Exciting stuff ahead

Hey gang. I heard from a lady at the heart of urbansketchers.org regarding those chapters that have not yet been featured in the Drawing Attention e-magazine. I let her know that we would love to be featured and so, that will happen at some point in the upcoming months. She also asked that in preparation for that, we plan a group shot that is more creative than just a number of us standing in a line holding our sketches. She sent me some samples, a few of which I share here.

The long and short of this is that on one of our upcoming outings, when turnout is good, we are going to get a great shot to hold in reserve for when we are featured. I will be carrying a drone with me over upcoming months in case the perfect aerial shot opportunity presents itself. Or, we could all stand on our heads with our sketches between our teeth, or we could…..

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor…


Saturday dawned ugly, but nothing kept this stalwart crew from their appointed sketching rounds. A pretty impressive commitment on a cold, drizzly day.The Gulf Center turned out to be less than useable for us, since it was closed except for access through the upper walkway from Banker’s Hall. It turns out that access is only open for those who want to reach the parkade and eventually we were politely asked to leave.

We eventually ended up sketching in both the southeast and southwest atriums of Banker’s Hall and so I look forward to seeing offerings from both posted here. Each side, while almost identical, have slight architectural differences.

Warm and Welcome

Given that on this last week of summer we are experiencing winter, complete with snow and cold, the Devonian Gardens in Calgary’s downtown CORE shopping Center were the place to be for our sketch walk this week.


Tropical beauty, warm temperatures, and whispering fountains were a great respite from the foggy, cold day beyond the windows.


There may be some who chose to capture the detail of the scene they chose, I opted for generalizing the thousands of leashes and flowers, which meant that for the first time, I was able to complete my sketch in the two hour timeframe. All in all, it was a great time, in great company. These moments are the highlight of my week.


A New Record!

How fantastic it was to have ten sketchers out on a windy, cold, and occasionally moist Saturday morning to sketch the Oddfellows Hall in Calgary’s downtown. That’s a new record for us. Either none of us have a life or we are passionate about getting out on sketch walks. I think it is the latter.

We greeted friends and welcomed newcomers, who we hope will sign up and join the ranks. As I commented to someone, “ We spot a building or a scene and we say, Gee, I’d like to sketch that.” And then, once we arrive on site, we realize that the subject is far more complex than we originally thought. The Oddfellows Hallwas a lot easier when it was treated as a ‘sketch’ which is what I did. That freed me up to not have to capture every detail of its architecture. The result may not find its way into a frame in my living room, but it does meet the definition of a “sketch.”





This year’s symposium in Porto, Portugal, was an enormous success. The photo attests to that. Over 800 people participated and everywhere the sketching groups went, local sketchers would spot them and run for their pencils, pens and paper, joining up and sharing the experience.

Select the following link or, if it isn’t lighlighted copy and paste it into your browser http://www.urbansketchers.org/2018/08/drawing-attention-august-2018.html and peruse the August edition of the Drawing Attention e-zine. It is full of photos, articles and videos of the Porto Symposium and loaded with news of urban sketcher chapters all over the world. It’s a great way of staying up to date and of getting all the information you will need if you are considering next year’s Symposium in  Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Another attempt at the George C. King bridge

What a difficult subject to try and capture in a couple of hours! The intersecting curves and lines gave me some pause, and I finally settled for reasonable facsimile. You can probably tell that I was sitting right next to Jim and had only a slight difference in perspective. There were seven of us there and I hope that the others post their work to give varied views of this amazing structure.


Greetings from around the world

As an Administrator of Calgary Urban Sketchers, I have the privilege of being connected with the Administrators of Urban Sketcher chapters around the world. And since receiving news of our acceptance as an official chapter of this wonderful international organization, we have been receiving welcomes from all over the globe. The most recent kudos came from Bali, even while they are facing challenges to their very welfare.

But we also received greetings fromViet Nam, Ecuador, Brazil, New Zealand, locations all over the US, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa. I have been made instantly aware of the worldwide scope of this volunteer organization, and I am in awe.

i would encourage any of you who are planning travel in the next while, to look at the  www.urbansketchers.org website and contact the chapter in your destination location to see if you can link up on a sketch outing during your holiday.


Oh, Me of little faith!

Okay, I admit that when I left home heading for Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park, I had my doubts that anyone would show up. Heck, I considered not showing up myself. The air quality alert today, because of the smoke in the air from forest fires in BC and California, was listed at 10 on a scale that only goes from 1 to 10+.  I wasn’t sure we would even see the downtown that we were supposed to sketch.  The scene that greeted me on the trail heading in to the lookout proved that this would be a little challenging.


How wrong I was to doubt the fortitude of sketchers. First one, then two, then three, until finally, we were nine in total taking on the ‘Sketch the Smoke’ challenge. It was just a great time and a great spot, which we will re-visit again on a clear day. Thanks to all who showed up and made it one of our best outings ever. Watch for samples of the work to show up in days to come.