Sunday, August 7, 2016

Spotlight Sunday - Dana Johnson

Spotlight Sunday is series of interviews designed to introduce and highlight Chicago Urban Sketchers individually. Now that our chapter has reached nearly 500 members it has become more of a challenge to meet every single member in person and have a meaningful conversation. These posts concentrate on individuals and speak in their own words.

Dana Johnson

Interviewed by Paul Ingold

Paul: Thanks for participating in our Spotlight Sunday interview, Dana. Can you tell us how you found Urban Sketchers Chicago?

Dana: A few years ago I discovered Urban Sketchers on Instagram and really enjoyed seeing different places around the world through the eyes of artists. When I moved to Chicago last year, I started looking at the Chicago Urban Sketchers sketches on Instagram. It was really fun to see all sites around the city that people were drawing.

Paul: Can I ask where you moved from?

Dana: Sure, I lived in Bondi Beach Australia (near Sydney) before moving to Chicago.

Paul: Very cool. And you also told me that the photo of you sketching (above) was taken in Gnarlaloo, Western Australia. Can you tell us why you like to sketch?

Dana: I love to sketch, it is a great way to really see and remember a place. If I spend 15 minutes observing and sketching in a place I remember the smells, sounds, people when I look back at that sketch. For me it is very relaxing to draw.

Paul: Do you have a favorite sketching tool or materials?

Dana: A small watercolor pan set that I have had for over 15 years, ink usually a micron pen or quill with ink and I really like the fabriano water color blocks. They travel well.

Paul: What would be your favorite place to sketch?

Dana: I love being by the water and Chicago has great spaces by Lake Michigan where you can see the skyline. Millennium and Maggie Daley Parks are also great green spaces, and people watching!

Paul: You sent us four urban sketches. What inspired them? Why are these scenes special to you?

Dana: Sketch 1 - Lincoln Park, one of the first real summer days in Chicago, it was great people watching, everyone was out enjoying the day. I had walked along the lake front and it was a great place to rest and enjoy the view.

Dana: Drawing 2 - The view from my seat on Air Choice One. I had the opportunity to fly with this tiny airline that flies from Chicago. The view over Lake Michigan and the skyline coming into Chicago was fantastic.

Dana: Drawing 3 - Chicago has a lot of great cafés, and most don't mind of you sit and sketch. This image shows my basic set up that I carry with me every day just in case I have a few minutes to sketch.

Dana: Drawing 4 - Ukrainian Village Church. I drew this very soon after arriving in Chicago, I was up on a roof in West Town. I loved the light and overview of the neighborhood.

Paul: What do you do when you are not sketching?

Dana: When I'm not sketching, I work on freelance projects and enjoy being active outside hiking, walking, and spending time with family. I really love pleinair oil painting too.

Paul: Thanks again for participating in this interview Dana! For those that would like to see more of Dana's work... here's her website and social media links:
Twitter: @Dana_M_Johnson
Instagram: @danamjohnson & @sketchworthy

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