Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Symposium Participant: Liz Steel

Hi Everyone,

I just have to do a quick post to say hi and let everyone know that I am coming to the Symposium all the way from Sydney!!! (If you don’t know me, I am the Sydney Correspondent and also known as Borromini Bear on flickr) I am very excited not only to be coming to the States (only been once before 10 years ago) but especially to have the chance to meet so many of my online sketching friends at the one time. Of course Borromini will be with me (hope it is ok for him to sneak into the Symposium!?)
100614 City Sketching 02Liz in Action

My visit to Portland is in the first fortnight of a huge 11 week sketching marathon around the world - (USA, UK and Italy plus lots of time in the air!)... So I currently have a lot of trip preparation to do and whenever I get a chance I am recording this process in sketches on my blog or flickr. Hopefully in the next two weeks I will get more of a chance to sketch as well as pack....or sketch as I pack. Crazy with sorting accommodation right at the moment!
Trip Prep 2010_03 Art Supplies 01
Ok... Now for my important question for the locals- where is the best tearoom in Portland. I am talking premium grade loose leaf tea, served in china cup and saucers!

Symposium Participant: Pete Scully

Hello, my name is Pete and I come from London. I live in California now, and am the Urban Sketchers correspondent for Davis. I've been in the US since late 2005, and work for a small department in a big university. I sketch whenever I have a moment, usually lunchtime. I mostly sketch in my watercolour moleskine and use mostly micron pigma pens and cotman watercolours. I am most interested in recording the world in which I live on a near-daily basis, to capture it while it's still there, because one day I might forget it.

manhattan bridge tottenham court road
I've never been to Portland but everyone says I will like it. I hear the local beers are good, and there are lots of places to buy zines. Point me in those two directions and I'll be fine.
E and 5th, Davis
I'm looking forward to the Symposium because I want to learn not only how, but why other people sketch. When you're out sketching a city it's a solitary experience where you often go where the wind or sunlight takes you, and it's a revelation to find that so many people do exactly the same thing, for mostly the same reasons. I am an urban rat, and I love cities, as characters with giant personalities and centuries of baggage; urban sketching allows me to examine my relationship with the city streets I love.
I have really enjoyed being part of Urban Sketchers, as well as taking part in the Worldwide Sketchcrawls, looking at and learning from everybody's work with all their various styles has been inspirational, and gives great impetus to keep going, try new things. I'm a little more confident now than I used to be, but you never stop learning. I believe drawing is all about lines and choices. I also believe it's incredibly personal.
sketchcrawl 23 pages 1 and 2
My sketchblog:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deb Rossi- symposium participant

Hello everyone. I have so enjoyed reading every one's intro. We are quite a community! That is what I like about the Urban Sketchers group.......the Portland group and now the symposium group too.

I heard about Portland Sketchcrawl/Urban Sketchers from another landscape designer. (Like the sketchers group our landscape design group is supportive and sharing.) I started meeting with the sketchers last fall and have pretty much made it to all of the drawing sessions so far. Like several of you, I had not actively done any sketching (except a little when traveling) in a long while. To be honest, it is baffling that I 'just didn't do it' to paraphrase a familiar saying. But now I have the community of fellow sketchers to go out and conquer!
Sketching as an activity is and always has been so appealing. The idea of plopping myself down to draw what I see reminds me when I was a teenager. Back then my parents would drop me off in some neighborhood of Philadelphia leaving me there for several hours to sketch. It was wonderful and I still have some of those sketch books to relive that time through the images. In the act of drawing you are aware of the various extraneous atmospheres around you and can recall it later through your drawings. In school I was a 'painting' major..... wishing there was such thing as a 'drawing' major. But, I got back to it in the end by doing my 'painting' thesis in cray-pas on large paperboard!

My 'go to' tool is pencil but as you can see from the drawings I am having fun exploring other drawing tools....another advantage of sharing with other their example you open yourself to other tools and techniques.
I am looking forward to the challenge and fun of the symposium, sketching our way around this wonderful city of Portland. See ya!

Simo Capecchi's sketching gear

Lately I like the Bic Cristal, the old biro we used at school, gray and soft enough to substitute my pencil. With Payne's gray it makes a perfect combination for me (similar bic + one color drawings, here and here).

I do make the effort of using colors sometimes, but you can tell which are my favourite... (this drawing here). I'm scared of brilliant colors and of thick black lines.

Here is the entire content of my sketching bag, an old military waterproof one that I have been using for years.
Together with Pentel waterbrush and a flat brush, I use a waterproof Uniball Signo 0.38, a sharpener, B6 pencils (mostly for drawing persons) and a pills container for water. Watercolors tablets are Windsor & Newton, AA serie.

I'll leave in 10 days for San Francisco and maybe my grays will be good enough for the city fog. Thanks to all the participants who are sharing their drawings here,
see you all in Portland!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Urban Sketchers Moleskine Notebook

What sketcher hasn't heard of Moleskine? We're delighted to say that the notebook brand popular among artists, designers and creative types will provide a custom Urban Sketchers Moleskine to each Symposium participant.

The large-size Japanese notebook includes an Urban Sketchers logo embossed on the cover, a custom paperband and a full-color brochure with Symposium and Urban Sketchers information. Symposium presenter Simo Capecchi of Naples and Italian graphic designer Franco Lancio volunteered their time to create the notebook's design. It looks fabulous!

Lancio is also the creator of our logo, which shows a sketchbook with random windows -- a symbol of the mess of a city and the sketchers' different points of view.

We are thrilled with Moleskine's support of our first educational initiative and look forward to filling the special notebooks with sketches during the Symposium.

More information:
Moleskine press release

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Symposium Participant - Geoff Parker

Hello all - My name is Geoff Parker. I am an architect living in Oklahoma City, OK. I discovered Urban Sketchers about a year ago, needless to say, I was HOOKED. Finally, I found a group of people who love sketching as much as I do. As an architect I have always done a lot of sketching, but the experience of posting and browsing the USK Flickr page has encouraged me to step it up a notch. I have sketched more in the past year than any other time in my life. It has been wonderful. Not to mention the connections I have made with people from all over the planet. Where else could a guy from Oklahoma be able to have his sketches viewed and commented on by people in Spain, Germany and China? Not to mention my exposure to SOOOOO many incredibly talented and great people. So when I heard about the symposium this summer in Portland I had to find a way to go. I can't wait to go and meet so many of these great folks in person. Not to mention the exposure to world class teachers, field sketching sessions and lectures. It's a sketching nerds dream come true. Plus, it's been nearly 100 degrees every day here in OKC, and by the end of this month we will be hitting triple digits every day....some mild Pacific NW weather sounds REAL GOOD to me right now.

Here are a few of my sketches done over the last year.

Stage Center Theater - Oklahoma City, OK

Downtown Oklahoma City, OK

I have developed this strange obsession with Industrial, manufacturing and agricultural type facilities. Here are a few of my favorites....

Industrial Facility - Galveston, Texas

Martindale Feed Plant - Valley View, Texas

Hotel Skirvin - Downtown Oklahoma City, OK

Can't wait I have never been to Portland!!

Geoff (Sketchy-G)
For more of my sketching madness check out my blog or my Flickr Page.

Marcia Milner-Brage: Symposium Participant

Spelled like Marsha, but pronounced Mar-seee-ah. I live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I've drawn my whole life, through good times and bad. In my distant past, I taught art to children, college students, and seniors; I exhibited my work in solo and group shows and received an occasional commission. But for 22 of the past 25 years, my day job was managing my husband's medical practice; my everyday job was raising 2 children. We retired 3 years ago and my children are successfully launched, allowing me to draw even more than ever. Whoopeee!!!!

In April 2010, I discovered Urban Sketchers. The timing was perfect: I needed an artist community, a place to share my work and gain inspiration from other artists. Urban Sketchers has been a real gift to me. Dare I say it's changed my life? It's re-energized my drawing practice. I am SO excited about the Symposium in Portland, meeting and learning from the presenters and other participants. The only thing better than making art is making art in the company of friends. A personal goal: I'm hoping to learn how to get essential information down faster in my drawings, to be "sketchier".

I tend to jump around from medium to medium---ink, pastel, watercolor, gouache, charcoal, pencil. It's going to be a challenge for me to figure out what tools to bring to Portland. Here's some recently done drawings posted to Urban Sketchers:

Cornfield from Lone Tree Road, Cedar Falls, Iowa

My Washing Machine

Indian Lake County Park Meadow, Dane County, Wisconsin

Bike Path Under Main Street Bridge, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Canada Geese, George Wyth State Park, Cedar Falls, Iowa

If you'd like to get a gander of more of what I've done:

I also write short personal essays. My essay, "First Drawing", will be published in Manifest Gallery's International Drawing Annual (INDA5), forthcoming this fall. If you can't wait until then, you can read it now on my writing blog: (While you're there, "Shipwrecked", an earlier posted essay, was published in an anthology about childbirth loss. My drawing, "Stillbirth on Black Paper", is the cover art. )


Symposium Participant: Peggy

Hello! My name is Peggy Gloth. I was born and have mostly always lived in Seattle. My two children have grown and I’m a retired teacher. I love to sketch and finally have time to indulge. I am enjoying the introductions here and seeing the variety of work. I am happy to have discovered so many like-minded people in Urban Sketchers.

My husband and I love to travel and I began
sketching a few years ago as part of my travel journals.

I love to draw and I love watercolor. Sketching is the perfect combination for me. Whether I struggle with detail or draw a quick impression, I feel a sense of freedom.

Sketching helps me record what I see and my feelings at the moment. It greatly improves my connection to a place. When I am sketching,
I stop being an observer and instead become
part of a setting. What a great way to experience life!

I have nice brushes and plenty of paper at home. But when I am out, I prefer to keep it very simple. I use a “Multi-Drawing Book” available downstairs at the University of Washington Bookstore because it has a compact size but takes watercolor and ink very well. Lately, I have been using a fine line uni Pin (Mitsubishi) but I also like Micron. I use a water brush and my palette is a small, inexpensive, messy one from Daniel Smith which I fill from tubes. A pencil, eraser and a plastic bag to sit upon and I am all set.

Here are a few more of my recent pictures. You can see more on my travel blog: which includes my pictures from flickr.
Looking forward to seeing all of you soon! Peggy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ready, set, sketch, 34 days to the Symposium!

Hi sketchers,

It's great to see participants introductions coming in. We are looking forward to a great sketching experience in Portland and it's just a few weeks away, 34 days to be exact!

As you start packing for Portland or even if you're local, you may have all sorts of questions, so feel free to use this post for them by leaving a comment. Local participants may have just the right answer for some of them: tips about other Portland and Oregon attractions worth visiting, what things to bring, art exhibits at the local galleries and museums ... you name it.

Also, if you registered for the Symposium and have not submitted the sign-up form for the sketching sessions, please do so as soon as you can so we can update the schedule and plan accordingly. If you need a new email form, contact me and I'll see that you get a new one as soon as possible. Same with the invitation to the blog, let me know if you haven't received it.

Looking forward to more introductions and to meet you all in person in Portland!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Symposium Participant: Lori

Drawing and painting should be fun!

I draw simply because...I enjoy spending time drawing.

I used to love drawing and painting as a kid, even taking a few formal classes, but then I drifted away from it as I got busy with school and sports. During architecture school, I was exposed to drawing and watercolor classes and they renewed my childhood interest. A study abroad program in Europe my junior year had sketching and painting requirements that included group sketching. What fun!

Today I am self-employed as a structural engineer and live on Camano Island in Washington State with my husband. A friend of mine (in Portland) and I have been exchanging weekly sketches with each other since earlier this spring. It has been a great way to stay motivated and find time to draw. We encouraged each other to sign up for the Symposium.

I sketch from any source available: direct observation, imagination, photos, television, books, web sites, you name it. I sketch on whatever is at hand (sheets of loose paper, sketchbooks, scrap papers, etc) using graphite pencils, pens, watercolor pencils, and watercolors. The important thing for me is to just keep sketching.

Recently I have joined the Seattle Urban Sketchers. The group is full of talented people who are very positive and encouraging. Through this group, I have met a couple of the Symposium instructors (Frank Ching and Gabi Campanario) and I cannot recommend them enough.

I am looking forward to the Symposium in Portland and meeting other people who enjoy spending time sketching.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Symposium Participant: Will Scales

Hi folks. My name is Will, and I live in Seattle. I’m very much looking forward to the symposium in Portland. It will be great to meet and have a chance to learn from so many talented and dedicated people. And what could be better than living through the pen, brush and sketchbook for three days!

In my work life I’m an architect, so I spend a lot of time creating drawings that attempt to describe manipulations of the built environment. So I enjoy sketching as a way to simply observe and absorb our built, natural and cultural surroundings. I posted a few recent sketches here; there’s more at my Flickr site.

Looking forward to meeting you all in July!

Little Italy, Cleveland

Lake Union, Seattle

Musician at Fremont Abbey, Seattle

Karen Wall

Hi, I may be the most northerly participant here, coming from western Canada. Here are a few of my sketches, mostly ink line drawings with coloured pencil or crayon--I do work more in colour but my new scanner does not want to share further. i mostly sketch while travelling and combine with notes and collages in journals, as the ones here show.

After attending art college in a galaxy and time far far away and working as an illustrator for several years I took a sidestep into academia and stopped sketching except for brief flurries while travelling. Having now tired of a working life of books with no pictures, I’m trying to get back to everyday sketching, a couple of which are also on this page. Partly this is a kind of exercise in mindfulness and probably partly an excuse to sit around longer and have another glass of wine. I’m hoping an intense whack of drawing among others with the habit will reinforce my practicing and improve whatever skills I may have. I’m really looking forward to getting to know Portland through sketching as well as meeting everyone.