The official zine of Urban Sketchers JANUARY 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 Writers: Leslie Akchurin; Mark Anderson; Meagan Burns; Pedro Loureiro; Sarah Minty. Proofreaders: Leslie Akchurin; Ann Schwartzwald. Contributors: Parka; Amber Sausen; Tina Koyama cover image: George Huang Subscribe to Drawing Attention. Read the December edition of Drawing Attention. Circulation: 11,001 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.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Dear Urban Sketchers, Before we jump into the new year of 2019, let’s celebrate for a moment all the things we accomplished in 2018. When I think about the past year for Urban Sketchers, it is the incredible talent and generosity of our community that stand out. In January, we relaunched Drawing Attention in a gorgeous new zine format. In May, you, the Urban Sketchers community, donated over $20,000 as part of the 10k+10k Matching Funds Campaign. In July, the 9th Urban Sketchers International Symposium was held in Porto, Portugal, with over 800 participants and a worldwide online following.
In November we launched the Community Workshop Grant Program to bring Urban Sketchers to those who have not had the opportunity to practice urban sketching. Thousands of urban sketches have been shared with the Urban Sketchers community via Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We passed the 100,000 mark for followers on our Facebook page. We now reach 175,000 followers on Instagram. And we had over one million pageviews on Urbansketchers.org. What a year, Urban Sketchers! Let’s make 2019 just as exciting as we continue to show the world, one drawing at a time. Happy Sketching, Amber Sausen, USk President
MANAGING EDITOR’S MESSAGE Happy New Year, Urban Sketchers! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season! To kick off 2019, we hear from USk chapters in Singapore, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City, and catch up with urban sketching superstars Lynda Gray, Reham Ali and Matt Brehm. Thanks to you, our wonderful readers, in 2018 our circulation grew from 7,496 in January 2018 to 11,001 this month! I also want to thank our fantastic team of writers, proofreaders, Issuu and MailChimp designers, and social media and tech gurus for the hard work they do year-round to keep Drawing Attention fresh and inspiring each month for our 16,000+ readers. I hope you enjoy our latest issue! Patricia Chow, Drawing Attention Managing Editor email@example.com
CONTENTS 4 USK SYMPOSIUM NEWS 6
14 USK ALBUQUERQUE
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20 USK OKLAHOMA CITY
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JANUARY 2019 3
USk Symposium News
PLACE YOUR AD HERE MEET THE AMSTERDAM SYMPOSIUM CORRESPONDENTS At the end of a highly competitive selection process, three outstanding candidates were chosen to cover the Amsterdam symposium as correspondents: Mark Anderson (Liberty, Missouri, USA), Mariia Ermilova (Tokyo) and Gwen Glotin (Amsterdam). The USk Editorial Team and Executive Board are pleased to have selected a strong, committed team for the important volunteer role of reporting on the 10th annual USk Symposium.
artists & art lovers For more information about ad placement, sizes and costs for corporate sponsors, email Raylie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Symposium Correspondents program, which provides travel and lodging to international correspondents and an honorarium to the local correspondent, was launched in 2011 in Lisbon. The program’s goal is to bring attention to the storytelling possibilities of urban sketching, especially in covering an event. “We appreciate the time and enthusiasm that all of the candidates put into their applications,” said editor Tina Koyama. Read more about the correspondents and see their sketches here. Click here for the program and instructors line-up and plan your sketching adventures in Amsterdam! Click here for registration details and Symposium news.
USk News & Events
10X10 WORKSHOPS USk 10x10 Workshops are an excellent opportunity to learn new sketching skills from a top USk instructor and to meet a new community of sketchers in a location near you. To see the list of 10x10 classes around the world click HERE. CORRECTION The sketch on page 11 of the December issue is by Lars van Roosendaal. SUBSCRIBE TO DRAWING ATTENTION – IT’S FREE
FOLLOW USK ON TWITTER JANUARY 2019 5
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SKETCHERS IN ACTION AT SP JAIN CAMPUS BY GEORGE HUANG
USK SINGAPORE: ONE CONSTANT IS CHANGE BY MARK ALAN ANDERSON
o what’s the best place to sketch in Singapore?” Urban Sketcher Pat Ng pauses. My question seems to have him stumped. For the past half hour, Pat has very enthusiastically chatted with me about the various ways Urban Sketchers Singapore tell the story of their city. It’s a densely populated modern metropolis, occupying an island near the equator near the southern tip of the Asian continent. It’s hot, and there’s lots of rain. Pat has described one of the challenges of sketching in this city: Singapore is crowded, and in places like Chinatown, that may also translate into “touristy.” Finding a place to sit down can be a trial. But Pat concedes that such hustle and bustle can also be a real gold mine for sketchers focusing on people. Urban Sketchers Singapore meets officially on the last Saturday of each month, often
drawing 70 to 100 sketchers. In addition, they meet frequently for “unofficial” sketch walks on the weekends. Like the city itself, their chapter is comprised of all walks of life with many members from overseas: white collar professionals, weekend warriors, teachers, architects, stay-at-home moms. Unlike many large cities, Singapore can be traversed quickly – trains, taxis, and buses allow sketchers easy access for those in search of what’s there. And “what’s there” is a lot: iconic waterfront, international fashion, skyscrapers, lush and abundant green spaces characterized by tree top walks. So back to the question that has given Pat pause: The best place to sketch in Singapore? He confesses it’s tough to settle on just one choice. Singapore is constantly evolving, and Pat begins to describe a street bazaar to me, a neighborhood where elderly JANUARY 2019 7
residents are selling everything imaginable: antiques, watches, pots and pans… it’s like a garage sale in the street. To me it sounds like a wonderful place to draw – and then he tells me that place is no longer there. Like so many other places in his city, it’s here today, gone tomorrow. And that’s when I realize
one of the best places to sketch in Singapore might just be everywhere. The constant change is a subject unto itself. Check out the 20 minute Mediacorp video on USk Singapore here and Johor Kaki’s blog here.
CONNECT WITH USK SINGAPORE
ABOVE: SULTAN MOSQUE BY DORATHY LYE 8 DRAWING ATTENTION
RIGHT: JUBILEE BRIDGE BY KWAN BOON CHOON
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SRI THENDAYUTHAPANI TEMPLE BY MICHAEL PERSCH
LEFT: A BUSY BUS STOP AT CLEMENTI CENTRAL BY POCHOLO ESTREMOS
BELOW: BACK ALLEY AT SIMS AVE BY PATRICK NG
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CENTRAL FIRE STATION BY BENEDICT TAY
KEONG SAIK ROAD BY LEE SANGMI
GEYLANG EAST INDUSTRIAL PARK BY TIA BOON SIM
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THE DESERT AND THE MOUNTAINS A MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL, IN THE TAIL END OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, TWO CITIES ARE UNITED BY THEIR LOVE OF SKETCHING: 60 MILES APART, ALBUQUERQUE AND SANTA FE HAVE SHARED AN OFFICIAL URBAN SKETCHERS CHAPTER SINCE MAY 2016, BUT THEIR COMMON SKETCHING HISTORY GOES BACK A FEW MORE YEARS. BY PEDRO LOUREIRO
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he first group of sketchers in New Mexico, USA, got together in 2012, unknowingly abiding by the USk manifesto. They had been sharing their art through Meetup.com, but because of membership charges, Barbara Wolff began looking at other platforms, like Wordpress. That’s when she came across the USk global community. “Gradually it all started getting more formal and, by word of mouth, people were slowly joining,” recounts Jay Leutwyler (left), one of the current admins of USk Albuquerque/Santa Fe. An art major in college, he became an accountant and bookkeeper, but is still a sketcher and watercolorist at heart. Based in Albuquerque, Jay shares his admin duties with fellow sketchers Zeke Browning and Barbara Wolff. Being two of the oldest cities in New Mexico, they have a lot to offer to eager sketchers. The downtown old plazas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe the latter founded in 1610 - are favorite sketch locations. “Albuquerque is infused with both Spanish and Native American Pueblo cultures. There’s also a big movie industry. A lot of Western movies are filmed in New Mexico.” In one of their most exotic outings, the chapter visited the old mining town of Los Cerrillos, which Jay exclaims, “looks almost like a Western movie set, with all the wooden buildings and saloons!” “Between Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and nearby Taos, there’s a large art community,” which results in 15 to 30 participants at every sketch outing. “We have this incredible light, this wonderful bright blue sky almost every day of the year.” Despite that, the weather in New Mexico still demands careful planning for sketch outings. Albuquerque is so high in altitude that harsh weather can become an obstacle. Jay makes sure to “plan ahead for the weather and pick flexible indoors/outdoors locations.” USk Albuquerque/Santa Fe meets every three weeks, and Jay plans out the schedule for the whole year in advance, picking the locations and choosing the best time of year for each location.
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KARIN PITMAN, EL RANCHO DE LAS GOLONDRINAS JANUARY 2019 17
The chapter is now planning their first public exhibition. “A local gallery contacted us about exhibiting our sketches in a simple, straightforward manner - just having them put up on the wall with no frame.” Jay believes it’s the perfect way to show urban sketches to the public, as laid-back works of art, accessible to all, and born out of the simple joy of sketching.
CONNECT WITH USK ALBUQUERQUE
READ USK ALBUQUERQUE’S BLOG
NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY BY MELINDA BEAVERS 18 DRAWING ATTENTION
NEW MEXICO STEAM LOCOMOTIVE MUSEUM BY JAY LEUTWYLER
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 very coolwriter such as Brenda Murray to cover your story! Contact us at: email@example.com. NOVEMBER 2018 19
USK OKLAHOMA CITY CHAPTER:
SWEPT UP IN SKETCHING
“THE WIND CAN SOMETIMES BE FIERCE, BUT THESE ARE THE MOST WELCOMING PEOPLE YOU CAN FIND,” WILLIAM LENTZ TELLS LESLIE AKCHURIN.
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USk Oklahoma City
n the preface of his landmark book, The Art of Urban Sketching, Gabi Campanario writes, “I discovered a new way to deal with the stress of landing in unknown territory. I picked up a notebook and started drawing what I saw.” These were inspirational words for William Lentz when he moved to Oklahoma City seven years ago and began to explore his new home. He quickly found others who also “got it,” who enjoyed “infusing their DNA into the moment, which is very cool.” He says, “Sketching the city, you really get a sense of the people, the vibe of the place.” In 2017 they founded the USk Oklahoma City chapter, which has not only grown locally, to about 120 members currently, but has spread the urban sketching spirit to more distant artists. For instance, the group conducted several sketch meetups in Guthrie— which as Oklahoma’s original state capital has many attractive Victorian and other historical buildings— and the sketchers from Tulsa who joined them there are now considering starting a chapter of their own. Additionally, William has engaged in productive outreach like participating in a seminar, giving a workshop, and speaking to a high school class. Some of the chapter’s favorite local places to sketch are Will Rogers Gardens and the Rusty Gables, which is essentially a guest lodge and Western art gallery with a dude ranch attached. While the group is able to sketch outside much of the year, sometimes the cold or wind sends them to indoor venues like museums or shopping malls. William emphasizes that both the group’s friendliness and the engagement of more
experienced artists help new members stretch their limits: “I’ll say let’s just draw the scenery and maybe a statue of a cowboy, and then later I’ll suggest ‘Let’s sketch shoppers at the mall.’ They say, ‘Oh no, that’s too chaotic,’ but I encourage them to do what they can, and they begin to feel more relaxed.”
SKETCH BY WILLIAM LENTZ
WILLIAM’S TIP FOR OTHER SKETCHERS: LIKE MANY SKETCHERS IN HIS CHAPTER, WILLIAM FINDS IT CHALLENGING TO FIT SKETCHING IN AROUND HIS WORK SCHEDULE. BUT HE MADE A RESOLUTION TO USE ANY SPARE MOMENT, EVEN ONE AS ORDINARY AS SITTING IN A WAITING ROOM. “I DON’T HAVE THE TIME, BUT I’M GOING TO DO IT ANYWAY, BECAUSE IT’S A UNIQUE MOMENT. I CAN CATCH THE ESSENCE.” JANUARY 2019 21
SKETCH BY SKIP WEIR
SKETCH BY DIANA ROBINSON
SKETCH BY WILLIAM LENTZ 22 DRAWING ATTENTION
USk Oklahoma City
SKETCH BY SUSAN FORD
CONNECT WITH USK OKLAHOMA CITY
SKETCH BY WILLIAM LENTZ JANUARY 2019 23
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SKETCHING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT BY MEAGAN BURNS
ynda Gray has been practicing and teaching her art skills in the north of England since graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in Fine Arts. Now retired from the university system, Lynda is busier than ever as a freelance instructor, as well as an avid urban sketching enthusiast and workshop instructor. Lynda has been sketching her travels for as long as she can remember, but it never occurred to her to sketch in her hometown of Kendal, Cumbria, about two hours north of Manchester. All that changed when the USk Symposium arrived in Manchester three years
ago, and Lynda discovered the idea of sketching in her hometown along with other sketchers. A new hobby was born! “At first I thought my hometown was too rural for sketching; it’s quite remote and there’s nothing urban about the area, but once we began to form a community and a regular meeting time with other artists from the area, it became an interesting challenge to sketch the villages in the Lake District.” One of the biggest challenges for sketching in the north of England is the weather, which is normally quite cold and rainy. The local
group continues to meet throughout the winter and during inclement weather, although it is not unusual for sketchers to stay in their cars and sketch with the heat on. Lynda has taken to urban sketching and is quite proud to have created new habits and walked through some of her old fears. “I’ve always been quite shy and have often just stayed to myself, but sketching with a community of people has allowed me to assert myself and continue to develop my own unique style. I’m very grateful for this global community!”
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Lynda taught her first USk Symposium workshop in Porto last year, called ‘Searching for Focus and Flow: Seeing, Drawing and Painting.’ In her workshop, Lynda asks the artist to really look and see before starting to draw, giving serious consideration to the composition. Looking at Lynda’s sketches, it is obvious her line quality is strong, the watercolor is loose, and that the color serves to echo the movement in the drawing. “I absolutely adored teaching in the colorful streets of Porto and had such a lovely time meeting artists from all over the world! I learn from each artist I meet, and look forward to more teaching and learning opportunities in the future.”
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LYNDA GRAY ON INSTAGRAM
Sketching in the Lake District
KETCHING WITH A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE HAS ALLOWED ME TO ASSERT MYSELF AND CONTINUE TO DEVELOP MY OWN UNIQUE STYLE’ – LYNDA GRAY JANUARY 2019 27
SAPAHI VILLA 28 DRAWING ATTENTION
The Story You Tell
The Story You Tell SARAH MINTY MEETS INSPIRATIONAL INSTRUCTOR REHAM ALI.
ll of my sketchbooks are scenes of my life,” says Reham Ali, who began urban sketching five years ago. Originally from Egypt, Reham now lives in Saudi Arabia teaching interior design at university. When discussing her approach to sketching, it’s all about the personal. “The connecting point between my sketches is me, my life…I don’t write about the architecture or the history of that place, I write my memories.” Storytelling was central to her workshop in Porto, as she taught students how to “capture people’s lives” when sketching the buildings.
It was through social media that Reham discovered urban sketching. “What is this form of art?” she asked when she came across the USk Facebook page. “I knew the traditional way of painting outdoors, which can take hours, maybe days to finish…urban sketching was new to me.” New to Saudi Arabia, too, so it took Reham a while to get going. “I didn’t know the places, and the heat, and everything,” but some advice from Liz Steel encouraging her to sketch in a coffee shop helped. “It was the beginning for me.” “Living in another country without your usual friends and family,
makes you look at art as an escape,” Reham tells me. “You don’t have the usual social life you used to have…so now I practice art more and more,” and social media is key to that practice. “Social media helped me so much when I first started, and still does. When I was a student, we didn’t have this, so the only feedback we received was from our friends and families. Now the whole world sees our work, and we have feedback whether it’s positive or negative.” Reham is preparing for her first exhibition in Alexandria next summer, in conjunction with the Greek Culture Association. JANUARY 2019 29
The focus is on the city’s Greek heritage and she will sketch “GrecoEgyptian” places, and also interview people, to create a “storytelling exhibition” using “visual art.” REHAM’S TIPS: IN FIVE YEARS, I HAVE FILLED 21 SKETCHBOOKS. MY ADVICE IS FIRST, LOVE YOUR MISTAKES, YOUR MISTAKES ARE YOUR BABIES, DON’T FEEL ASHAMED OF THEM! SECOND, TRY TO HAVE BEAUTIFUL EYES – LOOK AROUND YOU, TRY TO GET INSPIRATION FROM PEOPLE’S LIVES. SOME ARTISTS JUST FOCUS ON TECHNIQUES… THEIR WORK IS VERY REALISTIC, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE LIFE. ART IS ABOUT THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING THROUGH THE SKETCH OR YOUR WORK. AND FINALLY, YOUR WORK IS MORE PERFECT THAN THE PAPER. FANCY SKETCHBOOKS CAN HOLD YOU BACK, SO BUY CHEAP SKETCHBOOKS AND YOU’LL WORK MORE AND MORE AND MORE! FUAD STREET, ALEXANDRIA 30 DRAWING ATTENTION
The Story You Tell
BAHARI DISTRICT, ALEXANDRIA JANUARY 2019 31
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The Story You Tell
RY TO HAVE BEAUTIFUL EYES – LOOK AROUND YOU, TRY TO GET INSPIRATION FROM PEOPLE’S LIVES’ – REHAM ALI
JANUARY 2019 33
REHAM_M_A ON INSTAGRAM
AN OLD HAMMAM IN CAIRO 34 DRAWING ATTENTION
EMBRACING THE LIMITATIONS ARCHITECTURE PROFESSOR AND URBAN SKETCHER MATTHEW BREHM IS AN EVANGELIST OF THE ANALOG, DISCOVERS MARK ALAN ANDERSON.
CEDRO JANUARY 2019 35
tudents of Matthew Brehm quickly learn that drawing on location means there’s no “Command Z” to fall back on. A self-described “evangelist of analog,” Brehm speaks with passion about how we use our hands, eyes, and minds to explore and develop ideas. He believes drawing can be a primary means of “loading our minds” about art and architecture, and in doing so using the act of drawing by hand as a way to more thoroughly absorb the world. “The more we learn about the world, the more able we are as designers to be informed in decision-making,” says Brehm.
SENHOR D’ALEM 36 DRAWING ATTENTION
While he is no technophobe, Brehm realized computers were taking over the design studio. “When drafting tables got hauled off in favor of low computer desks I started to ask the question, if everything is going to be on the computer, are we losing something in the process?” He’s been asking probing questions about digital and analog approaches ever since. “The lines are blurred and to me that’s exciting. I’m very interested in what tactile drawing
experiences offer that other drawing approaches can’t.” When sketching on location, Brehm’s students are informed that no erasing is allowed. He describes sketching as a “constantly forward moving process” where the act of committing something to paper is also an act of decision making. “The ‘Undo’ command allows people to exist in a sort of limbo, rather than owning their decision. Sketching from life is about critical thinking, making judgments based upon a previous judgment. If you eliminate that previous judgment, you’ve nothing to compare it to.” He prefers to leave tentative marks on the page as an informed record of the process. And thus, no erasing. The drawing tools he emphasizes – pens, pencils, brushes – are a further distillation of this thinking. In a world where one’s focus may be interrupted by constant distraction, Brehm finds value in literally being limited, physically, in terms of the tools sketchers choose to use. He notes that the choices technology
Embracing the Limitations
OLIO JANUARY 2019 37
offer are often overwhelming, exacerbating an already limited attention span – a distraction he considers to be the enemy of mastery. “If you want to master something,” he says, “it takes a long span of attention. If at the very moment you start to get frustrated with something, you bounce to something else, that’s the moment you stop learning.” Matthew Brehm is Professor of Architecture at the University of Idaho. He leads an annual workshop in Rome, a city for which he has an abiding love and where he opens students minds to architecture, art, urbanism – and above all else, to learning how to draw.
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Embracing the Limitations
F YOU WANT TO MASTER SOMETHING, IT TAKES A LONG SPAN OF ATTENTION’ – MATTHEW BREHM
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SPOLETO 40 DRAWING ATTENTION
Urban Sketchers is currently seeking volunteers to fill the following position: â€¢ Volunteer Fundraising Director For more information click HERE.
FOLLOW USK ON FACEBOOK
SUBSCRIBE TO THE USK YOUTUBE CHANNEL JANUARY 2019 41
USk is pleased to announce eight new Regional Chapters, reflecting a truly global community! The newest groups to join the family are: USk Goa, India USk Reading, UK USk Columbia, South Carolina, USA USk Canterbury, UK USk Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA USk Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico USk Shenzhen, China USk Phoenix, Arizona, USA Welcome to the Urban Sketchers family! 42 DRAWING ATTENTION
USK GOA USK SHENZHEN
PARKA REVIEWS BY TEOH YI CHIE
Teoh Yi Chie is an infographics journalist who joined Urban Sketchers Singapore in 2009. He is better known as Parka from Parkablogs.com a website that reviews art books and art products. This month Parka video reviews the iPad Pro 2018 with Apple Pencil 2. Check it out!
BRING A WORKSHOP TO YOUR CHAPTER
Urban Sketchers organizes workshops taught by our top instructors in collaboration with USk chapters around the world. If you would like to bring an official USk workshop to your chapter, start the conversation with our Education Director, Mรกrio Linhares at education@urbansketchers. org.
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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.
© 2019 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 Dec 23, 2018
Drawing Attention, the official monthly zine of the Urban Sketchers organization, communicates and promotes official USk workshops, symposiu...