"I left my birthplace, a tiny island in the middle of the Bering Sea, when I was a baby, and I've been traveling ever since. I've been drawing almost ever since, too. One of my earliest happy memories is of finishing a portrait of my big brother and thinking, "it looks just like him!" I was three; he was seven. Sketching in city settings, I use a close- to mid-range focus, emphasizing more intimate, less panoramic subject matter: wine glasses, plates, cutlery — the remnants of a bistro meal; people caught in ordinary, oblique moments; figural sculpture and fountains that animate public spaces and remind us of the human presence behind the scenes.
Drawing in public the way I do gives me a connection to other people and to places I could get in no other way. Strangers stop to talk, to ask questions, to take photos of the artist at work, sometimes simply to observe in silence. In one way, it's a participatory thing we do — looking together, reacting together. And for me, the sketches remain as permanent evidence of those observations and those connections."
On the flag: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA sketcher Jessie Chapman sketching at Charlottesville train station with UVA Medical Center in the distance.
Urban Sketchers is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Consider making a donation today to help us continue to 'Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.' All donations in the United States are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
3. Our drawings are a record of time and place.
4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
6. We support each other and draw together.
7. We share our drawings online.
8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
The Urban Sketchers logo was created by Italian graphic designer Franco Lancio.