Usk Symposium

Urban Sketch Symposium

Just back from Chicago and the 8th International urban Sketchers Symposium. In short, my mind was blown, by the city (my first time), and the event. 570 people attended from 34 different countries on four continents. There were workshops, demonstrations, sketchwalks, lectures, concerts, performances, and loads of socializing with sketchers of all backgrounds: painters, illustrators, architects, reportage artists, graphic artists, and more! Pant, pant! and very little time for resting, eating and such! Who cares. You can do that kind of thing at home.

My first chance to open the sketchbook was on the Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago River where one is immediately confronted with several of the grandest, tallest buildings: the Wrigley, Tribune, and (yes, sorry to say) Trump buildings.  I must admit that I was quite overwhelmed, but dove in as I knew I must, at least to warm up.

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One and a half hours later my camera was full of architectural wonders and my mind with interesting factoids but stomach was empty, so we headed to a restaurant along the river.

chicago02 Still warming up here, doing a quick sketch of my friends Cathy and Laurie.

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Our room was on the 21st floor of the Roosevelt University dorm, a fabulous vantage point with views of the lake on one side and the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower on the other (used to be the world’s tallest building). And down below the trains. The geometry of the trains in relation to buildings fascinated me, so I gave it a try. Also I figured if I could appreciate it a bit more perhaps the incessant noise from it would not bother so much! And indeed, at least in the room, I got used to it.

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Michigan Avenue in the way to get most places you want to go in the beginning. It was a good place to start practicing the one point perspective and getting those people in!

This story will proceed in segments because I’m off for the weekend again, so please stay tuned!

 

Visitors and more summer music

My son Andrew and his partner Maura have been visiting this week. They both live in “the city” and seemed happy to just hang around with us, making good food and eating it. Fun summer things like opening a watermelon and eating it sloppily over the sink. We threw in a handful of activities, like a trip to Doran Beach where the north coast wind was so cold that we hunkered down in the protection of the dunes and they practiced headstands and stalked the creatures.

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Yesterday we attended the Rivertown Revival Festival in Petaluma, which combines music with boat races and steam punk style and interactive art and $5 weddings. . . I watched a very large snake wound around the body of a guy drink water from his dixie cup. Things like that happen everywhere. I shared my sketches of this festival three years ago here.  Only thing is that this year it was so hot there, that even with my parasol, two water bottles and loose fitting clothes I felt like passing out!

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Even the sketching didn’t quite revive me. But here she is Miss Moonshine, the opening act with Andrew and Maura on the hay bale seats.

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Next we caught the Cahoots on the Barn Stage with their sassy cute violinist, before checking out the porcupine who came out of his cage to get petted and misted with the spray to cool down, (while we also stood in the spray to get cooled down enough for the trek back to our car.)

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Back at home under the fan I sketched from my pics. It was definitely a parasol day!

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Catching up on some music sketches here. . .on another very hot day the Rosetown Soul Band was playing some serious hip swayin R + B music in a narrow courtyard packed with people at Montgomery Village Shopping Center. There was standing room only, not the best for a steady drawing line, but great for getting the vibe. This was a kind of sketch/dance combo.

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Now the kids have left and I’m packing my bags to head to Chicago tomorrow for the annual Urban Sketchers Symposium. There has been an insane flurry of activity on social media in preparation for this much anticipated event. In preparation I have been obsessing for weeks about what should be in my palette, what paper, pens, etc. should come in which bag. Not to mentions clothes. . . We sketchers are as bad (almost) as photograhers (I’m married to one so I know) when it comes to gear-mania.

I won’t have time for blogging while there, but have learned to use Instagram and might even try a bit of instant video there if you want to tune in. And the pics I take will also be on Facebook, so please join me there this week.

The Travel Sketching workshop is coming up August 26. It is full at this point but there’s a short wait list and space may open up, so contact me if you’re interested. Also I will be scheduling another sketch workshop for the fall.

 

Galway bound

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I’m off to Ireland on Sunday for three weeks of sketching with my travel buddies. First stop, an urban sketch workshop in Galway. Then we’ll be touring Ireland by car for nine days with the trip culminating in the UsK (Urban Sketch) International Symposium in Manchester, England and more workshops with teachers from around the world.

The above picture might imply that I am all organized and packed and ready to go. Ahem. Not so. But it’s a start. This is probably overkill, and believe me, I will not be carrying all this around with me in my little day pack. But one must plan for many eventualities and lost and broken and running out of ink/paint eventualities!

As I did last summer in Italy I shall try to post sketches/pics from the trip as time and WiFi allows.It’s definitely a trip I’m anxious to share!