Saturday, October 8, 2016

Urban Sketching, more than just a drawing...

My name is Daisy Abreu. I am a licensed psychotherapist working in the healthcare industry, a disaster mental health relief volunteer for the Red Cross and I am also an Urban Sketcher. I came across Urban Sketching accidentally in my search to learn more about art, watercolor painting and drawing. I have no formal art education other than a strong background in photography which I completed during my bachelor’s degree three decades ago in Puerto Rico. For many years I had wanted to learn watercolors and finally about a year and half ago after the loss of my parents I decided to embark myself in this fantastic journey. One thing led to the next as I realized that painting will require me to learn how to draw, what a discovery! In my search for some drawing instruction I came across some of my favorite urban sketchers such as Stephanie Bower, Paul Heaston, Hugo Rocha or Alfonso Garcia and many others. As my research intensified I came across the Urban Sketcher blog and website, searched for a chapter and to my surprise there was a local chapter here in Tacoma! I joined immediately and became addicted to urban sketching. I felt in love so much with this organization that became a volunteer working with the blog and helping in all I possibly can.

I believe that Urban Sketching has different meaning to every urban sketcher. To me urban sketching works as a process in which I can reach the “flow.” A concept developed by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that states creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. He states that "When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life." Flow is the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake. To me Urban Sketching is a form of mindfulness practice that helps me be grounded, relaxed and experience joy. It teaches me patience and acceptance. It helps me see my mistakes and flaws in the drawing and embrace them as learning opportunities. This process translates into daily life experiences as well. Urban sketching also serves as a way to record time, place, experiences and my life as a whole. Life is like a fleeting thought, what is here today is no longer tomorrow. Everything changes and creating a record of our experiences thru the process of art is magical.

As follows I will share with you some of the sketches I have completed during the past six months with Urban Sketchers - Tacoma.

This is my very first urban sketch done at Chambers Golf Course in University Place, WA

This sketch was done from my car while having a lunch break. This lady and her children caught my attention as they were asking drivers from financial support.

Most of my sketching opportunities happen during lunch as you will see over time. This was done in Tacoma and this is Tacoma Community College or TCC.

This is a view of the Tacoma Dome from the Glass Museum during our West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl.

 As you can see Urban Sketching has become part of my life and I hope to share this journey with you all along with the USk-T blog correspondent team.

Happy Sketching,



  1. Welcome to Urban Sketchers-Tacoma's Leadership Team, Daisy...and thank you for your generous contributions to our local Urban Sketcher group!

  2. Very nice, Daisy. I need to talk with you because I seem to have a mental problem: I can't control my urge to sketch! I'm a sketchaholic! Thank you for sharing your story and your sketches! Happy sketching to you as well...