The official zine of Urban Sketchers DEC 2022 SKETCHING IN GREENLAND NEW ZEALAND • SAN JOSE SAN DIEGO • GUADALAJARA POLAND • NYC • MONTRÉAL CASTELLÓN • INDIA BARCELONA SEATTLE
Drawing Attention Mandate
Drawing Attention, the official zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiums, sketchcrawls, news and events; shares news about USk chapters; and educates readers about the practice of on-location sketching.
Thanks to this month’s Drawing Attention
Content P ubliC ation team: Anne Taylor, Jane Wingfield mailChim P layout: Jane Wingfield i ssuu layout: Anne Taylor
Writers: Monique Chiam, Cathy Gutterman, Mark Leibowitz, Anne Taylor, Jane Wingfield
CoPy e ditor: Leslie Akchurin
Contributors: Genine Carvalheira, Parka, Suhita Shirodkar
Cover image: Steen Malberg
Subscribe to Drawing Attention. Read the September edition of Drawing Attention
CirCulation: 14k+ r eadershiP: 16k+ Web: urbansketchers.org
Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the art of on-location drawing. Click here to make your tax-deductible contribution via Paypal. © 2022 Urban Sketchers.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication, including accompanying artwork, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Urban Sketchers organization.
Hello Sketchers, I can’t believe another quarter has passed so quickly and we are nearing the end of 2022.
Mid September the executive board gathered together in person in Guadalajara, Mexico for our strategic planning meeting. It was an incredible experience to be able to meet in person, brainstorm and concentrate on the future of the organization as well as giving back to the community. You can read more about the event later in this edition of DA.
We are just about four and a half months away from the Auckland Symposium and are so excited. The Symposium team has been hard at work preparing for a great Auckland Symposium experience and I cannot wait to see everyone there! If you haven’t already purchased your ticket don’t fret, we still
Sketching doesn’t come easily for me all of the time. Like drinking more water or getting to bed early, I know what I should be doing to make progress – carrying my sketchbook wherever I go, for example – but often, for reasons unknown, I just don’t. While Instagram can be inspiring – and we all enjoy those ‘likes’ – at times it’s paralysing: maybe it’s better just to enjoy other people’s accomplishments than pick up my pen and be disappointed with the results?
Then there are times when life events overtake you. This year has been difficult for many, and several members of our team have lost family in 2022, including NYC’s Cathy Gutterman. Her husband, Lewis, was a friend to many and was especially welcoming to new sketchers. His example reminds us of what’s really important –our community of fellow sketchers and the support and friendship we can give each other. You don’t know
have some Workshop Passes available. Check out our EventBrite page for the current availability.
As the year comes to a close we have seen many great events happen through the new Regional Event Grant Program. We are grateful to the admins who organized those events in Świdnica, Poland, San Diego, USA, Jakarta, Indonesia, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Pune, India. Thank you for being great hosts to so many people from our USk community and for being our program starters! The call for the second year of the program went out and we cannot wait to see what 2023 will have in store! Be on the lookout for the Grant recipients announcements towards the end of January 2023.
I would like to wish everyone the warmest holidays and a wonderful new year!
Take care and happy sketching, Genine Carvalheira, USk President
how much you might be lifting someone’s day by having a post-sketch coffee with them or appreciating something about their work.
I’m sure this will be the spirit of the USk Symposium in Auckland next year. Our amazingly talented Social Media team will be tracking this online so we can all enjoy aspects of it via our Youtube channel and Instagram.
For now, I’m going to try out Suhita Shirodkar’s fun Sketch Demo. As she says, just using some different pens or papers can change things up. I’m also planning to play with repetition on my page, something that Santi Sallé is known for. Steen Malberg’s work was inspiring in another way: as a meticulous rendering of an extraordinary place. Thanks once again to all those who contributed to this issue. We wish you a safe and happy conclusion to the year – and may the inspiration flow in 2023!
Anne Taylor (NZ), with Jane Wingfield (USA) Content Publication Team email@example.com
FOR EASIER READING ON ISSUU.COM SELECT FULL SCREEN . 24 STEEN MALBERG CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISSUU APP FOR IOS DEVICES CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISSUU APP FOR ANDROID HOW TO READ DRAWING ATTENTION AS AN E-ZINE CONTENTS 10 USK NICE SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE 4 NZ SYMPOSIUM 18 JANE WINGFIELD 20 NEW CHAPTERS 31 SANTI SALLÉ S 43 REVIEW 42 COOL GEAR 8 NEWS & EVENTS 40 BOOKS 21 SKETCHER DEMO
Exploring New Zealand: USk Symposium
Auckland, 19-22 April 2023
Te Ika-a-Māui • North Island
Named for the gigantic fish pulled up by mythical hero Māui, at the centre is New Zealand’s largest lake – Lake Taupō – formed by a volcano and known as the eye of Māui’s fish. The head of the fish is Wellington, the capital city, also known as Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui.
Our Auckland Symposium work is gathering pace and we’re delighted to see so many of you have registered for this exciting event – the first in too long! We’re beyond excited about our lineup of workshop instructors. Many of you are making a long-haul trip to Aotearoa New Zealand and have asked about what else to do while you’re here in our fabulous country, so we’ve collected our top tips for you here, plus my ideas for uniquely NZ experiences. Don’t forget to check out the USk Travel Hub for more great advice and suggestions.
ERIC’S TIPS: TREAT YOUR SELF TO SOME PINEAPPLE LUMPS WHILE SKETCHING THE ‘BEEHIVE’ IN WELLING TON (ABOVE). USE SOME PURE LAKE TAUPŌ WATER FOR YOUR WATERCOLOURS.
Wellington is the seat of government as well as the selfdescribed ‘coffee and creative capital’. You can easily traverse the city on foot, enjoying the spectacular waterfront. Bush walks and beaches are within easy reach of the CBD. Connect with USk Wellington.
SKETCH BY DAVE BLACK f
SKETCH BY BRIAN GYNP
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BAY OF ISLANDS
A massive earthquake in 1931 meant that much of Napier was rebuilt in the Art Deco style. The silver lining was that the city became one of NZ’s top architectural and cutlural gems. It’s also home to award-winning vineyards and wineries. SKETCH BY
The imposing conical Mt Taranaki presides over this region of farms, bush and beaches. It’s home to Surf Highway 45, and a place steeped in Māori heritage, art and culture, including its own group of local sketchers! SKETCH BY
NZ is blessed with stunning beaches, and the Bay of Islands and Coromandel Peninsula are both a manageable drive from Auckland.
Waitangi is where NZ’s founding Treaty was signed between Māori and Europeans. MURRAY DEWHURST
Taupō is at the heart of the country’s geothermal region, with nearby Rotorua a traditional centre of excellence in Māori traditional carving and other arts. Tongariro National Park is a scenic wonderland all year round. Connect with USk Taupo via Facebook.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE NZ SYMPOSIUM
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Wherever you are in NZ, you’ll probably find a ‘dairy’, selling icecreams and the national staple: mince pies. Also look out for Fish and Chip shops. Eat your takeaways straight out of the paper, by the beach.
SKETCH BY BRIAN GYNP
SUBSCRIBE TO THE USK YOUTUBE CHANNEL
• South Island
This name translates to ‘waters of greenstone’, referring to the prized stone found only in the South Island’s rivers and streams. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, and is named Ōtautahi after the Māori village on the banks of the Avon River, near where European settlers first unloaded goods from their vessels.
The spectacular mountain scenery of Queenstown, Wanaka and Milford Sound have attracted tourists for well over 100 years, and the region is considered a must-see for travellers.
SKETCH BY DAVE BLACK
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ERIC’S TIPS: MANY TOWNS HAVE THEIR OWN GIANT ICONS IN THE MAIN STREET – LIKE THE BIG BOTTLE OF L & P SOFTDRINK IN PAEROA, AND THE CARROT AT OHAKUNE . TAKE A ROAD TRIP & SKETCH THEM!
Interisland ferries (above) run between Wellington and Picton, which is the gateway to the spectacular Marlborough Sounds with its hundreds of quiet bays and native bush down to the water’s edge. This is one of New Zealand’s Great Journeys, along with the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth on the West Coast.
SKETCH BY ANDREW JAMES
Colonial styles are still to be seen throughout Christchurch, also known as the ‘Garden City’. The catastrophic earthquake of 2011 razed much of the central city but the rebuild, which is still ongoing, has injected a new sense of vitality and innovation to this formerly conservative city. (LEFT) SHARON ALDERSON & (RIGHT) ANNE
Travelling alone? You don’t need to be...the Symposium team has set up the Usk Travel Hub Facebook page to give you lots of info for the big trip and help you connect with other sketchers.
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MONTRÉAL IN ONE STROKE - CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF SKETCHING
2022 was an anniversary year for Urban Sketchers Montréal. Established in September 2012 by co-founders Shari Blaukopf and Marc Holmes, our ever growing sketching community joined again for a major collective exhibition held in November at the Écomusée du fier monde. This was our key event of the year with over 100 drawings, 20 sketchbooks and a major visual reportage series presenting many of Montréal’s neighbourhoods, its rich architectural heritage, dynamic street life, vibrant parks and lively market places. Overall, it was a great opportunity to thank all the volunteers, participants and partners that have made the USK mission so active in Montréal. We welcome visitors and the next successful decade for Urban Sketchers Montréal.
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PHOTOS: ROBERT POIRIER
DOMINIQUE EICHI – IN MEMORIAM
BY RENATA BRITO
Dominique Eichi was beyond excited to hear about the USk grant program and became an eager evangelist for the USk San Diego chapter to host a major event. She and Renata Brito submitted a proposal — with no great expectations against a competitive field of 17 — and much to their surprise, they were granted an award. Then the hard work began.
Dominique, despite advancing ALS symptoms, was 100% committed to the success of the event. She arranged for the workshop instructors and spearheaded the Art Show at Gallery 21. She was scheduled to give a workshop and also jury the gallery exhibition. Unfortunately, the disease progressed much too quickly and she passed on 7 September. Although we are incredibly sad that she did not live to see the fruits of her vision or receive the accolades she so truly deserved for the 2022 Seminar, we are celebrating a life well lived and are the better for having had her as part of the San Diego sketch community.
Dominique was born in New York and studied in Switzerland, where she earned her degree as an interior architect. She later returned to the States, and was based in San Diego for 40 years. She started her own business doing murals and
faux-finishes for 18 years, then worked as a visual designer for 11 years for a larger company. After retirement, she could be seen in Spanish Village Studio 2, where her pieces were displayed in the gallery.
Although she also used a studio, Dominique loved the handson approach to art and favored doing art in plein air. Her medium of choice was pen and ink with watercolor accents. She loved drawing architecture, landscapes, figures, or still life and said it was truly rewarding to create a piece of art using your own impressions and feelings.
Her art has been featured in numerous galleries and locations, including Pottery Barn, West Elm and notably the San Diego International Airport in Terminal 2 for the year-long celebration of Balboa Park’s Centennial. Most of her pieces derived from the San Diego area, but she had numerous pieces reflecting her travels in Europe, with each possessing her unique interpretation.
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Member Spotlight: Lewis Gutterman
A TRIBUTE BY CATHY GUTTERMAN
that it was important to document our events, so he took on the role of photographer as his personal responsibility. Being photographed by Lewis was a moment of realizing that friends were just as important as their art.
Lewis grew up in the Bronx. As a teenager, he moved to Westchester where he attended Woodlands High School. A gifted cook, he studied culinary arts but he never pursued it as a career. Instead he began working in his mother’s antique business in Nyack, NY, and that’s where he found his calling. His store was called Ere N Aft (for Before and After), which he developed it into a successful gift and collectibles business that thrived for more than 30 years. We met at Jack La Lanne’s back in the 1980s when it was it was a popular place to exercise and work out, and dated for four years before getting married. When we retired, we wanted to find activities we could enjoy together. Since we both had an interest in art and a love for the outdoors, we actively sought out ways to combine the two. We explored the Westchester parks and sought out local libraries for various art classes in pencil drawing, watercolor, and anatomy. Gradually, as we learned and our drawing skills developed, we began to experiment with various mediums. Like so many others, our stash of art supplies grew!
It is with great sadness that I am writing this Spotlight. My dear husband Lewis Gutterman passed away unexpectedly in September in NYC, following complications from surgery. To anyone who knew him, Lewis was a memorably tall and blue-eyed man, of great warmth and gentleness. To me, he was a constant companion, friend, and beloved spouse of 34 years. As a dedicated member of the NYC Urban Sketchers, Lewis felt that it was important to welcome newcomers, publicize the group, and encourage membership, all of which he did with enthusiasm and a smile. He felt
Lewis had an enduring interest in portraits and practiced doing them in his spare time. As a self-taught artist, he liked to work on subjects that posed a special challenge, such as women with long flowing hair, American Indians and actors from his favorite movies. Whenever he encountered an art teacher or artist who impressed and inspired him, he drew their portraits and presented them with the finished drawing. Lewis treasured the photos taken of himself beside the thrilled fellow artists holding their portraits.
In 2016, Lewis was fortunate to meet a special artist-in-residence at the New York Botanical Garden: Mark Leibowitz, one of the
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CATHY & LEWIS
founders of the NYC chapter. When Mark showed Lewis the sketchbook he always carried, Lewis immediately knew that this was something he wanted to do – even though Mark told Lewis that he would have to do about 2,000 more drawings in order to catch up! Mark encouraged Lewis and me to come to a sketch event of the NYC Urban Sketchers at Astoria Park in Queens and after that first meeting, we were hooked. After joining the NYC USk group in 2017, we became active, with Lewis documenting events. After drawing Mark’s portrait, Lewis drew other fellow sketchers. With his tall stature and white pony nail, he became a popular subject, too. Lewis’ portraits were always done in graphite, as were his early urban sketches. When fellow
sketchers encouraged him to add some color, he tried his hand at watercolor and ink. Recently he devised his own unique way of applying ink marks over watercolor washes. Incredible details and heightened color became recognized as Lewis’ inimitable style. Lewis was an avid sketcher who brought enthusiasm, a talented eye for art, and a joyful spirit to all that he did. As we remember his smile, the twinkle in his eye, and his gentle sense of humor, it’s hard to believe that such a vibrant, friendly and caring person is gone. He was central and dear to our NYC USk family and will be sorely missed.
DONE BY LEWIS
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SKETCHES BY LEWIS LEWIS BY MARK LEIBOWITZ
NEVER BORING: POLAND’S URBAN SKETCHING FESTIVAL
BY DORA PINDUR , USK POLAND
USk Poland received a USk Regional Event grant and recently presented its Urban Sketching Festival in the beautiful city of Świdnica. The festival lasted four days (11-14 August) with two exhibitions, four workshops, lectures, an art materials fair, mobile art equipment rental, testing of Aquarius watercolors at Roman Szmal’s stand, competitions, treasure hunt, and sketchwalks. No one was bored – but some complained about the excess of activities!
Participants came from Poland, all over Europe, and beyond, with some visiting Poland for the first time. In addition to focusing on sketching, the festival also became an opportunity to make many new
contacts and acquaintances. It was also a promotion for both the city of Świdnica and our country. For some, this was their first time in Poland.
The organizers of the festival were the admins of USk Poland: Justyna Wojnowska, Dora Pindur and Kasia Kosiak, as well as Marta Ciućka from the Świdnica Cultural Center, who provided enormous logistical and artistic support. The sponsors gave many gifts to the festival participants, providing articles for goodie bags and competition prizes. Our special guest was Mohan Banerji from USk Executive Board, who gave a lecture on his sketching experience and a live broadcast with us.
Another, longer live event on Instagram was hosted by our friend based in Toronto, Marek Badzynski, together with a renowned Polish painter Krzysztof Ludwin, who was with us in Świdnica. They did a great show, sketching the Church of Peace together and telling the viewers (in Polish and English) about its history, the festival and many other things. We would like to thank all the participants for coming to Świdnica and taking part in our festival – without them the event wouldn’t have happened. Check out these two videos made by our volunteer filmmaker Tomasz Kowal from Koval Sketchbooks.
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Creating mixed media cityscapes with Maru Godas
BY JANE WINGFIELD
It was 4 am on a Thursday morning and I was in Brooklyn, NY, suffering from jetlag so I checked my emails. To my delight there was an email from NYC urban sketchers offering more spaces on an afternoon workshop with Maru Godas for the following Saturday. She had stopped in New York City on her way back from Madeline Island, Wisconsin, and there were plenty of sketchers eager to glean a few tips on painting with gouache and mixed media.
We met on a clear-blue-skied September day at the Hans Christian Anderson statue next to the model boat pond in Central Park. The park was bustling as usual, a bubble machine offering passers-by the opportunity to blow giant bubbles. The next three hours were packed with demos and exercises following Maru’s fanciful style. With Maru’s generously lent tubes of gouache, colored pencils and Neo Color, we practiced mixing and texture-making, then tried a few small paintings before finally tackling a larger one for our final exercise.
Maru’s charm and whimsical personality – so evident in her stylized paintings – made it easier to attempt to break free from structured norms. Free forms, texture and non-local color were the most challenging. It was a delightful way to spend the afternoon and I plan to incorporate some of what I learned into my own sketches as soon as I get back to my gouache tubes.
SHARE YOUR CHAPTER’S NEWS
We love to hear about your chapter’s news, special events, joint meetups, and exhibitions with our readers. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USk Languedoc-Roussillon organised an event with other regional groups, including USk Marseille & USk Nice (22-23 Oct). This was the first time they combined chapters to host an event. They chose Avignon for its central location in the south of France, and it was a great success.
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JANE’S CAROUSSEL MARU IN ACTION
usk news & events
IN SEPTEMBER OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD HAD ITS FIRST IN-PERSON STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING SINCE 2019 IN GUADALAJARA, MEXICO, HOSTED BY THE WONDERFUL USK GUADALAJARA. THE PURPOSE WAS TO TAKE STOCK ON WHERE THE ORGANIZATION IS, REVIEW OUR CURRENT STRATEGIC PLAN, AND BRAINSTORM AND PLAN FOR THE FUTURE OF USK.
USK STRATEGIC PLANNING IN GUADALAJARA
BY GENINE CARVALHEIRA , PRESIDENT, URBAN SKETCHERS
We had been working with USk Guadalajara admins for more than six months to organize the five-day event. Our program consisted of three days of intense strategic planning meetings and two days of providing free community events. Team USk Guadalajara was incredible and together we organized three free workshops presented by members of the Executive Board for the community, and held an in-depth lecture about the organization and its committees. We shared our personal Urban Sketchers journeys and hosted a town hall Q&A. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone and we are so grateful for the warm welcome. Here are some insights from the meeting:
Our Highlights from 2021 / 2022
• We created the new USk website. This new platform can grow with us and allow for continuous improvements along the way.
• We created the USk Regional Event Grant as a way to make USk events more accessible to sketchers all over the world and help Chapters grow and learn. A total of USD $10,000 was equally distributed to five Chapters. In addition to the monetary support, the directors of our committees worked with each Chapter as needed. For example, Sponsorship helped to connect Chapters with Sponsors; Education helped advise on some of the educational programming where requested; and Social Media supported with advertising and highlighting the event.
• The Reportage Grant was created and five grants were distributed. The program was designed to highlight the best examples of drawing reportage in our community and inspire a new generation of artist reporters.
• We have created a proposal framework for new programs to improve structured planning and the effectiveness of the EB. The framework will allow the EB to evaluate and discuss potential new programs, ensuring they align with our vision and values, financial feasibility and organizational goals.
• We created a Strategic Planning Calendar, so the EB can understand the organization’s yearly commitments and resources. We want to be more mindful of our volunteers’ time and energy.
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Strategic Planning Priorities for 2023
• Outreach: We are focusing on growing our amazing community and reaching out to our under-served communities. We want to continue giving back, providing educational opportunities and building partnerships.
• Financial stability / partnerships and connections: We will be looking to find additional sources of sustainable funding that match our organizational goals so that we are able to fund even more grants, events and outreach programs for our communities.
• Volunteer development and appreciation: We want to create a better and more intentional appreciation program for our amazing volunteers. We are also focusing on long-term stability of the organization through creating succession planning and building learning pathways for various committees, board positions, symposium hosts, coordinators, etc.
• Online community / content / education: We are asking ourselves, what could the USk online educational content look like in the future and how could it can serve the USk community better while staying aligned to our vision and values.
Our in-person strategic meetings occur once a year, with virtual meetings quarterly and monthly to review progress, and run day-to-day activities of the organizations. We all work in between these meetings to accomplish our individual tasks and help run the organization smoothly.
If this sounds interesting to you and you want to volunteer with our great organization, please write to volunteer@ urbansketchers.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!
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USK INSTAGRAM FINDING THREADS BETWEEN IDEAS, EB
RECOVERING THE HISTORY OF THE CARTHUSIAN ORDER IN CASTELLÓN
What better way to recover our heritage than by drawing it? This summer in Castellón we were able to learn a little more about our historical legacy by drawing in the Valldecrist Charterhouse in Altura, an ancient monastery of the Carthusian order. This was organized by the Valldecrist Carthusian Association with a workshop given by the renowned sketcher Santi Sallés. More than 25 artists from the nearest sketchers groups (USK Castelló, USK València and USK Maestrat) gathered to capture the history with their sketches. With Santi Sallés, we learned tips from an experienced artist who has had many years of traveling around the world. His color compositions, lines, and techniques inspired us. Sallés also gave a practical workshop with exercises taking advantage of our wonderful environment, guiding and commenting on our drawings.
usk news & events
THANKS TO OLGA
The DA Content Team would like to sincerely thank Olga Surmacheva for all her hard work keeping the administrative side of the Drawing Attention ‘ship’ steaming smoothly ahead. We greatly appreciated her fun approach and excellent organizational skills – and the fact that she is a whiz with that sometimes tricky beast, Google Drive.
In tandem with her able volunteering for us over the past few years, she has been developing an innovative equine-themed start-up with some fellow creatives. This came to fruition recently, and you can check it out here. We wish her all the best for her future projects.
Do you have a genuine interest in other sketchers, their work and processes? Do you enjoy words and writing in an easy, accessible style? We are looking for some more writers to come onboard with us for the four issues of Drawing Attention that we will publish in 2023. Please send a couple of samples of your written work to Jane at: email@example.com.
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Meet Jane Wingfield
BY MONIQUE CHIAM
Jane has been a writer for Drawing Attention, and USk Mail Chimp coordinator since 2017, then came on board as a DA editor in 2021. As we all know, the birth of Urban Sketchers began in 2007 in Seattle, Washington, with founder Gabi Campanario. In November 2009, he organized a sketch crawl at Volunteer Park Conservatory, and it was just another typical urban sketchers outing on a typical wet, drizzly Seattle day. Except that, on this day, Jane Wingfield was driving 60 miles from Olympia to attend this event for the very first time. It would be the beginning of her urban sketching journey and she was all-in. From then on, she made the 120 mile round-trip drive to every meet-up she could, and she volunteered to set up a Facebook page for the group.
A civil servant by day, Jane had been an art major in college, but kept her art practice low-key, or “closeted”, as she puts it. Thanks to urban sketchers, Jane’s love for art was reawakened. Now we can admire her loose and wonderfully expressive sketches online. Her philosophy, when it comes to sketching, is about the experience of drawing in-person, being present and in the moment. Her approach is inspired by the work of Frederick Franck (sculptor, writer, Renaissance man), particularly his books, The Zen of Seeing, My Eye Is in Love and The Awakened Eye.
“TO ME, THEN, DRAWING IS A WAY OF LIVING, A WAY TOWARDS LIFE’S FULLNESS. IT IS NOT JUST A TECHNIQUE AND CERTAINLY NOT MERE SKILL. IT IS A TOTAL RESPONSE.”
– FROM MY EYE IS IN LOVE
BY FREDERICK FRANCK
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Postcards from India
INDIA HAS AROUND 10 USK CHAPTERS. HERE ARE THREE KEEN SKETCHERS WHO HAVE EMBRACED THEIR NEW PAST TIME.
MAHESH: I am a fine artist and every week I enjoy walking in nature, towns and villages, drawing and doing landscape paintings. In fact, it has become an integral part of my life. I have been sketching at the Prayag River and Panchganga River bridge (right).
JESMON K J, KOCHI, KERALA: I work as a UI developer for an IT firm. I am really passionate about art and I do it consistently. This sketch was drawn from the Copt Avenue walkway in Kochi at my first meetup with USK Kochi (left, right and below). It was a wonderful experience for me. I was able learn a lot from this community and now my art is improving.
SHRUTI PAWAR, LUCKNOW: I follow the Urban Sketchers page on Instagram and also participate in sketch meets organised by Urbansketcherslucknkow. I did this sketch at the fourth sketch meet with USK Lucknow in August, at Sadat Ali Khan Mosque (below).
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JAVIER MAS PINTURAS USK GLOBAL MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
It is a pleasure to inform you that we have 5 new chapters in the USk Community. Thank you all for being part of the USk community. Let´s welcome them! USk West Michigan, Michigan, USA; USk Chippewa Valley, WI, USA; USk Morretes, Brazil; USk Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; and USk Bahía de Cádiz,Spain.
CHIPPEWA VALLEY f
BAHIA DE CADIZ
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SAN JOSE SKETCHER SUHITA SHIRODKAR BREAKS IT DOWN FOR US AT HER LOCAL CAF É .
sketch in three layers
1. The Foreground: With an orange marker, I sketch everything on the counter. I add in the lamps hanging overhead as they are on the same plane as the counter. I’m sketching simple, recognizable shapes without much detail.
2. The Middle-ground: I switch to a black pen and sketch in the staff at work. I’m paying special attention to where I can see through the foreground layer to this middle layer.
Here’s a technique I play with when I want to sketch a layered scene, but not get overwhelmed by it. I break the scene down into simplified layers of foreground, middle-ground and background, and tackle those layers one at a time, often using different colors or media.
It’s a pretty versatile technique that you can apply to almost any scene. And while I use all dry media here, you can use almost any media: wet, dry, or a combination of both. Here, I’m sketching at my neighborhood coffee shop in San Jose, California, recording the staff going about their usual routines.
I’m dividing the scene before me into three layers. The foreground consists of the coffee shop counter and everything it holds. The people working behind the counter form the middle-ground and everything behind them is the background.
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3. The Background: Switching to a grey pen this time, I draw in the paraphernalia that I see beyond the people. I now have a three-layered sketch. (A little too neatly segregated for my taste, at this point).
4. The final step: This is the fun part. I add details across all the layers using all three tools, bringing cohesion to the sketch and then use colored pencil to add depth, detail and focus to selective bits of it. I can add as little or as much as I want!
YOU COULD DO THIS WITH JUST ABOUT ANY MEDIUM, BUT HERE IS WHAT I USED:
• ACRYLIC MARKERS
• FOUNTAIN PEN
• WHITE CHINA MARKER
• COLORED PENCILS
• GATHER UP SOME TOOLS YOU RARELY USE FOR RESULTS THAT SURPRISE YOU
• TRY A VERSION WITH TRANSPARENT MEDIA FOR AN INTERESTING EFFECT
• HAVE FUN WITH THE PROCESS, MIX IT UP AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
If you play with this process, share your work on social media and tag me, I’d love to see it!
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A Greenland Sketchbook
STEEN MALBERG, FROM COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, SPENT AUGUST IN ILULISSAT AND UPERNAVIK, NORTH WEST GREENLAND, SKETCHING TOWNS AND THE “OVERWHELMINGLY WONDERFUL” NATURAL SCENERY.
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Greenland is the largest island in the world, with 56,000 inhabitants. It is part of Denmark but has home rule in domestic affairs. After a few days in Ilulissat, I flew 1 hour 10 minutes further north to Upernavik and spent the rest of the month there.
1. Upernavik is a town and small island with 1,200 inhabitants. The people are Greenlanders (or Inuits), related to the Inuits of Northern Canada and Alaska, and also expatriated Danes – a good mixture of people. I did this sketch and first wash of watercolour (left) in front of the subject, adding the final layer of watercolour indoors.
2. & 12. At the start of the stay, there was midnight sun – the sun never went below the horizon – giving full daylight, even at night, with the most beautiful skies and sea and iceberg reflections happening around midnight. I never got tired of looking at the line of floating icebergs in the ever-changing light outside my windows. Sheer meditation. Once in a while there are sounds like thunder caused by icebergs tilting, crashing, and breaking. Sometimes an iceberg would strand in front of my windows for a while, giving the possibility of a closer study.
3. & 4. The main source of income is fishing. In the harbour there are larger fishing boats as well as a fleet of smaller boats. If not professionally, many will hunt and fish in their free time. The local supermarket supplies all the gear, including a good selection of guns and ammunition. The guns were drawn relatively discreetly in the supermarket over two sessions.
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How I did these sketches
Greenland was colder than usual this August, making longer studies outside difficult most of the time. I needed to wear extra warm clothes and fingerless gloves.
All of these works were sketched with pencil in front of the subjects, and many were coloured soon after indoors.
Greenland is a very expensive destination so I am very grateful to the Museum Upernavik and the Danish Association of Illustrators (established in 1919) for making this trip possible.
5. From my house I had a view of the waterworks and power plant, and always seabirds and icebergs.
6. A town built on rocks with winter temperatures down to minus 30 has some challenges. Pipes with water and sewage will quickly freeze. Instead, most houses have a water tank, filled by a lorry several times a week. Waste from toilets is collected three times a week. When one goes to the toilet, everything is done in a black plastic bag. When not too full, it is tightened with a green string and placed at the roadside for collection. Not a big issue really – but different. The staff collecting these bags are the true heroes! The toilet bag was sketched outside – for several reasons!
7. During my stay Upernavik, celebrated its 250th anniversary and lots of Greenlandic flags were seen in town. Before the colonial era, Upernavik was a settlement in the spring.
8. & 9. In the winter, fishermen and hunters will go out by snow scooters or sleds pulled by dogs. The Greenlandic sled dog is a unique species that has worked together with the Inuits since Stone Age times. But due to climate change, the ice has become thinner and the season much shorter – and snow scooters are somehow easier to handle. So, dogs and sleds are less used now, and the number of dogs is decreasing.
5. 6. 6. 7. 12 • 2022 27 steen malberg
10. & 11. During the summer, the dogs are chained between the houses. Some of them are absolutely dangerous and would have you for dinner if they got the chance. They’re the same colour as dirt and rocks, making it easy to stumble over a sleeping dog if one goes off the usual tracks. Most of the time one can hear the sound of a gang of barking dogs from somewhere in town – especially if they sense there is food on its way. These sketches were done outdoors with the dogs.
8. 9. 10.
28 drawing attention sketcher spotlight
11. 12.. 12 • 2022 29 steen malberg
There were lots of ravens in Upernavik. A part of the old churchyard is seen at the right side.
“This was such an inspiring month, and the chance to meet so many kind & interesting people” – Steen Malberg
30 drawing attention
‘The Drawing is the Same as the Person’
BY JANE WINGFIELD
12 • 2022 31 sketcher
There is a school of urban sketchers whose style is characterized by a playful and very graphic approach. They are design-driven and there is a compelling immediacy about their work. Santi Sallés is a perfect example. His direct, graphic style – slanting buildings, visible pencil and brush strokes, color swatches, and integrated text – displays a freshness and vitality akin to the vibrancy of his hometown of Barcelona: “I like my drawings to have movement with loose, sloping lines.”
Santi’s style is not only playful and humorous but also orderly. An example is his repetitive designs: a variety of leaves on one page, an extension of the same artichoke from various angles and scales, and a page of several boats in different sizes and colors. He says it comes from his experience as a graphic designer. “I’m a bit obsessed with repetition. I love that.” He seems to be having a lot of fun: “Yes, I enjoy it a lot. I think the drawings reflect the character of the person. Remember that I’m orderly. I like the aesthetic that is created.“
He showed me a page from a sketchbook with very small-scale shots of the historic villas he visited with the Sketch Tour Portugal Reload, a project sponsored by Turismo de Portugal. Twenty sketchers and 10 writers were invited to visit 10 different areas of Portugal and record their experiences. Santi’s group assignment was the center of Portugal. “It was a very
interesting project because it was an opportunity to mix work and drawing”. He describes how he arrived in Lisbon, traveled for four hours to the center of Portugal, and started drawing immediately. Then they changed locations and started again. “For six days... every day... carrying luggage, being filmed, drawing and drawing.” It was a stressful experience but also very comforting because “you visit different places and meet magnificent people and different customs. And the food… I love the food in Portugal.”
Santi began his urban drawing adventure around 2012 when he was working on a book, Un Passeig per Sant Gervasi, a walking tour of his neighborhood. The Barcelona City Council sponsored several sketching workshops open to the public. It was a very exciting moment. It was those sketching outings that got him going as an urban sketcher. Then, in 2013, “I had the opportunity to collaborate and participate in the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Barcelona.”
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In addition to his lively urban scenes, one of Santi’s favorite subjects is nature. He is known as an expert on greens and teaches workshops on the subject.
In 2019 he published the book Verde al Natural. Técnicas de Dibujo para Ilustrar la Naturaleza, available in Spanish and French. His advice and techniques are widely acclaimed, as evidenced by the many workshops he is called to do around the world. He also gets a lot of positive feedback for his drawings of food and people around a table, another of his favorite subjects.
SANTI’S TOP TOOLS
He loves to draw with an oilbased graphite pencil (Pitt Oil Base by Faber Castell).
Faber Castell’s bright, vibrant and resistant polychrome watercolor pencils, which add an interesting texture and painterly quality to his work. Favorite sketchbooks are a Stillman and Birn brand A4 (Hardcover Beta model) and a smaller Canson brand Art Book Inspiration A5, a 90gsm softcover sketchbook that is lightweight and portable and holds up well to watercolors.
12 • 2022 33 Santi Sallés
34 drawing attention
Santi starts directly on a page without any preliminary work, sometimes using watercolor first, occasionally strong pencil lines. “I try to draw fresh, have fun, pay attention to composition, and sometimes I change my technique.”
If he decides to tell a story (reportage), he uses thumbnails. He likes to use color swatches and text as integral parts of the drawing.
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36 drawing attention sketcher spotlight
12 • 2022 37 Santi Sallés
CHOOSE A GOOD SKETCHBOOK (I USUALLY USE DIN A5 AND DIN A4 SIZES). TAKE FIVE MINUTES TO CHOOSE A GOOD LOCATION. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT MATERIALS YOU ARE GOING TO USE. MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENJOY, EXPERIMENT, AND DRAW WITHOUT FEAR.
STAY TUNED FOR EXCITING NEWS ABOUT BARCELONA’S 10-YEAR SYMPOSIUM ANNIVERSARY!
38 drawing attention
Grab a pencil & take a tour of The World of Urban Sketching
BY JANE WINGFIELD
Icould swear there were sparks emitting from my computer when I interviewed Stephanie Bower over Zoom about her new book, The World of Urban Sketching. She was so enthused to share the results of this project—collecting, cataloguing, organizing, and writing about work by 156 sketchers from 39 countries around the world to produce this 240-page book: “It was grueling, but I loved every minute of it.”
Like its predecessor T he Art of Urban Sketching by Gabi Campanario, published a decade ago, it features sketchers from around the globe in a city-to-city tour, but the new book offers a ‘10 years later’ look at new sketchers and the worldwide expansion of the urban sketching phenomena. A few of the same artists from the first volume are also featured here, comparing their work Then & Now, and sharing wisdom about what they’ve learned along the way. There are also lots of sketches done during the COVID pandemic, as sketchers had to quickly pivot and get creative when they were required to stay at home in isolation.
This project started in March 2021 when Stephanie was asked by the publisher, Quarto, to take on writing the book. “We thought it would take four months, but it was actually a 16-month project, with 14 of those being seven days a week.... Coordinating so many artists and their work was a huge logistical challenge, but I loved it. I basically quit my job for three months and started doing research. I worked on it every day, but it was worth it.”
Stephanie started this project by going to the list of Urban Sketchers chapters on the USk website, then she went straight to Africa, contacting sketchers there. “I was so excited by their work.” On any given day she was communicating with people on four continents. “They would send examples of their work and when I’d open my email it would literally take my breath away. People sent me the most beautiful work. It kept me going during the pandemic.”
The book opens in Seattle, ground zero for the urban sketching movement. She walked me through most of the pages of the book as we spoke. I was wowed by the
organizational undertaking demanded by the project. Often, she has written notes on the sketchers’ process, techniques, and even their “ah ha” moments. Every sketch has a list of all the materials used in making it, including paper and tools. Some sketchers are featured as ‘World Travel Sketchers’. All sections are color coded or distinguished by a special graphic feature.
Spotlight sections include Going to Extremes, Greens are Good for You, and Life in the Time of Covid. Stephanie says that the best part of putting the book together was sharing the stories of sketchers. The most difficult part was choosing what to select and what to leave out: “It was like being at a really fabulous buffet. There was so much great work and too few pages.”
Interviewed by Artist Magazine, Stephanie was asked, “What do you do when you get stuck?” Her answer is, “I look at the work of other people. It gives me ideas to try something new. This book has inspired me, and now I find I’m changing things such as the way I apply color or leave the sky white, changes that are being integrated into my own work.”
Reflecting on the whole project she said, “It was really cool to spend some time thinking about how Urban Sketchers has evolved. I think there are several reasons why urban sketching has grown so much in the past decade. People want to be part of an artistic community that’s supportive and nonjudgmental. Also, the act of sketching is like a form of meditation. Afterwards you physically and mentally feel good.” As she says in the introduction, it starts with grabbing a pencil and starting the journey.
“SKETCHING IS POWERFUL BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT CREATING A PERFECT PIECE OF ART, IT’S ABOUT DOCUMENTING AN EXPERIENCE. WHETHER YOU’RE SKETCHING A FAMOUS LANDMARK OR THE BARISTA WHO MADE YOUR LATTE IN YOUR LOCAL CAFÉ, OR ... THE MESS IN YOUR BASEMENT DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, ALL ARE SNAPSHOTS OF OUR LIVES THAT HOLD A PROFOUND PERSONAL MEANING. IN SKETCHING YOU ARE CREATING A RECORD OF YOUR LIFE.”
From The World of Urban Sketching
2022 HOLIDAY BOOKS
LOOKING FOR A SPECIAL GIFT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? HERE ARE SOME MORE EXCITING NEWLY PUBLISHED TITLES...
BY RITA SABLER
ANYONE CAN SKETCH - VOL 2
BY NIRAJ GUPTA
THE WORLD OF URBAN SKETCHING
BY STEPHANIE BOWER
ON THE GO
12 • 2022 41 books
BY MARION RIVOLIER
COOL GEAR: HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
BY MARK LEIBOWITZ
Agroup of us went out sketching with Frank Ching during the 2014 Paraty Symposium in Brazil. Although I didn’t know his name, Frank was very well known by many of the sketchers who are architects. I understand Frank wrote many of the textbooks used in architectural school. I was astounded when I met Frank but it wasn’t for the obvious reasons.
I show up to every sketch event with too much stuff. I bring loads of bulky heavy supplies, you know, “just in case”. The sketching emergencies never seem to happen and yet I can’t seem to stop myself from lugging too much stuff.
Frank showed up with a military style canvas map case, and that was it. At the time I was probably carrying a backpack that looked like it was loaded with 40 pounds of potatoes. He took out a sketchbook and a fountain pen. I asked what else he had in the bag, but that was it. I commented on his efficiency and he ruefully had to admit that sometimes, he does pack an extra fountain pen cartridge ... just in case.
We bring too much with us when we go out sketching. I’ve seen it countless times and personally I’ve done a poor job trying to discipline myself to pack lightly. Although Frank is my “packing” hero, I will never have Frank’s discipline. The realistic solution for me is to try to find items that you can pack intelligently.
I was given a gift about a month ago. Sara Noda had just returned with her family from a trip to Tokyo. While there she managed to check out the local art stores and brought back a couple of spray bottles. They were cute; about the size of a credit card. I carry a spray bottle to activate my dry pan
watercolors. It’s just one of the many, many things I pack that gives my backpack that potato look I mentioned. The credit card sprayer is well designed and packs flat.
I’m also packing a new water bottle these days – a Newcom Portable Flat Water Bottle. It has the same design principle in that it packs flat. Made of clear plastic, it also looks beautiful.
Happy sketching, everyone!
42 drawing attention cool gear
‘CREDIT CARD SPRAYER’
NEWCOM PORTABLE BOTTLE
If you have a piece of Cool Gear you’d like to share with readers, please send a couple of photos or sketches with a description and how you use it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
BY TEOH YI CHIE
Teoh Yi Chie is an infographics journalist who joined Urban Sketchers Singapore in 2009. He’s probably better known as Parka from Parkablogs.com, a website that reviews art books and art products.
This month Parka video reviews Barry Herniman’s Cloverleaf Paintbox. Check it out!
SEEKING A PROOFREADER
Do spelling mistakes shock and horrify you? Can you spot a missing word or misplaced pronoun a mile off? We are looking for a proofreader who could be called upon if needed for the four issues of Drawing Attention that we are publishing in 2023. The commitment would be around two hours per issue. Please contact Jane at email@example.com.
12 • 2022 43 review
o ur Manifesto
• We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation
• Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel
• Our drawings are a record of time and place
• We are truthful to the scenes we witness
• We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles
• We support each other and draw together
• We share our drawings online
• We show the world, one drawing at a time.
© 2022 Urban Sketchers www.urbansketchers.org