Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Weekly Theme

Are you looking for a source of drawing prompts? While we can't yet meet up for a sketch outing, we can still draw together. Gabi Campanario started Urban Sketchers on Flickr and there still is a global USk group there. Each Monday a weekly theme is posted. I've done this, on and off, since 2012. It is found in the discussions section of the group: 

Even if you aren't on Flickr, you can share your sketch of the weekly theme on our Facebook group.  There's also no reason why you can't explore past weekly themes and post your sketches. 

Here is my very first weekly theme sketch, which was boats.  I hadn't done any drawing in about 40 years at that point! (Throw back to Stephanie Bower's challenge from USk Talks!)

This week's theme is "your nearest public transport stop ". I did a dashboard sketch (thank you, @steve_reddy for the term) from the safety of my car.  The parking lot behind the bus stop is for a gas station, coffee stand, and a food truck.  It was just a little too busy for me to want to sit outside to draw.  

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Old Silo

Off SW 167 in Auburn, WA is an old barn and silo that I've wanted to sketch for a long time and never got around to it. It's at the exit for Emerald Downs racetrack. One of the most interesting buildings has already fallen down during the period that I've thought about stopping to sketch.

My car hasn't been driven much and the battery has suffered for it, so I took a long drive on the freeway to charge it up. I thought this could be a good day to get off at this spot to do a dashboard sketch of the silo from the car. There was no one around so I could have gotten out of the car to sketch but it was raining quite steadily.

I finally remembered to take a hero photo.

--by Kate Buike

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stephanie's Challenge

During her wonderful appearance on the Instagram live USk Talks show with Rob Sketcherman, Stephanie Bower issued a challenge: "Post any early sketch paired with any recent sketch (doesn’t have to be the same location), and talk about what you’ve learned along the way. Any Ah-ha moments? Be sure to pat yourself on the back for all your hard (but fun) work!! So rewarding, isn’t it? Why do you sketch?"
(FYI, USk Talks is Sundays at 9am PDT live on the USk Instagram account, linked above)

I drew constantly as a child, teen and young adult. I stopped after college when I got my first good camera, which then became my medium. Thus it was over 35 years since I'd last drawn regularly.

I discovered Urban Sketchers in early 2012 after retiring in August 2011. I went out sketching a couple times before I attended my first outing on 26 February 2012.  I'd had some colored pencils from a class I'd just taken.

Very first sketch upon returning to drawing, 23 Feb 2012
Sketched during my first sketch outing at the Stinson Mansion, 26 Feb 2012

This isn't very recent but I considered it one of the better perspective sketches I'd done (though I can see some issues with it now).  It was done during the open sketch outing which was on the last day of Stephanie's "Good Bones" workshop.  When I put it down, a couple of the students asked how I learned to do that.  My response:  Stephanie's workshop 2 years ago! 

I think in my early training and practice I didn't do many perspective scenes.  I've learned so much from other Urban Sketchers... in workshops, online and in everyday sketch outings.  

I learned to take on a complex building like this bit by bit. I never would have attempted this in 2012.  I started with a big shape and built it out from there, so to speak!  

For another comparison, here's a sketch of my local water tower, done for the USk Flickr group weekly theme. 8 March 2012  By then I had a set of Koi watercolors (which I later ditched as quite unsatisfactory).

That theme came around again in 2017

I've belonged to only 2 or 3 groups in my life where I've felt I'm among "my people". So much about Urban Sketchers is wonderful. It's welcoming, accepting, encouraging, nonjudgmental and willingness to share attitudes are its good characteristics.

Urban Sketching has made my life better. I've met wonderful people.  It's provided so much enjoyment in my retirement. 

-Kate Buike

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Smoking Monkey

The prompt a couple days ago in my "Art in the Time of Self Quarantine" group was Buy a Pie. I've not been sketching much as I've been making cloth masks.  

But today was warmer and sunnier so I felt the need for some windshield sketching.  I stayed in the safety and isolation of my car to sketch Smoking Monkey Pizza.  It's a small pizza place in  downtown Renton with a Sci Fi theme.  It was very easy to get an ideal parking spot. 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

All alone, together.

Urban Sketchers Milan promoted an event for yesterday.   I think it would be a good idea to continue to sketch our view from home and use the hashtag.

Both USk Seattle and USk Tacoma have cancelled all sketch outing through the end of April.  Due to my and husband's risk factors, I've decided I won't be attending any of the demos at Daniel Smith.  All of this makes me sad and I miss my friends.

The bright spot is that I can still make as much art as I want.  I can go out on my own, maintaining social distance or just sketch from inside my car.  I can stay somewhat connected with other artists via all of the USk social media platforms.

What I see out my windows is not all that interesting to me.  I live in a modern suburb of homes that look very much alike.  A couple Urban Sketchers have shared sketches of similar views and made them look interesting and artful.  That's the challenge I may take up soon.  For now, though, I sketched the view out my patio.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Cancelling outings

Based on Governor Inslee’s direction today, remaining sketch outings in March and April are cancelled. Please stay informed and take care of yourselves.

New guidance was also issued for King County, to include cancelling "non-essential" gatherings. So it seemed prudent to follow that order.

Even as we practice "social distancing" we can continue to sketch and share our art here, on Facebook and Instagram. 
I miss you all and look forward to seeing everyone healthy when this passes.
Kate Buike

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Cancellation of next Outing

Based on the information and thoughts below, I've decided to cancel Saturday's sketch outing at Tacoma Art Museum. I'll see what the situation is like before our next scheduled outing on Wed, March 18.  

In this article

Health officials recommended that people who are over 60, have underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems or who are pregnant should stay home and avoid large gatherings (defined as those of more than 10).
I'd not heard "large gatherings" defined before and pictured it much larger than just "over 10".  Since our sketch outings can easily be over 10, I've decided to cancel the next one Many, if not most, of our sketchers are "over 60". 

I've consulted with other USk leaders.  I've also seen what other groups and clubs of similar size are doing.  All of the ones with which I have contact have cancelled upcoming meetings.

I will make a decision about cancelling our next outing closer to the date and based on guidance by local health officials. 

Be well!  Keep sketching.

Kate Buike 

USk Tacoma Admin