(by Fred Lynch from near Boston, Massachusetts USA)
On this St. Patrick's Day, I'm thinking back fondly of a trip I made to the west of Ireland in 2005 with my family. Back then, I didn't know I was urban sketching. Heck, it was before Urban Sketchers was formed.
To me, the act of sitting and drawing was an attempt to document and forever remember a sort of pilgrimage that many Irish-Americans (and perhaps, the entire Irish diaspora) take at some point in their life to see, to touch and feel the "old sod." It wasn't something I did often. This was a special occasion.
Thankfully, the act of drawing worked. While my skills have changed and grown, these quick early visual notes, created with a ballpoint pen, bring that trip back to me as clearly and sentimentally every time I open the pages of my little sketchbook. I can practically spell the peat.