched most of the dinosaurs in my area, I drove 2-1/2 hours to New Haven Connecticut to go see the Peabody Museum of Natural History in the Yale University campus.

This was my first time in the area and I was equally impressed with the school campus and the architectures in the area. I think I might even make another trip down here just to draw the buildings in the area!


Rua Erva Mularinha - Jardim Marília - São Paulo - SP (25/09/2014)

Deu que esses dias cometi este desenho de uma encruzilhada. Nela você pode escolher em qual rua entrar, vai depender do seu caminho. Jardim Marília é para cima, Brasília para baixo, Parque Savoy City descendo à esquerda e de onde eu estava era à beira do caminho. Fosse 5 horas da tarde a rua estaria abarrotada de carros, mas era cedo, algumas pessoas passavam, ônibus e lotações e de vez em quando um cão vadio. As calçadas são meio sujas por aqui, de modo que: esqueça o cheiro.

Nine Elms, London: coming soon

This view upstream from the Thames embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament in London is the kind of view I like the best: the obvious thing to do is draw the well-known sight (see below), but what is behind you often tells another story. Past the moored pleasure boats, Lambeth Bridge, and the tower blocks of Vauxhall is a thicket of construction cranes that are working to change the face of Nine Elms. This disused industrial land larger in area than Hyde Park is being developed into a residential and business district, with homes for 30,000, jobs for 25,000, new US and Dutch embassies (by 2017), and there are plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge and rail stations. I've written before about the tortured landscape of Vauxhall; big changes there are also part of the plan.
The view below of parliament and the towers of Westminster Abbey peeping through was drawn from exactly the same spot.

European Heritage Days

Recently the European Heritage Days were celebrated. In Portugal the several Urban Sketchers groups in different cities were asked to participate. The idea was, in each city, to make a route that involved 3 National Monuments and draw them.

In Lisbon we started in the Ruins of Carmo (first drawing), passed through São Roque’ Church (second drawing) (both churches were part of the Lisbon Symposium), and finished at the Gloria Lift (third drawing) (and yes! The lift is a national monument).

The drawings will be showed in an itinerant exhibition all over Portugal.

September 30, 2014

within my walls



It's been very long since I've posted, and I suppose it's due to the fact that I just don't get out much these days. When we lived in Germany, there were trips to Stuttgart and Colmar, Barcelona and Nice. Now that we live in California's central valley, the architecture here just doesn't inspire me, and I find it hard to get out with my sketchbook. But, on the bright side, the weather here is always perfect sketching weather, so I just need to adjust my eyes to seeing the things around me with new perspective. I truly believe that no matter where you live, the content is there for the taking if you truly invest some time looking for it. In the meantime, I will draw scenes like this, from inside my house.

Two years after the final flight

It's been two years since I sketched the space shuttle, Endeavor, on its way to California Science Center (in this post), and my fellow Los Angeles correspondent Virginia sketched it when it arrived at the Science Center here. I finally had the chance to see Endeavor in its final home before the exhibit closes intermittently for payload installation. It's quite amazing to see it up close with scratches and dirt - a well-earned proof that it flew 25 times into outer space and back to earth.

sketches at beauty parlor

An old woman took her grand son to the beauty parlor.
He was loved by old ladies in the shop. I could hold him for a while and remembered the past of raising my kids. She could finish her perm well by their help.

heating treatment for better perm

On August I went to beauty shop located at Eunpyeong-gu twice for my mother and myself. While waiting I could sketch many. I washed them at home because there was no room to spread painting gears. The hair designers(dressers) moved very often. So I had to observe well to catch the same pose. I smile when I see the baby drawing remembering how cute he was.

Procissão da Luz

Carnide is an old and village like Lisbon neighborhood.
Since 1463 Carnide is proud of the procession that honors Our Lady of the Candles, in the last Sunday of each September.
It is a memorable happening with thousands of proud citizens, Bishops, Priests, Firemen, Guards, lots of helmets, berets, uniforms and banners.
Neighbors watch from the windows and balconies and show colorful quilts.

It happened again last Sunday, between showers and a proper sun.

The City of Christopher Wren

Sketching Wren's City, Aug 2 2014
London, UK: Many years ago, when I was a teenager with a travelcard, I would often get the tube on a Saturday afternoon and head into the City of London to explore, to figure out the labyrinth of grey-washed streets in my head, and I remember very clearly becoming a little obsessed with Christopher Wren, the famous architect with a big wig who built St.Paul's and who lived on the fifty pound note. I had just climbed narrow staircase inside the Monument, the large column commemorating the Great Fire of 1666, and I said to myself on the train journey home, oooh I am going to write a book about all of Wren's buildings in the City, no wait, I'll DRAW them all! That was more than twenty years ago, and I never did. But now in this age of high-speed sketchbooks and global availability of pens I figured the time was right to re-visit this modest and crazy dream (that's also the title of one of my favourite books, which is not about Wren but it could be). So from the sunshine of California I decided to, you know, organize a sketchcrawl. It was a really, really good idea, and a really, really fun day!
Sketching Wren's City

It was called "Sketching Wren's City", and every participant was provided with a hand-drawn map and a mission - go forth and find Wren. London's sketchers gathered, appropriately, at the Monument to the Great Fire. The Great Fire, you say, what’s that? Well in September 1666 a baker called Thomas Faryner in a street called Pudding Lane had the misfortune of having a fire start in his bakery one night, a fire deemed so insignificant that the Lord Mayor, awoken with the news of flames rising above the rooftops, famously said that, well, it could be extinguished by, er, female urine (he used a slightly coarser phrase). However, the fire spread, and kept on spreading, and no amount of wee (male or female) was able to make up for the lack of a decent fire-fighting service (if only they had fire hydrants in 1666, eh!). The City of London was destroyed, including the grand old St.Paul’s Cathedral, and a good number of churches. Enter Christopher Wren, and his fire-proof wig. He had been redesigning London on a grand scale since, er, before the massive unforeseen and entirely coincidental catastrophe that gave him his big break, and now here was his chance. The people of the City however did not want a grand urban-planned metropolis, they wanted their land in the same place thank you. So London kept its medieval street plan, and Wren got to work on the churches. It was a Wrenaissance, if you will. As a special thank you to London for giving him a Great Fire that basically set him up for life, Wren built the Monument, topped with a blazing golden ball; it was designed so that if the column fell over, the top would rest exactly where the fire started, which must have made the City planners a little nervous. Behind it in this sketch there is a brand new building called the Cheesegrater, because all of London’s new tower blocks have to have some silly name or other. If the Monument were built now it’d probably be called the Bunsen Burner or something.
The Monument
I crossed over the busy traffic junction at King William Street and Cannon Street to sketch the couple below; to the right, St.Edmund King and Martyr, and to the left, the rather unassuming St. Clement’s Eastcheap. St. Clement’s…now where do you know that from, ah yes the famous song, “Oranges and Lemons”. This is the St.Clement’s of the song, not St.Clement Dane (the more famous one, located on Strand), and probably so alluded to because of the fruit cargoes offloaded from the riverboats nearby. Or maybe just because it kind of rhymes with lemons. I sketched in an alleyway. It’s not one of the more interesting pieces of Wren architecture. In fact it’s almost as though he couldn’t be bothered at all. “Oranges and lemons, do me a favour, I’ve got fifty-odd churches and a bunsen burner to build,” he was reported to have said, before designing the more handsome and dashing St. Clement Dane. This one is the forgotten little brother.
St Clement EastcheapSt Edmund King and Tomato
I met my good friends Simon, the actor, and Tamara, the director (this sounds like we were about to make "Urban Sketchers: the Movie"; hey that's a great idea, let's get on that! Casting ideas below; I want to be played by Michael Fassbender) and we sketched the wonderful domed church of St. Stephen Walbrook, one of Wren’s most beautiful churches. Oh, on the inside that is. It was closed this day, so we made do with sketching its, um, wonderful exterior, Starbucks and all. Still, it was very nice to catch up with old friends and do some sketching. St. Stephen Walbrook by the way was Wren’s dummy-run for St. Paul’s (spoiler alert, St. Paul’s is domed as well) and the inside truly is a delight to behold, ok it’s not the Aya Sophia or anything but it’s still pretty nice.
St Stephen Walbrook sm
After finishing St. Stephen Walbrook I bumped into international-travelling urban sketcher Sue Pownall, and we walked over to St. Mary-le-Bow on Cheapside. The approach to this old church up the narrow Bow Lane is lovely, although the buildings are now modern you can just use a bit of imagination to fly back through the centuries and picture the narrow timber-framed houses leaning into each other over dirty streets, the sound of the Bow Bells echoing through the dark, bustling lanes. Yes, this is the church of the Bow Bells; the tradition is that a Cockney, a true Cockney, was born within the sound of the Bow Bells (and not Bow in East London as many wrongly believe), that is, within London. Cockney is synonymous with all Londoners now, London being much bigger than in Dick Whittington’s day, though of course he famously heard them from up on Highgate Hill, calling him back to his destiny as London’s Lord Mayor. It's a yarn all Londoners know. The Bow Bells were important to London not because of fanciful stories and cockney categorization, but because in the middle ages these were the bells that rung to sound the curfew, and the closing of the city gates. If they rang and you were outside the city, you spent a night sleeping in the filthy gutters of Southwark or Finsbury. These days you can just get a Night Bus, and it’s a similar experience.
St Mary Le Bow sm
Ok, skip to the end...St.Paul's Cathedral is Wren’s masterpiece, but its significance to London is much older. There has been a cathedral dedicated to St. Paul’s on this site, since St. Augustine brought Christianity to the Angles and Saxons. The fourth incarnation, a huge Gothic cathedral, was built in the twelfth century and was one of the largest buildings in Europe, but alas, the Great Fire of 1666. Along came Wren. As I’ve mentioned before, he had plans to rebuild London including St. Paul’s on his drawing board for several years before the convenient fire, and for London’s landmark cathedral he wanted not another towering spire but a large Romanesque dome, technologically advanced and rivaling the greatest buildings in Christendom. The wooden model of his first design is still on display, but it looks rather different from the final building. This was late seventeenth-century England, not a time to make your premier church look, well, too Catholic. It was shaped like a Greek cross, and the nave was not long enough; it just didn’t look 'English'. Wren went back to the drawing board, and in the end built the Cathedral we have today. It’s hard to think of more ‘London’ building than this. During the darkest days of World War II, when bombs flattened everything around it, the dome of St. Paul’s stood untouched, a symbol of hope for a city devastated. The ‘people’s church’ this was, and probably because of that, it was here that Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981 rather than at the traditional Westminster Abbey.
St Pauls sm
There were about thirty of us sketching London in total that day, many who had to leave before the end, but those of us who made it gathered at the steps of St.Paul's to look at each others' sketchbooks. It was so nice to meet old and new sketching friends, including fellow USk correspondent and extraordinary art-blogger Katherine Tyrell, and afterwards many of us gathered at the Old Bell pub on Fleet Street for some post-sketchcrawl socializing. Some truly beautiful sketches were made this day, an inspiration. I really love meeting sketchers in London, but especially after fulfilling an ambition I've had since I was fifteen. Thank you for coming along with me!
Sketching Wren's City, Aug 2 2014
Sketching Wren's City, Aug 2 2014Sketching Wren's City, Aug 2 2014

Why not try sketching Wren's City yourself? Here is a link to the hand-drawn map.
by Pete Scully

Eyewitness sketches of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests

Urban sketchers are capturing the increasing wave of anti-government protests in Hong Kong. These are some sketches from Monday, a day after the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up protesters demanding democratic elections. You can follow the Hong Kong urban sketching community in the Urban Sketchers Hong Kong Facebook Group, and Sketching Occupy Central.

Alvin Wong

"Organisers announced the KICKOFF of OCCUPY CENTRAL. thousands of people came in to Central to show support,and the people blocked the main road which link the West to East. We were right at the spot, and at around 5:30pm, police began to push people away and throwing tear gas to the people with no weapon but only an umbrella and goggles. But the people went back and continue to occupy at the location and spread to other locations as well."

Terry Lai

"The day after tear gas bomb attack by barbarian police on citizens handing up, it makes Hong Kong people even more unity. At Chater road, it was already filled up by many citizens. Here, with the backgroung of HSBC Main Buliding, Standard Charter HQ, Citibank Tower, the development of Hong Kong is actually based on the core values - Democracy, Freedom, n Justice. For those already at the highest position, dun u forget?"

May Chiu
"I drew from a restaurant of one of the high risese, seeing that the people come from different corner and the group is getting bigger and bigger. All have the same urge : "We want Democracy!""

Gary Yeung

"I was standing on top of the city's Mass Transit Railway Entrance roof with a group of protestors. By the time I finished the sketch, the sky had darkened and the streets around me were all packed with people, showing their support for those who suffered yesterday."

Luis Simoes

Adolfo Arranz