When Gabi Campanario ‘invented’ Urban Sketchers I envision that he simply realized that people would like to do sketching on location just like he does for the Seattle Times. His book, The Art of Urban Sketching reflects this emphasis. So does his manifesto, which doesn’t say anything about subject matter. All the emphasis is on being true to your subject (reportage) and sharing your sketches. USK was/is sheer genius in that respect.
But it has become so much more. The regional group aspect of USK has brought people together on a local level and turned sketching into a social event as well as an art endeavor. The regional groups also serve as rally points that have grown USK beyond Gabi’s wildest dreams I imagine.
As someone isolated on planet Quebec, however, the big deal of USK is the member list. For the miserly sum of FREE, a member can get their name and contact info listed on a member list that is divided by location. Thus, when someone is visiting a particular area they can find fellow urban sketchers and contact them. All of this is to introduce a 3 1/2 day adventure with Karen Casper, sketcher extraordinaire from Burlington, Vermont.
Karen came to Quebec City as part of a sketching vacation and with USK and a bit of internet magic, we arranged to meet Wednesday morning in a park next to her hotel. She’s a PhD anthropologist, expert watercolorist and avid sketcher and we hit it off right away.
After chatting a bit, we decided that the best thing for the first morning was to spend some time playing tourist, making a tour of the old city so she could decide what attracted her the most as a sketcher. We did just that, though in the end I think she decided that everything interested her as a sketcher. But we had a plan for upcoming sketching days that would make the best use of her time here.
As we were walking back from the old city towards her hotel, though, we decided to sketch one of the corners of the Parliament building.
It had been a long day when I left Karen this day but I was so revved up that I didn’t get much sleep. All I could think of was the full day of sketching ahead. On to day two —>