Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Galway Urban Sketcher, Blogger and Teacher Roisin Cure suggests in the Rules of the Road for travel journal sketching, the number one rule is, never leave home without your gear.

I know this rule is true for me and no doubt for you too, because without our sketch gear no matter where we go the best we can do as we travel along is look at the scenery as it goes by. With our sketch gear in hand, we can go from looking to seeing, to making record of the thing that excites our sketch neurons.

With our sketch gear at our side, the opportunity to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary is eminently possible.

There is always something to sketch, even if it isn't necessarily something one would go out of their way to sketch. I have a habit, regardless of where I am and especially in waiting situations to look for something interesting about what I'm seeing to sketch. Sketching slows me down, reduces and usually eliminates any anxiety about waiting I might otherwise have. As a daily ferry boat commuter I learned years ago just how valuable sketching was to my overall well being.

It's one thing to be waiting and looking for something interesting to sketch and another to see something you absolutely must sketch. I can tell by looking through my sketch books the difference between the things I saw that stopped me in my tracks, things I just had to make record of and the things I struggled to find that something that made it worth sketching.

Growing up and living on an island accessible only by ferry has provided me with a limitless opportunity, a deep appreciation and desire to sketch things maritime. Regardless of how many times, how many years I've spent going back and forth on the ferries, the magic of the experience never seems to leave me. The moods of the maritime environment keep me ever vigilant and ready with sketch gear in hand to try and capture the essence of what I see.

1 comment:

  1. A well-stated summary of the joy of urban sketching, Darsie! I, too, can thumb through an old sketchbook and recall immediately whether a sketch subject was absolutely compelling or simply a way to pass time. Please post your sketches larger on the blog! I know the image can be clicked to view it bigger, but a landscape like this deserves to be across the whole page without clicking! :-)

    - Tina