Friday, August 25, 2017

UrbanSketchers Symposium '17 (USK CHI)

Urban sketchers is a world-wide consortium of artists that draw on location showing the world "one drawing at a time". Every year they have a gathering of artists that rotates from city to city: Manchester UK, Brazil, Barcelona, Dominican Republic, Singapore, and Portland--to name a few. This year the symposium was finally back in the states and 570 artists from 34 countries took over Chicago! 

We all signed up for one demonstration and four workshops to attend over the course of 3 days. We also had impromptu sketch walks, sketch talks, drink and draws, as well as vendors selling their wares to tool-geeky artists! 

There is no way to convey the awesomeness that was these 5, quick days. But I'll try:
-I met people from all over the world: Singapore, Montreal, Portugal, Luxembourg, Germany, England, Costa Rica, Sweden, and a ton more
-I exchanged cards with all of those worldly folks.
-I watched a Brazilian couple salsa dance to 'lil Wayne
-I got to meet some of my sketching idols: Jim Richards, Liz Steel, Rob Sketcherman, Nina Johansson, Paul Wang, Norberto Dorantes, Marc Holmes, Shari Blaukopf--to name a few
-I got to see the USK godmother Genine, work her magic at every event
-I got to partake in a laughing out loud "blind contour portrait" session with Nina Johanssen and Cina from Sweden (image below)
-I fell asleep to amazing views of Chicago from my dorm room
-I stayed in a dorm room--first time since 1996. 
-I lied, I stayed in a dorm room in Massachusetts for a grad class in 2015
-Oh--and I sketched and learned a lot!

the mandatory plane sketch

comparing tools

dorm room view!


Workshop #1: Norberto in action

Delphine's Demo: Paint first, Draw second

Sketching the Portuguese goofballs

Listening to Jim


Workshop #3: Less is more

Does Lapin ever stop?

Listening in on the Executive Board meeting

Workshop #4: LK Bing

LK and I!

Paul Wang!

Me and Mario--I bought his drawing at the silent auction

The last night. This panorama is the who's who of USK!

Nina's blind contour of Cina!

Genine cramming in one last drawing! 

Genine and I with 572 other artists! 

Trump (Shared Spaces)

Shared Spaces is an annual art show run and set up at Nazareth College. Local Art Teachers pair up with seniors at their respective schools, and produce a piece of art work. Sometimes these pieces will have a common theme or media, sometimes, they won't.

The artist/senior that I picked was Matt Burns. He was taking my CGA (Computer Generated Art) class and a colleague thought he would be a good fit. After talking with Matt we decided to come up with a theme to work from in order to make our work cohesive. During the '16 election it was very well known that Matt was a Trump supporter and I was not. So I thought the theme of "Trump"--one piece from a "positive" viewpoint, and one from the "negative".

I started my piece showing Mr. Trump as a clown, yelling in a cartoon-ish manner while also showing some realism. I opted to use colored pencils on a large 24"x24" piece of wood. I also added a map in the background--scrounged from a dumpster, a little gold leaf, and some inkjet transfer.

Up until this point the last time I had used colored pencils was in my 8th grade Studio Art class. I never liked the painstaking precision of colored pencils, or the slow application of layer after layer. I decided to give them a try for the first time in forever and give them a second chance.

Matt, on the other hand, struggled with his side of the "Trump" theme. He started and re-started with no real passion for his idea. Then with about a week to go he showed me the start of his idea on a large 24"x24" piece of plywood! He too was using colored pencils, and instead of Trump, he went with Hillary adding a spin from a 1980's cult classic They Live.

(Matt will be attending Cleveland Institute of Art in the fall)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Artwork update

Since the sketchbook show took up most of our time, sketching has been limited. Here are a few random pieces from the past few weeks.

Sketchbook show success!

The sketchbook show came and went. The opening was a blast and a lot of people had positive reviews about our work and sketchbooks. Below are a few images from that night! 

We also hosted a workshop that was sponsored by Stillman & Birn! Genine and I talked about our work, our process and techniques. We shared tools, as well as a few "chilly" sketching moments outdoors.