"I started sketching only a few years ago, after years of having sketchbooks but never using them. I started out doing a lot of figurative painting, which can be a very deliberate and time-consuming process, so there's something about the immediate and spontaneous nature of location drawing that appeals to me. At the same time, sketching allows you to really spend time seeing a place, unlike taking a photo. You get the feel of where you are — looking at a sketch can bring me back to all of the sensory experiences involved: the sounds, the smells, the sun in your face or a brisk wind. As an artist, you also come away with a better appreciation of space. I teach drawing at Montana State University, and I try to help my students understand space before anything else, so I've integrated urban sketching assignments into my curriculum.
I enjoy sketching Bozeman, Montana, because it's a small community that might otherwise be overlooked. I've lived in big cities before, and one can sketch there rather inconspicuously as most folks passing on the sidewalk are oblivious. In Bozeman, people aren't shy about seeing what I'm up to, and a lot of them are surprised and excited that I'm drawing this little town, and sharing it with others."
• Paul's blog.
• Paul's art on Flickr.
• Paul's website.
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