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August 31, 2009

Meet the correspondents: BERKELEY, California > Gary Amaro


"The Snail Circus taught me a lesson. Afternoon at an open air café under the canopies and among the barber chairs, Christmas lights, and cactus flowers, two young kids charging admission to their “performing” snails while a third flipped through pages of a heavy phone book like she was about to preach a sermon. One of those magic moments and me without paper or pencil.

Now I carry a sketchbook and a handful of pencils and brushes with me wherever I go, which is not to say that I can always make time to draw what catches my eye, but at least I’m prepared. Observational drawing is a constant practice and a kind of meditation.

I’m interested in history and a sense of local color and place, how cities and towns move through time, and the ghosts of their past: the classical, the monumental, the ornate, the rustic, the repurposed, the industrial, the functional, the natural, the ramshackle, the abandoned. Portraits and landscapes alike, I see my sketches as fragments of stories.

I live in the East Bay, working as a concept and storyboard artist in the video game industry and teaching comics storytelling at Academy of Art University. I sketch all over Northern California. Look for posts by me from San Francisco, the Sonoma Coast, the Sacramento River delta, the gold country foothills, and wherever else I roam. Also, expect me to stretch the “urban” factor with views from the rural fringes, the roadsides, and points between the places on the maps.

I'm amazed and impressed by the work on Urban Sketchers, and pleased to be part of this community."

• Gary's blog.

12 comments :

gabi campanario said...

i'm already inspired to try some pencils instead of the usual micron pens. welcome Gary, looking forward to your posts!

matthew_c said...

Welcome Gary - looking forward to seeing more of northern California, it's a great place.

bh yoo said...

Love the industrial building. Welcome so much! Hope to see more.

Isabel said...

welcome and looking forward to your posts

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Fantastic, Gary! Somehow I didn't expect a grain elevator reminiscent of my own rural area, in California...it's gorgeous! Welcome aboard...

Sharon Frost said...

Drawing is always better with a cat.

Matthew Brehm said...

Welcome Gary! Just took a look at your blog, and WOW - great stuff!!

Danielle C. McManus said...

Welcome to Urban Sketchers! Look forward to seeing your drawings.-Danielle

veronica lawlor said...

Hi Gary, welcome to Urban Sketchers! If I hear of any upcoming snail performances, I'll let you know!

kumi matsukawa said...

By your hand, a cement factory looks so solemn like a
traditional church ! Mesmerized.

margplum said...

You didn't introduce the cat! A constant companion, or just an occasional freeloader?

gary amaro said...

Thanks everyone! The photo is from a trip to Lisbon Portugal. The cat was a stranger who came up to me and made a home on my lap as I sketched a ruined abbey.