I run a small business illustrating invitations for brides, and I also illustrate childrens' books and take on a wide variety of freelance commissions, from landscapes to cityscapes, and what you might call storyscapes.
Even though I had drawn since the proverbial forever, I only discovered urban sketching in 2012, after my mother sent me Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters while on sabbatical in Mauritius. I took to the streets, beaches and countryside of Mauritius, and discovered the joy and peace of quiet sketching, and the fun of meeting the public. After my return to Ireland, I was given Gabi Campanario's book, The Art Of Urban Sketching (my mother again!) and my fate was sealed. I joined up online: the passion for sketching had hit me like a thunderbolt, and I was eager to find fellow enthusiasts. In that way I have met so many jolly and good-natured fellow sketchers, I've seen the world through their wonderful sketches in a way that I would never have been able to otherwise, and now I don't leave the house without my sketch kit. I draw everywhere; waiting for a bus, on a bumpy plane (great for the nerves), in the clinic, during a concert.
My life has changed immeasurably since I became an avid sketcher. Not only do I experience the joy on a personal level, but I now share it with others, via classes, workshops and presentations, to children and adults. I also co-founded Urban Sketchers Galway with fellow sketchers Donal Fallon and Jay Penn, and although we're brand new, we're all very excited about our new group, and have heated discussions about the nicest places to draw, and the best ways to go about it. Now that I've been privileged to be invited to become a Correspondent, it will be my honour to tell you more about our lovely town, and the places to which I travel, in words and pictures.
"Art makes us feel closer," said the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiaorostami. In my opinion, there is something very special about a hand-drawn sketch from life: as you look at the unique style of the artist's line you can sense their humanity, and who they are, on a profound level. I hold this philosophy very dear to my heart, as I've seen first-hand what drawing what we witness and sharing it can do, both for artist and onlooker. It is a way of reclaiming art for everyone in the most real sense, with pure honesty and humility. To add the story behind the sketch gives it context, but also enriches the experience of the image and makes it whole.
If you happen to be in the west of Ireland and would like to do some sketching, do come and visit us. We we would be proud to welcome you and find a nice spot for a bit of drawing ... even if it's raining!
Róisín's sketches on flickr.