The official zine of Urban Sketchers MARCH 2021
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 Mailchimp layout: Jane Wingfield Issuu layout: Anne Taylor Writers: Mark Anderson, Monique Chiam, Cathy Gutterman, Rosario Muñoz Gajardo French copy editor: Sophie Navas Spanish copy editor: Rosario Muñoz Gajardo Proofreader: Leslie Akchurin Contributors: Parka, Richard Alomar, Mark Leibowitz Cover image: Darsie Beck Subscribe to Drawing Attention. Read the February edition of Drawing Attention. Circulation: 13k+ 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. © 2021 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 USk Community, The year ahead will be challenging and rewarding as we continue to practice on-location drawing in a smart and safe manner. We hope you all are enjoying the 2nd season of USk Talks and remember you can watch live or on the USk YouTube channel. This year we are undertaking the redesign of the USk website. The site has undergone a few revisions since its inception over 10 years ago, and it is time for another revision. The purpose of the update is to create a site where the USk global community can
easily access information related to education, events, membership and news, and connect to social media – a place where you can find all the information you need in a few clicks. So if you are a web designer or know of a consultant that would be interested in working with USk, let us know. The formal request will be published later this month. Please stay safe, engaged and sketching! Sketching together (one way or another), Richard Alomar, USk President
MANAGING EDITOR’S MESSAGE Greetings, Sketchers! In this issue, we focus on how USk chapters around the world have crossed international and virtual borders from South America to the Near East, as well as how one of our newest chapters, USk Busan, has connected with other nearby chapters for help and support. We also get to know two long-time sketchers, Si Newell and Darsie Beck, who share with us their interesting stories. Please consider applying for a USk Reportage Grant. The deadline is May 1. Up to $500 is available for individual
sketchers, groups of sketchers, and/ or USk chapters to do a reportage project later this year. Finally, my sincere thanks to our truly awesome team of Drawing Attention writers, translators, designers and support staff. If you are interested in joining our team or becoming a managing editor of this fantastic publication, please reach out to me with any questions at drawingattention@ urbansketchers.org. Enjoy our latest issue! Patricia Chow Managing Editor Drawing Attention
CONTENTS 4 USK NEWS & EVENTS
USK CHILE & USK MEDELLÍN
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MARCH 2021 3
USk News & Events
USK REPORTAGE GRANT PROGRAM NEW GRANT PROGRAM
WHAT IS REPORTAGE?
Urban Sketchers is excited to announce a new USk Reportage Grant Program open to individual sketchers, chapters, and creative collaborators from around the world. Visual storytelling lies at the heart of the USk movement. The program is designed to highlight the best examples of these efforts and to inspire new visual storytellers in our community.
Reportage is a visual account of a cultural phenomenon, event, current history, etc., based on drawings completed from direct observation while on location. The drawings tell a story by capturing an event and showing context, characters, and setting. Sketches are accompanied by short pieces of narrative writing presented directly on the drawings or added separately. The narrative is informed by firsthand accounts, research, and interviews. A successful visual reportage gives viewers a feeling for the setting and the people.
In order to qualify for a grant, sketchers are invited to send us their proposals with five examples of their drawings. A successful proposal will highlight an aspect of local culture, an event, a moment in time, an industry/trade, and/or a societal change, in drawings and writing. Proposals must be received by May 1, 2021. Authors of winning proposals will develop their projects between June 1 and December 15, 2021. The winning proposals will be awarded a grant ranging from US$300-500 to cover expenses related to project preparation. Click HERE for more information and to apply.
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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? Sketchers of all abilities and styles are encouraged to apply. You can submit a proposal as an individual sketcher or form a creative collaboration with someone else or engage your whole chapter in this project. HOW CAN I GET INSPIRED? If you haven’t yet checked out USk Talks, a weekly show dedicated to all things Urban Sketchers, visit the official USk YouTube channel. This season we are taking an in-depth look into the practice of visual reportage and storytelling by inviting artists, sketchers, and the winners of the Reportage Call for Proposals to share their work and knowledge with the community.
USk News & Events
MARCH 2021 5
USk News & Events
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USk News & Events
USK DELHI CELEBRATES 5TH ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION CONTINUING THEIR TRADITION, USK DELHI HELD A MONTH-LONG SHOW TELLING HISTORY OF DELHI THROUGH THEIR SKETCHES. BY NIRAJ GUPTA
s the pandemic situation eased considerably in Delhi, USk Delhi once again held a one-month show of their sketches of New Delhi titled “Lutyen’s Delhi” at the prestigious India Habitat Center, New Delhi, from February 1-28, 2021. Lutyen’s Delhi is the area constructed by the British who moved India’s capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. It was later officially named New Delhi. Sir Edwin Lutyens was the main architect of New Delhi. At the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi is President’s House ‘Rashtrapati Bhawan’, located on the top of Raisina Hill, overlooking the Secretariat, Parliament House, India Gate, Connaught Place, as well as various State HousesPalaces. All of them were presented in the show based on sketches done during USk Delhi’s weekly meets mostly during the year 2019 before the pandemic. The show tries to bring out the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture
used by the British in New Delhi. The show also marked the resumption of the outdoor on-location meets of the USk Delhi chapter, which had been meeting virtually for the last year. Five sketchers, Juhi Kumar, Geeta Gupta, Akriti Kishori, Rajatendu Biswas, and Niraj Gupta, exhibited their works. The show was inaugurated by the eminent artist, sculptor, art guru, and critic Mr. M.K. Puri who also released on this occasion Niraj’s book Anyone can Sketch in India. India Habitat Center, owned by the Government of India, has always patronized the USk Delhi chapter and provided it with the exhibition venue ‘Delhi-o-Delhi foyer’ free of cost. The venue is frequented by Delhi’s who’s who including top artists, decision-makers, professionals, etc.
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USk News & Events
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USk Talks USk News & Events
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE USK YOUTUBE CHANNEL
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USk Busan, South Korea BY CATHY GUTTERMAN
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MARCH 2021 11
usan is a large port city in South Korea, well known for its harbors, beaches, mountains and temples. It is also the location of one of the newest official chapters in the Urban Sketchers community. USk Busan was founded in 2019 by Jinhwa Park. She is assisted by co-admins Jieun Lee and Sieung Jai (Jay) Lee. USk Busan originated from two different urban sketching groups that were composed of elder and younger generations. What they held in common was their enjoyment of painting in the field, on location. Jinhwa Park, a watercolor painter who lives in Busan, began urban sketching in 2018 after participating in meetings held by USk Ulsan and USk Jeju Island. In January 2019, she created a group called “Happy Busan Urban Sketch.” Meanwhile, for more than 3 years, Jieun Lee was drawing on her own in Busan. Having no one to join her onlocation, she decided to visit Seoul, which, at the time, was very active in urban sketching. In November 2019, after returning to her hometown of Busan, Jieun formed “Here and There,” a group of young urban sketchers who sketch here and there and everywhere in South Korea. Jieun joined Jinhwa’s group in June 2019, but was inactive until June 2020, when USk Busan had its first Urban Sketch Exhibition. After realizing that their groups faced similar challenges, Jinhwa and Jieun decided to unite the two groups. When they began to feel the need to expand the group’s interaction with the global community, they decided to join the Urban Sketchers international organization. USk Busan had first applied to become an official USk chapter in November 2019, but their application was
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rejected. Undeterred, they applied again in October 2020. One of the difficulties was distance. One criteria for a new USk chapter is that it is not within one hour’s travel time of any other chapter. The distance between Busan and the nearest USk group in Ulsan is actually less than 24 miles, a very short distance. However, public transportation is limited. To visit Ulsan from her house, Jieun needed to take several modes of transportation (walking, subway, train, bus, walking) with the total travel time taking around 2.5 hours. Another major difficulty involved English communication. Fortunately, with the assistance of USk Busan admin Jay Lee, who spoke English, USk Busan was approved on January 21, 2021. During the pandemic, USk Busan held online events to draw and share panoramic scenes of daily life. On-location urban sketching was not possible because the South Korean government has banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Therefore, USk Busan admins found some alternate solutions: • Individual urban sketching: USk Talks challenges and weekly themes suggested by admins (portrait of a day, light and shade, using a monotone palette for landscapes, wood, buildings, etc.). • Daily drawing: To increase their skills, the chapter leader suggests subjects and challenges that members can draw on a daily basis. • In-car drawing: To prevent COVID, 2-3 members meet at a convenient location with easy parking and draw in their respective cars.
LATE AUTUMN KUMGANG PARK BY KYUNG A KIM
CAR CLINIC SHOP BY YOUNGHO KIM
MARCH 2021 13
NEAR TO SEASIDE BY JINHWA PARK
USK BUSAN - OLD TRAIN BRIDGE BY SUNGJUN KIM 14 DRAWING ATTENTION
USK BUSAN - COFFEESHOP AROTES BY YOUNGSOOK HUR MARCH 2021 15
USK BUSAN - NURIMARU INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ABOVE: KIDS WAITING HALL BUSAN FOR A BYFRIEND, JAY LEE TSIMIALONJAFY, ANTANANARIVO 16 DRAWING ATTENTION
CONNECT WITH USK BUSAN
f SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE MARCH 2021 17
USk Lebanon: Getting through difficult times together BY CATHY GUTTERMAN
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SK LEBANON HAS BEEN AN OFFICIAL URBAN SKETCHERS REGIONAL CHAPTER FOR ABOUT FOUR YEARS. BECAUSE LEBANON IS SO SMALL – ONLY 217 KM (135 MI) FROM NORTH TO SOUTH – THE CHAPTER ENCOMPASSES THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, RATHER THAN BEING CENTRALIZED IN BEIRUT.
According to co-founder and admin Judy Abi Roustom, members come from different parts of Lebanon, and the two other co-founders/ admins, Joy Hecht and Amira Al Tabbaa, are not even Lebanese. Amira is a Syrian living in Lebanon, while Joy, who has worked in Lebanon, is a U.S. American living in Canada. Their group is open and welcoming to anyone who has a love for Lebanon and sketching. Before the pandemic, they held sketching events all over the country and organized getaways in the mountains, on the beach, in Beqaa, Chouf, and even Damascus. When the pandemic hit, they decided to organize weekly gatherings on Zoom, bringing in people from all over the world. Recently, they have been sketching according to a theme, such as food. A positive outcome from the pandemic is that they have been
able to sketch with people from all over the world, whether physically in Lebanon, part of the Lebanese diaspora, or people who have lived in or just have an interest in Lebanon. Anyone is welcome! In August 2020, when an enormous explosion destroyed portions of Beirut, USk Lebanon stopped meeting for a few weeks as residents began the process of cleaning up and restoring destroyed homes. From abroad, those in the diaspora sent funds home and encouraged their non-Lebanese friends to do the same. Judy organized four sketching workshops and donated all proceeds to groups helping with the clean-up in Beirut. Thierry Chehab, who was in Beirut at the time, responded by sketching the site of the explosion and the neighborhoods around it, documenting the personal stories of how people were handling the aftermath of the explosion. His reportage was featured in episode 3 of season 2 of USkTalks. MARCH 2021 19
A few weeks after the explosion, USk Lebanon resumed its Zoom meetings, as people realized that simply getting together to talk was important. Over the past few months, the group has been collaborating with different USk chapters, bringing people together in ways that could not have happened before the pandemic forced everyone online. In December 2020, they organized a mix and match joint event with Urban Sketchers Paris, and in January 2021, USk Lebanon and USk New York City ‘SKETCH FROM YOUR WINDOW’ CHALLENGE BY MAHA NASRALLAH
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hosted a joint event where Judy Abi Roustom presented an artist’s tour of Lebanon. USk Lebanon continues to meet every Saturday to chat and create art. Their Zoom meetings are held from 4:00pm to about 6:30pm Lebanese time (09:00-12:30 EST). The Zoom link is available on the chapter’s Instagram feed. Feel free to join in–everyone is welcome!
SKETCH BY AHMAD GHADDAR MARCH 2021 21
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ABOVE LEFT: GEMMAYZE STREET BY JUDY ABI ROUSTOM
LEFT TO RIGHT: TYRE BY MOHAMMAD ATTIEH | A STREET IN TRIPOLI BY MUSTAFA NACHAR
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FAR LEFT: WISH YOU A FAST RECOVERY 2020-12-27 BY THIERRY CHEHAB. LEFT: RENOVATION BY THIERRY CHEHAB CONNECT WITH USK LEBANON
f RENOVATION BY THIERRY CHEHAB
SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE MARCH 2021 25
DIBUJO DE IDA Y VUELTA: encuentro virtual internacional POR ROSARIO MUÑOZ
n octubre comenzaba el Inktober, un desafío que consiste en dibujar algo diferente cada día del mes. Y USk Medellín, Colombia encontró la manera de hacerlo más interesante, elaborando una lista pensada para los dibujantes en el encierro, bautizándolo como “Octurban”, ya que incorporaba el concepto de dibujo urbano. A USk Chile le pareció una idea excelente para mantener la motivación y el Octurban se hizo en conjunto. Ese fue el primer hito de trabajo entre grupos de distintos países: durante octubre ambas cuentas de Instagram (@ urbansketcherschile y @uskmedellin) mostraron el arte de los participantes desde estos dos lugares de Sudamérica a través de los elementos cotidianos sugeridos en la lista, como “ventana”, “juguete”, “mascota”, etc. Luego de los 31 días seguía el entusiasmo por hacer más cosas juntos, y naturalmente surgió la idea de un encuentro “de ida y vuelta”, donde cada grupo sería el anfitrión de una salida virtual. Era una buena forma de seguir estrechando lazos y fortaleciendo la comunidad de Urban Sketchers. El 28 de noviembre de 2020 fue el primero de los encuentros y USk Medellín fue el grupo anfitrión, mostrando lugares de esta ciudad colombiana, como el Edificio Coltejer y el Pueblito Paisa. Medellín sorprendió
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a Chile con warm ups, ejercicios cortos para “soltar la mano” (como decimos en Chile), un desafío para el grupo chileno y que, a pesar de la dificultad inicial, fue muy bienvenido. El 13 de diciembre era el turno de Chile, con su capital Santiago. El recorrido pasó por once lugares del sector centro de la ciudad, como el Cerro Santa Lucía, el Museo de Bellas Artes y la Estación Mapocho, por nombrar algunos. La experiencia fue provechosa desde todo punto de vista, especialmente por lo bien que lo pasaron los dibujantes. Como comenta Daniela Monterrosa de USk Chile, ser sudamericanos nos une, además de la cercanía geográfica, “porque, aunque tenemos matices por región, somos un gran bloque que dibuja y lo pasa bien. Creo que somos menos estructurados, nos gusta compartir relajadamente sin muchas reglas ni tapujos, solo por arte, sin más aspiraciones que mostrar nuestros resultados. El resto se lo dejamos al estrés mismo de la vida, pero fuera del grupo.” En estos encuentros, el dibujo ha sido una excusa para conocernos y aprender de los otros. No solamente dibujamos juntos, sino que intercambiamos saberes y prácticas, así como datos, anécdotas y curiosidades sobre nuestras ciudades, sus barrios y su historia. Es algo que nos hace bien y que no queremos dejar.
USk Chile & USk Medellín
BELLAVISTA SANTIAGO BY PAULA CORTES MARCH 2021 27
¿EN QUÉ HAY QUE PONER ATENCIÓN PARA ORGANIZAR SALIDAS VIRTUALES INTERNACIONALES? PARA CRISTIAN MUÑOZ, DE USK CHILE, ALGUNAS COSAS IMPORTANTES A TENER EN CUENTA SON: • COORDINAR FECHA Y HORARIO COMÚN POR LAS DIFERENCIAS HORARIAS DE CADA ZONA, • INFORMAR LA DINÁMICA DE TRABAJO DE CADA GRUPO, • FACILITAR PREVIAMENTE LO QUE SE VAN A DIBUJAR Y OFRECER UNA BREVE INTRODUCCIÓN, • PUBLICAR LA EXPERIENCIA EN EL BLOG O EN REDES SOCIALES. SI SE TOMAN EN CUENTA ESTAS RECOMEN-DACIONES, ADEMÁS DEL ENTUSIASMO Y LAS GANAS DE CONOCER NUEVOS DIBUJANTES Y LUGARES, NADA PODRÍA RESULTAR MAL.
CONECTAR CON USK CHILE
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CONECTAR CON USK MEDELLÍN
¡SUSCRÍBETE A DRAWING ATTENTION, ES GRATIS!
USk Chile & USk Medellín
CASTILLO LEHUEDE SANTIAGO BY ESTEFANÍA RAMIREZ MARCH 2021 29
International virtual meetings with USk Chile & USk Medellín BY ROSARIO MUÑOZ
nktober is a challenge to drawing something different every day of the month of October. USk Medellín, Colombia made a list specifically designed for sketchers, baptizing it Octurban, since it incorporated urban sketching. USk Chile thought it was an excellent idea and Octurban was done together: both Instagram accounts (@urbansketcherschile and @uskmedellin) showed the art of sketchers from the two places in South America drawing items from the daily list, such as window, toy, pet, etc. After 31 days of sharing, there was enthusiasm to do more together, and naturally the idea of a “roundtrip” meeting arose, where each group would host a virtual meeting. It was a good way to continue to bond and strengthen the Urban Sketchers community. November 28, 2020, was the first meeting, hosted by USk Medellín, who gave a tour of this Colombian city, including the Coltejer Building and the Pueblito Paisa. They also surprised the Chileans with “warm ups” - timed short exercises, which were a new challenge for the Chilean group, but despite the initial difficulty, were very welcome.
On December 13, 2020, it was USk Chile’s turn to host. They gave a tour of their capital city of Santiago, passing through eleven places including Cerro Santa Lucía, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Mapocho Station. The joint experience was successful from every point of view, especially because the sketchers had a good time. As Daniela Monterrosa from USk Chile comments, being South American unites us, not only because of our geographic proximity, but “because although we have nuances by region, we are a great bloc trying to show that we do the same as the rest of the world: draw and have fun. I think we are less structured, we like to share in a relaxed way, without many rules or restrictions, just for art, with no other aspirations than showing our results.” In these encounters, drawing has been an excuse to get to know each other and learn from others. Not only do we draw together, but we exchange knowledge and practices, as well as anecdotes and curiosities about our cities, neighborhoods and histories.
IGLESIA SAN FRANCISCO SANTIAGO BY CESAR GOLDSMITH 30 DRAWING ATTENTION
USk Chile & USk Medellín
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USK CHILE’S CRISTIAN MUÑOZ TIPS FOR ORGANIZING INTERNATIONAL VIRTUAL OUTINGS: •
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TIME DIFFERENCES WHEN COORDINATING A COMMON DATE AND TIME TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF EACH GROUP DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME WHAT WILL BE DRAWN AND PROVIDE A BRIEF INTRODUCTION PUBLISH THE EXPERIENCE ON THE CHAPTER BLOG OR ON SOCIAL NETWORKS.
IF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, WITH ENTHUSIASM AND THE DESIRE TO MEET NEW ARTISTS AND PLACES, NOTHING CAN GO WRONG!
CONNECT WITH USK CHILE
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CONNECT WITH USK MEDELLÍN
SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE
USk Chile & USk Medellín
JOSE MUÑOZ PARQUE DE LAS LUCES, MEDELLÍN
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“I use drawing as meditation. It’s a spiritual practice, really.”
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JOURNALING as a means of meditation DARSIE BECK REFLECTS ON A LIFE CAPTURED IN SKETCHBOOKS. BY MARK ALAN ANDERSON
n inveterate sketchbook journaler, Darsie Beck is quick to share that he’s been recording the world in a sort of reportage style for much longer than the Urban Sketchers movement has been around. “In the early 70’s I traveled all over Washington and Oregon for work, and one day I went into a bookstore and saw The Zen of Seeing/Drawing as Meditation. I read it and thought this looks like fun. I actually built a thing for my car, a platform on the seat next to me, and everywhere I went – I might stop at a light, and if it looked like I was going to be there for two minutes I did a sketch. I would be thrilled if a train came by, because then I’d really get a chance to sketch!” Darsie’s sketchbooks are an almost encyclopedic testament to a long-practiced ritual of sketching and writing as a means of meditative awareness. “I use drawing as meditation. It’s a spiritual practice, really.” Organized and labeled chronologically, his journals are an exhaustive and years-long compendium of where he’s been, what he’s seen, and what he’s thought. “I don’t know about any of my cohorts in urban sketching, but I treat my journals like a book…every one of these things
has a cover on it.” He holds up a sketchbook with a fully illustrated cover, number 86. “It’s my life in a journal.” His preferred media is watercolor and watercolor pencils in a 5x8 inch Pentalic journal. It was only by happenstance that Darsie connected with Urban Sketchers. “It was 2013. My wife and I were at a museum in Seattle. I was wandering around on the main floor and my wife was upstairs, and she called me on the cell phone and told me ‘you gotta come up here and see these sketches!’” It turned out that Urban Sketchers founder Gabi Campanario had a show on exhibit. Gabi’s drawings captured Darsie’s attention. “I thought, gosh, those look a lot like what I do!” It wasn’t long before he was attending sketch outings with the local USk group. At one of those outings, he was using an art bag he’d devised. “I’m standing there sketching and this guy comes up to me and says ‘hey, where’d you get that bag?’” The guy was Gabi, and he encouraged Darsie to market his invention. Hundreds of bags later, Darsie is still producing and selling his handcrafted Original Field Easel Art Bag to travelers and sketchers around the world. MARCH 2021 35
Darsie and his wife Christine, a potter, live on Vashon Island in Washington state, where they also operate Waterworks Studio. A native islander, Darsie’s favorite sketching subjects are the distant mountains and maritime scenes he’s been surrounded by his entire life. Darsie is an active member of USk Port Townsend as well as a blog correspondent and site organizer for USk Tacoma. 36 DRAWING ATTENTION
ENTRANCE TO SAN FRANCISCO BAY. SKETCHED FROM RV PARK IN PACIFICA, CALIFORNIA AT DUSK. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILD FIRE SMOKE APPARENT ON THE HORIZON. WATERCOLOUR PENCIL SKETCH.
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4 APRIL 2017 PARIS – PLACE DE LA CONCORDE 38 DRAWING ATTENTION
25 AUGUST 2015 – POINT ROBINSON SUNSET 7-8.30PM. PENCIL, PEN, WATERCOLOR, OUTGOING TIDE
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26 JUNE 2020 – FRIDAY MORNING, LISABULLA COUNTY PARK BEACH, VASHON ISLAND 40 DRAWING ATTENTION
12 JUNE 2017 – ADVENTURESS ON THE HARD, BOAT HAVEN, PORT TOWNSEND
PORT TOWNSEND SCHOOL OF THE ARTS WORKSHOP WITH USK PORT TOWNSEND GROUP, SEPT 2019, FORT WORDEN CONNECT WITH USK PORT TOWNSEND
CONNECT WITH DARSIE
CONNECT WITH USK TACOMA
b MARCH 2021 41
TOGETHER while apart
a conversation with Si Newell BY MONIQUE CHIAM
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his past year has brought us many challenges, and USk chapters around the world have found different ways to remain active amidst public health restrictions. From Southampton, UK, meet Si Newell, who has kindly shared his experience of managing his personal creative growth as well as the well-being of his chapter throughout this pandemic. Si is an architect by trade, and was first introduced to urban sketching in 2014 when Southampton was celebrating its 50th anniversary and the City Council was looking for community members “to pledge to do something uniquely special to mark this anniversary year and make the city a better place.” Si and six or seven other sketchers embarked on a one-year project to sketch their city. Seven years later, that group of sketchers is now a USk regional chapter with six administrators, membership in the hundreds, and outings that attract 15-25 sketchers each. Pre-pandemic, the group held monthly meetings and once a year took a day trip out to one of the surrounding cities. When lockdown hit, for the first few months, they met online, sharing sketches and practicing different techniques together. When the first lockdown was lifted, gatherings were limited to six people, so monthly outings involved finding outdoor locations and splitting sketchers into small groups. For many USk Southampton sketchers, the best part about their meetings pre-Covid was going out for coffee afterwards and sharing their work. That is something they fondly miss and are looking forward to in the future. For Si, who has been on furlough, the pandemic has created an opportunity to pursue other avenues in his career. Passionate MARCH 2021 43
about the joy of drawing by hand, he has sought out collaborations with architects and designers to create freehand building illustrations for real estate literature and websites. When it comes to urban sketching, Si is a pen and ink expert. His favorite pen is a 0.3 pigment liner, of which he has hundreds scattered around his home. However, being in lockdown has pushed him to experiment more, using watercolour in his sketches and trying out new locations such as the countryside where there are fewer buildings.
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Si owes it to the Urban Sketchers community for giving him the confidence to travel, something we all hope to be able to do soon. His idea of a perfect day is sitting in a square in Spain, with a coffee and a beer, headphones on, and drawing whatever is in front of him. With this imagery in mind, it is hard to not long for the day when we are free to travel and see fellow urban sketchers from around the world in person once again.
SOUTH WESTERN HOUSE MARCH 2021 45
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SI’S DRAWING TIPS:
BIRMINGHAM GAS STREET BASIN
WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE LOOKED ENOUGH AT YOUR SUBJECT, LOOK AGAIN. TOO OFTEN WE GO ON AUTOPILOT, ASSUMING WE KNOW WHAT SOMETHING LOOKS LIKE AND ALLOWING OUR MINDS TO FILL IN THE GAPS. CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO MORE CAREFUL OBSERVATION.
FOCUS ON COMPOSITION. DON’T SETTLE FOR THE FIRST LOCATION YOU COME ACROSS. USE A CUTOUT FRAME IF NEEDED.
WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE GOT A BAD DRAWING, PUSH THROUGH THE STAGE OF DISCOMFORT AND KEEP GOING. YOU MIGHT SURPRISE YOURSELF SOMETHING MAY EMERGE THAT YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING. YOU’LL DISCOVER THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO BRING THE DRAWING BACK TO A HIGHER DEGREE OF SATISFACTION, AND YOU MIGHT DISCOVER SOME DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES ALONG THE WAY.
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PICCADILY CIRCUS, LONDON SERIES 48 DRAWING ATTENTION
HIGH ST, SOUTHAMPTON MARCH 2021 49
OXFORD STREET TERRACE 50 DRAWING ATTENTION
USK SOUTHAMPTON SOCIALLY DISTANCED SEPT 2020 CONNECT WITH SI
CONNECT WITH USK SOUTHAMPTON
SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE MARCH 2021 51
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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 Koh-I-Noor Polycolor coloured pencils. Check them out!
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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.
© 2021 Urban Sketchers www.urbansketchers.org
Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...
Published on Mar 1, 2021
Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...