Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We All Have A Sketch To Tell

A Recap of The Chicago Sketch Seminar 2015

The recent Urban Sketchers Chicago Sketch Seminar, held July 11th and 12th at the Palette & Chisel and surrounding neighborhoods was a fascinating collection of art instruction, collaboration, conversations and the sharing of art supplies. But most importantly, the act of so many people coming together to the north side of Chicago is to create memories and stories.

Each time that an urban sketcher puts pencil, pen or brush to paper, they are creating memories about a scene. A scene which they have spent a few minutes choosing carefully as the one they are going to invest as much as a half hour or more sketching and painting. This takes time, a lot more than a quick snap of a camera to record, and with each stroke there is plenty of brain activity taking place into the selection and mixing of color, brush type, pen selection and considerations for composition. After a personal investment of time and talent upwards of an hour, very few of these sketchers will ever say, "Well, that was a colossal waste of time." It would be akin to delivering your first baby and say "That was interesting, now where were we?"

There were other stories that were more about the human spirit than in paper and paint brush. Deb Donnelly was leading her Sunday morning workshop on "Mingling Watercolor with Words" when a young woman from Korea happened upon her group. As Deb tells the story, this young woman was in her final hours of her visit to America and she was trying to capture as many of the artifacts that she could get her hands on to take back home to Korea with her before she had to leave. 

She was attracted to all of the wonderful art supplies laid out by the workshop participants, even wanted to purchase a few of them until she spotted the Chicago Sketch Seminar t-shirt (printed by Monkey Pencil Screenprinting) worn by one of the participants. That participant, Miguel Retana, was so moved by this Korean woman's need to buy this shirt from him that it led Miguel to taking the shirt off his back and gifting the shirt to her. It would be a memory that would not soon be forgotten by this young woman, Miguel, or any of the urban sketchers who were there to experience this wonderfully warm gesture.

If you are interested in learning more about the kind of seminars that Urban Sketchers Chicago produces, the art supplies we use, our monthly Sketch Crawls, and the warm humans who make up our group, send us a quick note to Urban Sketchers Chicago 

at or check out the Facebook group's page: Sketchers Chicago/

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