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DRAWING

Attention

The official zine of Urban Sketchers DECEMBER 2019


Drawing Attention Mandate Drawing Attention, the official monthly 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 contributors: Managing Editor: Patricia Chow Editorial Assistant: Pedro Loureiro Mailchimp layout: Jane Wingfield Issuu layout: Anne Taylor Social Media Designer: Rita Sabler Writers: Mark Alan Anderson, Meagan Burns, Pedro Loureiro, Anne Taylor, Erick Villagomez Proofreader: Leslie Akchurin Contributors: Kris Mordecai, Parka, Amber Sausen, Maria Regina Tuazon cover image: Jim Richards Subscribe to Drawing Attention. Read the November edition of Drawing Attention. Circulation: 12k+ Readership: 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. © 2019 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.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Dear Urban Sketchers, From the Executive Board and Symposium Team, thank you to everyone who voiced support on social media or via email in response to the announcement that the 2020 International Urban Sketchers Symposium would no longer be held in Hong Kong. See page 6 for more information about our 2020 plans. Please join me in welcoming to the Executive Board our new education director, Rita Sabler. As a longtime Urban Sketchers instructor, Rita’s passion for telling stories through sketching makes her a natural fit to lead the vision for our educational programming. You can send her a welcome message at education@ urbansketchers.org. Thank you, Rita,

for volunteering to serve Urban Sketchers! As we reach the end of 2019, some may be considering end of year charitable donations. Please remember Urban Sketchers in your giving plans. As a 501(c)(3) organization based in the United States, your donations are an important part of our annual budget. Your gifts will help as we make plans for long-awaited updates to our website – making it easier to find sketching events and workshops around the world, to connect with the Urban Sketchers community, and to see the world one drawing at a time. Thank you for your generosity. Happy Sketching, Amber Sausen, USk President

MANAGING EDITOR’S MESSAGE Greetings, Sketchers! Welcome to the last issue of Drawing Attention this year! In this issue we talk to USk founder Gabi Campanario, winner of the 2019 Crider Prize, USk Secretary Uma Kelkar, and powerhouse urban sketching instructor Jim Richards. We also hear from chapters in Lebanon, Sevilla, and Vancouver, as well as an important update from the USk Symposium team. As another year comes to an end, I hope you will consider donating to Urban Sketchers to support our year-end fundraising campaign (see page 8), and bring the joy of sketching to others worldwide. From all of us to you and yours, best wishes for a happy year-end holiday season! Patricia Chow, Managing Editor, Drawing Attention drawingattention@urbansketchers.org


CONTENTS 4

USK NEWS & EVENTS

6

USK SYMPOSIUM NEWS

10

USK LEBANON

14

USK VANCOUVER

24

GABI CAMPANARIO

28 UMA KELKAR

44 HOLIDAY BOOK LIST

HOW TO READ DRAWING ATTENTION AS AN E-ZINE FOR EASIER READING ON ISSUU.COM SELECT FULL SCREEN.

46

20

USK SEVILLE

36

JIM RICHARDS

REVIEWS | ENDNOTES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISSUU APP FOR IOS DEVICES CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISSUU APP FOR ANDROID

DECEMBER 2019 3


USk News & Events

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USk News & Events

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USk Symposium News

2020 INTERNATIONAL URBAN SKETCHERS SYMPOSIUM CANCELLED As announced on social media in mid-November, it is with deep regret that the Urban Sketchers Executive Board and Urban Sketchers Hong Kong announce that the 2020 Symposium will not be held in Hong Kong and is cancelled for 2020. Please read on for a message from the Hong Kong Symposium team and Urban Sketchers Hong Kong. In light of the most recent developments in the city, the Hong Kong Symposium Team expresses its concern for the safety (and fun) of each and every participant. Since this is no longer assured, Hong Kong is regretfully withdrawing as the host city for next year’s International Urban Sketchers Symposium. The Hong Kong Team is enthusiastic that when their beloved 6 DRAWING ATTENTION

city is back to being stable and able, it will be a much better time to showcase her at her finest. We thank everyone in Urban Sketchers Hong Kong for the passion, responsibility, hard work and enthusiasm that they have put forward. We wish for better times for Hong Kong. Our thoughts are with you. We understand the importance of the International Urban Sketchers Symposium to our community, so cancelling the event was not an easy decision to make. Our symposia require 12 to 18 months of planning to be successful. This planning time is necessary to coordinate educational, operational, logistic and sponsorship aspects to ensure the event is both enjoyable for participants and sustainable for the organization. To accomplish this effort this year is too large a burden to put on any local


USk Symposium News

chapter and the symposium team. We recognize the enthusiasm and thank those that offered suggestions and ideas. USk members are amazing! There will still be ways to connect in 2020! To celebrate our global community, Urban Sketchers has set a goal to support the USk mission on the six continents with Urban Sketchers chapters. Stay informed through our website, social media channels, and Drawing Attention in 2020 for more information about upcoming opportunities. We appreciate your interest and support as we make arrangements for these new opportunities. For any inquiries regarding future events, please contact events@urbansketchers.org.

SHARE YOUR CHAPTER’S NEWS WITH OUR READERS Contact us to share your chapter’s news, special events, joint meetups, and exhibitions with our readers. You don’t need to write the story yourself. We will assign a Drawing Attention writer to cover your story! Contact us at: drawingattention@ urbansketchers.org.

USK BLOG

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USK SYMPOSIUM 2019 ON INSTA FOLLOW USK ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW USK ON TWITTER DECEMBER 2019 7


USk News & Events

MAKE YOUR MARK: PARTICIPATE IN USK’S END-OF-YEAR FUNDRAISER How has Urban Sketchers changed your life? Have you been inspired? Learned new skills? Taught or taken a sketching class for the first time? Published a book? Made new friends? Become part of a community? If you believe in the USk mission and manifesto, please consider making a donation to support Urban Sketchers’ end-of-year fundraiser today. Donate at http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/fundraiser.html.

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USk News & Events

WHAT DO DONATIONS SUPPORT? Your donation will be used to support the major areas of Urban Sketchers’ global work: Events, Education, and Community. • Our events and gatherings bring sketchers together from across the globe, or just across their hometowns, to celebrate creativity together and build lasting relationships. • Our educational programs provide scholarship opportunities for sketchers to attend events, and offer opportunities for instructors to build their teaching programs. • And our community work helps us build connections between sketchers around the world, both online and in person. Thank you for your support! DECEMBER 2019 9


BRADY BLACK 10 DRAWING ATTENTION


Title

USK LEBANON REPORTS ON THE LEBANESE REVOLT BY JUDY ABI ROUSTOM

T

he Lebanese revolt started on the 17th of October caused by the increasing political corruption leading to a nationwide economic crisis for the past few years. The protests have been remarkably peaceful, decentralized, erasing sectarian and social lines and continuously growing in size and energy. Lebanese flags are raised everywhere.

Visual arts and social media are very important in this revolt as everyone is connected. Members of our group have been participating and telling the stories of these protests through drawing. Some have even been documenting the protests on a daily basis. Every day, there are new events and new happenings in the country. ens and brushes. DECEMBER 2019 11


Featured Chapter

The revolt is ongoing and we are planning more gettogethers in different parts of our country. We are still drawing every day and we’re sharing our sketches online for the world to see.

CONNECT WITH USK LEBANON

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AMIRA AL TABBAA

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BRADY BLACK


MOHAMAD TOHME DECEMBER 2019 13


Featured Chapter

TAMARA NASR 14 DRAWING ATTENTION


DECEMBER 2019 15


VANCOUVER URBAN SKETCHER ERICK VILLAGOMEZ HAD THE WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH SIGRID ALBERT, THE FOUNDER OF URBAN SKETCHERS VANCOUVER, ABOUT STARTING THE CHAPTER AND HER PASSION FOR SKETCHING.

DON MCNULTY

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USK VANCOUVER


USk Vancouver

EV: Could you tell us a little about yourself, your interest in sketching and how this led to the founding of the Vancouver chapter of Urban Sketchers? SA: Yes! I found the Urban Sketchers community which was started on Flickr by Seattle-native Gabriel Campanario in 2007. Via Flickr, I started to look up sketchers in other countries and saw how they were organized to sketch in groups. I kept drawing by myself for a couple of years, but in November 2012, I arranged a threemonth stay in Berlin. I grew up in Germany but came to Canada as a teenager with my parents, so I thought it would be cool to actually live in Germany as an adult for just a little while. I started to chat with my Berlin Flickr contacts to arrange a get-together once I arrived. Katrin Merle met up with me in a cafe in Berlin to sketch and introduced me to the Berlin Urban Sketchers. It was a revelation, I loved sketching in a group.

EV: How many sketchers are in the chapter now? SA: The Meetup group has 2,179 members as of today! Of course, the nature of the platform is that people sign up for all kinds of groups and many never participate. I can tell you that we have about 150 active members. Luckily, I have 21 co-organizers, so there are 22 of us setting up sketching events. We probably have about one event per week on average. EV: I would imagine that issues around being approached by commercial entities have come up for many other Urban Sketchers groups, so I’d love if you could elaborate on how the policies have evolved and what the current stance is.

In February 2013, I returned to Vancouver and decided that I needed people here in my hometown to draw with. I looked up the local members listed on urbansketchers. org and found four or five people. I contacted all of them to see if they would be interested in forming a Vancouver Urban Sketchers chapter, and they enthusiastically agreed.

SA: Being such a large group on meetup.com tends to attract people who would like to sell to our membership. We’ve had people sign up to the group for only that purpose. Our resulting policy is that we do not promote anybody’s businesses – not even our members– and we do not get involved in outside events that are fee-based, at least not via the Meetup group. We do have a Facebook group where people can post more commercial information, for example, if a member is having an art show, or if an interesting fee-based workshop is coming up.

To organize the group, I decided to use meetup.com since I am not a facebooker, and email or Flickr seemed too clunky. We had our very first sketching meetup on March 3, 2013 at Station Terminal on Main Street. About 17 people signed up and at least 12 showed up! I was thrilled.

EV: As a Toronto-native, when I moved here almost two decades ago, I recall one of the most interesting and inspiring aspects about sketching in Metro Vancouver was the incredible topography and mountainous landscape. What do you think is special, challenging DECEMBER 2019 17


Featured Chapter

or unique about sketching in and around Vancouver? SA: You said it, the scenery is special in Vancouver, with the city being surrounded by spectacular mountains and the sea. Besides the diverse physical aspects of the city, Vancouver also has a lot of cultural variety that can be portrayed by sketchers. There are many festivals throughout the year, such as the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in April, the Pride Festival and Parade in August, Diwali Downtown Vancouver in October, and the Chinese New Year Parade, just to name a few.

EV: Thanks again, Sigrid, for sharing your insights with the Drawing Attention readers.

EV: Can you tell me what media most sketchers in our chapter use? As you know, I’ve gone deep into digital painting and drawing on my iPad. I find that it saves me a lot of space and weight, particularly when I’m going somewhere remote to sketch – for example, when I’m going on a hike. SA: I bought an iPad several years ago for the sole purpose of exploring digital drawing. After my initial excitement and a lot of drawing on my iPad, I missed the tactile experience of pen or brush on paper, and that is what I’ve been using mostly these days. Interestingly, I don’t see a lot of other sketchers using a tablet. Most people use a combo of waterproof ink or pencil for the drawing and watercolors or Caran d’Ache or Inktense sticks to add color later. However, I like using the iPad to draw in certain situations, for example, when I go to an art gallery and want to draw based on the art I see – or copy something. Typically, wet media are not allowed in a gallery, but a tablet is! 18 DRAWING ATTENTION

CONNECT WITH USK VANCOUVER

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BOB ALTWEIN DECEMBER 2019 19


Featured Chapter

CARMEN KUIPER

SLEEPING TURTLE BY SIGRID ALBERT 20 DRAWING ATTENTION


ST ANDREW’S, NORTH VANCOUVER BY DAVE HUGGARD ERICK VILLAGOMEZ

USk Vancouver

DECEMBER 2019 21


Featured Chapter

USK SEVILLA AND 10X10 AL-ANDALUSK PEDRO LOUREIRO TALKS TO INMA SERRANO AND JAVIER MAS PINTURAS ABOUT THEIR INNOVATIVE 10X10 WORKSHOP SERIES

“T

he group started officially in January 2018.” But, as with many USk chapters around the world, the official start date doesn’t tell the group’s full story. As Inma Serrano attests, “we’ve been meeting for almost 9 years.” The energetic veteran sketcher gathered the group of sketchers that would later be called USk Sevilla, for a World Wide Sketchcrawl summons, and after liaising with the local watercolor association and nearby USk Málaga founder Luis Ruiz, members started flowing in quickly, to what now is one of the most dynamic chapters in Spain. “Inma contacted me about two years ago, to help her organize the group,” Javier Mas Pinturas recalls. Together they make a true dynamic duo as two of the admins of USk Sevilla. While Inma deals with the local issues of the chapter, Javier, who speaks Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese, handles the international affairs. Additionally, he was nominated USk Regional Leader of Spain, helping out emerging chapters in the region.

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Ever since the start of the 10x10 initiative, USk Sevilla has been continually looking for new ways to innovate sketching education in their region of Andalusia, in southern Spain. The chapter has tested different approaches each year. 2017 saw eight workshops with eight instructors over four months, on weekends. Excited by their success, they went big in 2018, with 16 workshops running throughout the year in several Andalusian cities, a kind of macro-chapter they dubbed Al-AndalUSk, a play on the Moorish name of the region, Al-Andalus. Each instructor traveled to a different city to teach, but because of the calendar intensity, the event turned into an organizational nightmare. “It was so insane, I wanted to die!” Inma exclaims. “But it was really nice to see how people enjoyed the experience and asked for more, so we decided to reboot it in 2019.” Inma and Javier kept the key concept that drove the Al-AndalUSk 10x10: that all workshops would have different instructors, “because we each have something to learn from each other, even from those who don’t


USk Seville

often get the chance to teach,” Inma says. But this year, they focused all of their workshop energy into a single September weekend, bringing in local instructors from Sevilla as well as regional instructors from Cádiz and Málaga, for eight workshops. “All workshops sold out very quickly,” Javier says, with 40 participants coming from all over Spain, and as far as Paris, London, Bologna and New York, to learn from Célia Burgos, Luis Ruiz, Arturo Redondo and Inma herself. “We also gave out two workshop registrations as a scholarship, to students or unemployed sketchers,” remarks Inma.

participants would spend half a day with two instructors teaching the same theme - in a sequence of color, storytelling, environment and nature - in separate exercises. On both days, they “started at 9am and went throughout the day until 9pm,” Inma recalls. “I love this project, and I feel that its continuity is very interesting. This format was the best, for all involved, in the three years we held the 10x10.” USk Sevilla is still deciding whether they’ll have a 10x10 series in 2020. As Javier puts it, “there’s definitely the will to do it, and the crowd to participate.”

“It was intense!” exclaims Javier, who participated in six of the eight workshops. The lineup was cleverly crafted, as

DECEMBER 2019 23


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CONNECT USK SEVILLE

f AL-ANDALUSK FACEBOOK GROUP

f 10X10 AL-ANDALUSK 2019 FACEBOOK EVENT

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USK FOUNDER: GABI CAMPANARIO GABI CAMPANARIO HAS JUST BEEN AWARDED THE KRIDER PRIZE FOR CREATIVITY, GIVEN OUT ANNUALLY BY THE UNIVERSITY & COLLEGE DESIGNERS ASSOCIATION (UCDA), WHICH REPRESENTS THOUSANDS OF GRAPHIC DESIGNERS WORKING IN ACADEMIC SETTINGS IN THE U.S. IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD MOMENT TO CHECK IN WITH HIM. BY ANNE TAYLOR AT: Firstly, congratulations on your win of the 2019 Prize. GC: Thank you! This award was a big surprise for me. It turns out the UCDA’s founder, Lee Kline, is an avid urban sketcher and he nominated me for the award, which is meant “to honor and celebrate creativity, wherever it is found.” It was an honor to be recognized by a professional organization of this caliber at their annual conference, which took place in Portland in mid October. The award means the recognition of urban sketching’s value for creative professionals keeps growing every day. AT: How did your own ‘urban sketching’ journey start? GC: My first memories of urban sketching date back to my teen years, when I would sketch to pass time during summer vacations in Montemolín, my parents’ hometown in Southwestern Spain. I sketched the olive trees, the farm houses, the ruins of a castle that dates from the middle ages… As an adult, I didn’t start sketching on a regular basis until I moved to Seattle. Relocating to a new place gave me the impetus to resume my favorite childhood pastime. 26 DRAWING ATTENTION

AT: What sparked the idea of creating an Urban Sketchers organisation? I’m guessing you didn’t envisage a global movement at the time! GC: My original aim was simply to create a global showcase of urban sketches online. I’ve always liked not just drawing but also looking at other people’s drawings and reading the back story about each sketch, and I’ve always liked geography, the world, travel, learning about other cultures… so creating an online platform to “show the world, one drawing at a time” appealed to many of my interests. Soon, sketchers participating in the early USk platforms (flickr and blogspot) started establishing meaningful connections with each other, online and in real life. It was pretty magic. I guess the community could have grown on its own and without any other guidance than the manifesto. But, like I said in my keynote speech in the Chicago Symposium, once I had pressed the button to create a group online, I couldn’t let it go! I’d like to think that establishing USk as a nonprofit has helped us grow stronger without losing the grassroots spirit.


Gabi Campanario

GABI’S RECENT SKETCH STORY FOR THE SEATTLE TIMES ON THE DEMOLITION OF THE ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT. HE HAS BEEN ILLUSTRATING LIFE IN THE PUGET SOUND REGION IN HIS COLUMN FOR THE PAPER SINCE 2009. HIS FOCUS IS ON TELLING PEOPLE’S STORIES AND HIS ACCOUNTS CONVEY A WARMTH AND RESPECT FOR FOR HIS COMMUNITY, AND ITS RICH HISTORY. DECEMBER 2019 27


Sketcher Spotlight

AT: Now that USK is in fact a worldwide phenomenon, is it close to your original vision for a sketching community? Where would you still like USK to go in the future? GC: The growth of Urban Sketchers has been incredible to watch. Drawing from life was nothing new, but calling ourselves urban sketchers gave everyone the key to an art form that was traditionally perceived as the monopoly of artists, architects or illustrators. As the organization continues to grow, my hope is that we continue to keep our grassroots spirit. The dedication of the sketchers serving in the board, in different committees and in every chapter at the local level is remarkable. As founder, I couldn’t be any more proud! AT: Can you tell us a little about the recent travel sketchbook event that just took place in ClermontFerrand. GC: If you like travel and sketching (and what urban sketcher doesn’t?) you should add the Rendez-Vous Carnet de Voyage festival to your bucket list. It’s like the Comiccon of travel sketching, but instead of meeting comic book artists, you meet travel sketchers (“carnettistes”) exhibiting their sketchbooks. The event takes place at a big pavilion where visitors can hop from stand to stand meeting the artists and purchase their books and art prints. The event also includes workshops, lectures and live sketching sessions. One hundred artists from all over the world were selected this year, including a strong group of urban sketchers. To mark the festival’s 20th Anniversary, the organizers also invited a few of us – Lolo Wagner, Nina Johansson, Lapin and me – to represent Urban Sketchers with an official stand. It was a blast and my hope is that USk can find more ways to collaborate with the association that organizes the festival, Il Faut Aller Voir. A Symposium in ClermontFerrand perhaps? 28 DRAWING ATTENTION

NINA JOHANSSON, LAPIN, LOLO WAGNER, AND GABI REPRESENTING URBAN SKETCHERS AT THE RECENT RENDEZ-VOUS CARNET DE VOYAGE FESTIVAL

AT: Do you have some encouraging words for those times when we feel our work is ‘not good enough’?: GC: The inner critic never takes a break! It’s completely normal to feel that way, especially right after you have made a sketch. But the funny thing is, sometimes I look at that sketch after a few days – or months! – and I find it wasn’t that bad. I’m able to judge it more objectively and see what’s good and what I could have improved. So my advice is to let it be, start another sketch and take the “failure” as a learning experience. You can’t have “good drawings” without having made many “bad drawings.”


Gabi Campanario

GABI’S TIPS FOR TIME-PRESSURED PEOPLE NEW TO URBAN SKETCHING: I ALWAYS SAY THAT THERE’S NOTHING LIKE DRAWING ON A POCKET SKETCHBOOK TO FUEL YOUR MOTIVATION AND SHARPEN YOUR DRAWING SKILLS. A SMALL, EASY-TO-CARRY NOTEBOOK MAKES SKETCHING IN PUBLIC LESS INTIMIDATING AND IS IDEAL TO CREATE FAST DRAWINGS ON THE GO – AND WITHOUT CALLING TOO MUCH ATTENTION FROM ONLOOKERS. I ALSO RECOMMEND USING SIMPLE TOOLS. START WITH A PENCIL OR A BIC PEN. YOU CAN DO BEAUTIFUL BLACK AND WHITE DRAWINGS JUST WITH THOSE TOOLS.

CONNECT WITH GABI

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DECEMBER 2019 29


USK SECRETARY: UMA KELKAR’S BRAVE NEW DIGITAL WORLD BY MARK ALAN ANDERSON

U

ma Kelkar speaks passionately about USk: “Urban Sketchers has given me a family. It’s a community that holds me; I’ve never seen such a supportive environment. No drama, high quality of art, enthusiasm about the right things ... outlook – pick the good things and absorb, and let the rest go.” “When I first saw digital being used for painting en plein air, it was repulsive,” says Uma Kelkar. We both chuckle because her book, Urban Sketchers Handbook: Drawing with a Tablet is currently ready for pre-order on Amazon. Urban Sketcher and Executive Board Secretary Uma Kelkar seems to be a busy person, balancing those roles along

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with that of being a mom and an electrical engineer. She is like a perpetual motion machine, frequently stopping to jot down notes as we talk: she hears something she likes or something occurs to her and wants to revisit those thoughts at a later time. Kelkar initially perceived digital art as something of a ruse, sleight of hand visual trickery. After all, how could a screen compare with pure pigments? But over time, digital art started to look more and more sophisticated, and comparisons to “real” art became less and less distinct. The tools themselves began to offer the same sort of physical feedback that pencils and pens and brushes provide.


Uma Kelkar

DECEMBER 2019 31


Meet the USK Board

“I didn’t realize what a pencil does – if you press it hard, the line widens,” she muses. “But the stylus didn’t do that … until April 2017, when I walked into an Apple store and picked up an Apple Pencil. That was responsive!” She walked out of the store with an iPad. “What it has given me is chances to do art in interstitial spaces of life. When I’m super stressed, that’s the only time I need art to really unwind myself – when I don’t have the energy to set up my entire studio and then clean up after myself… taking a tablet to bed is like taking your thousand pigments with you and not having to clean up!” She pauses and smiles. “And that’s a make or break for a mother of two.” She feels the iPad enables more experimentation, and that a nearly unlimited palette of tools has also made her a better painter using traditional tools. Kelkar’s new book focuses on using digital tools for painting en plein air and urban sketching. People who are already working in traditional medias will find this an excellent resource for making the jump into digital. She has organized a collection of tips and strategies to get sketchers comfortable exploring a brave new world of digital drawing. There are also plans to develop a support website as a companion to the book, with videos to accompany each of the lessons. 32 DRAWING ATTENTION

In her role as USk Secretary, Uma facilitates the collection of reports, taking minutes, and filing things in an organized way - with over 100,000 members, those administrative duties are on an entirely different scale. The USk Executive Board meets online monthly, in person at least twice a year, and once every quarter for a strategic meeting to talk about where the organization is headed on two-year, three-year and fiveyear plans.

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DECEMBER 2019 33


Meet the USK Board

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Uma Kelkar

GLEN PARK, SAN FRANCISCO DECEMBER 2019 35


Meet the USK Board eet the USK Board

GUALALA, CALIFORNIA

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Uma Kelkar

DECEMBER 2019 37


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JIM RICHARDS ON WHY I’M GRATEFUL FOR URBAN SKETCHERS AS 2019 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, WE ASKED ARTIST AND LONGTIME USK INSTRUCTOR JAMES RICHARDS WHAT’S BEEN SPECIAL FOR HIM ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF URBAN SKETCHERS. BY MEAGAN BURNS

J

im says, “Urban Sketchers gave me a sense of a creative community from the time I discovered the blog in 2009. During this time I was on the front lines creating a “Freehand Renaissance” as a departure from an all-digital design approach within the landscape architectural industry. I challenged the nearabandonment of critical drawing skills in favor of new and shiny digital technologies, in both academia and professional settings – and was quite delighted to have my message well-received by many, even though considered slightly controversial by others.” While Jim was ruffling feathers in the traditional landscape architecture arena, he stumbled upon the USk blog and was delighted to find an online community of kindred spirits and fellow activists that spanned the globe, and who represented almost every creative field one could imagine, from fine artists and illustrators, to visual journalists and film animators. This gave Jim an opportunity to build upon an idea, and so began “Viva la Freehand Revolution”

while lecturing at the second USk Symposium in Lisbon. A movement was created! Although he now lives in Florida, Jim is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, and with the help from fellow urban sketchers in Houston and Lubbock, he helped form the original Texas Regional Chapter -- back when the entire state was just one chapter, Jim was quite proud to be one of its founding members! Jim currently serves on the USk Advisory Board and also served on the USk Board of Directors and helped mentor new chapters in Phoenix, Nairobi and Beijing. “Watching the Texas Chapter grow throughout the State until, six years later, it was divided into four regional chapters based in four different metropolitan areas, is one of my proudest accomplishments,” Jim recalls. Urban Sketchers has allowed Jim to help others find their own creative voice, and he’s absolutely enjoyed the opportunity to be an instructor at symposiums and DECEMBER 2019 39


Sketcher Spotlight

workshops around the globe. He’s been able to share his sketching philosophies, experience and lessons learned with passionate sketchers from all over the world, across all skill levels. He says, “it’s not even so much the passing on of particular techniques, but the opportunity to help rework attitudes and instill confidence that I value most. Some of my early workshop participants are now instructors as well, sharing their own urban sketching journeys, so the circle is unbroken.” “Urban Sketchers has given me a community and platform through which to share my work, to be supported and challenged, to grow as an artist, and to hopefully inspire others. Most importantly, I see sketching as a vital, living way to see and value culture that has given me a sense of mission in life that continues to build bridges. This is my very good reason I continue to sketch.”

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Jim Richards

DECEMBER 2019 41


Sketcher Spotlight

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Jim Richards

DECEMBER 2019 43


Holiday Book List

HOLIDAY BOOK LIST – NEW IN 2019 Looking for a special gift for an urban sketcher this holiday season? Here is a selection of books on urban sketching topics that were published in 2019.

WORKING WITH COLOR BY SHARI BLAUKOPF

101 SKETCHING TIPS BY STEPHANIE BOWER

NYC GRAPHIC CHRONICLES BY HUGO COSTA

AN URBAN SKETCHER’S GALWAY BY ROISIN CURE

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DRAW BUILDINGS & BRIGHTON: CITIES IN 15 MINUTES WATERCOLOUR MEMORIES BY MATT BREHM BY ISABEL CARMONA

TRAM TRAVELLERS, HUSH! & PLANEPACK BY SLOBODANKA GRAHAM

SKETCHING PORTUGAL BY MIREIA GUBIANAS


Holiday Book List

SNEAKYART OF EAU CLAIRE BY NISHANT JAIN

CARNET DE ZINCS BY CAPITAINE LAPIN

MARESME DIBUIXAT| SKETCHING MARESME BY MONTSE SANCHIZ

SEVILLE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM BY INMA SERRANO

URBAN SKETCHING STEP BY STEP BY KLAUS MEIER-PAUKEN

BERLIN – THE WALL REVISITED BY DETLEF SURREY

WITH A SKETCHBOOK AROUND THE WORLD BY RITA SABLER

SKETCHING AMSTERDAM BY USK KOREA DECEMBER 2019 45


Reviews | Endnotes

HOLIDAY BOOK LIST

Not in a hurry? The titles below are available for pre-order and will be released in early 2020:

THE ADDICTIVE SKETCHER BY ADEBANJI ALADE

A COOL GEAR INSURANCE PLAN BY MARK LEIBOWITZ I remember the first time it happened. I reached around to my back pocket to take out my sketchbook, and it was gone. We’d been sketching at a busy location a few hours earlier. Really, what were the chances my sketchbook would still be there? I went back, and it was gone. All those lovely sketches, gone, never to be seen again. Well, to be honest, not all the sketches were winners, but still, .... The second time it happened I wasn’t even aware my sketchbook was gone when I got a phone call from the wonderful woman who found it. A total stranger. People can be wonderful. I was reunited with my sketches a half hour later. The lesson learned was to have your name and contact information written in every sketchbook. We travel to sketch locations, which are often busy spots. It’s surprisingly easy to lose things. And losing a sketchbook is a devastating feeling. What’s needed is a Cool Gear insurance plan. The solution: Assume things will get lost and have your name and contact info on everything you’d like returned; pencil cases, brush cases, packs, watercups,... everything! We created this hand-stamp for our NYC sketchers. It even includes a spot to enter the date you started the sketchbook and when you finally finished the last drawing.

DRAWING WITH A TABLET BY UMA KELKAR 46 DRAWING ATTENTION

If you have a cool idea you’d like to share, send an email with the details to markleibowitz810@gmail.com.


Reviews | Endnotes

PARKA REVIEWS 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 the Pentel Stylo. Check it out!

DECEMBER 2019 47


Our 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.

© 2019 Urban Sketchers www.urbansketchers.org

Profile for Drawing Attention

Drawing Attention 2019  

Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...

Drawing Attention 2019  

Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...