Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Ottawa Urban Sketchers

In 2015, when I was in New York city with my daughter, I spent the day sketching with the NYC urban sketching group and after I had returned home to Ottawa, (and with the encouragement and coaching of Mark Leibowitz), I started the process of establishing an official chapter of the International Urban Sketchers group in Ottawa.

The application process began in 2015 but the Ottawa Urban Sketchers chapter became "official" in January 2016.

The Ottawa Urban Sketchers Chapter
I was thinking about this after last Friday's sketching even at the Centrepointe Theatre where we were invited to sketch the Ottawa Pops Orchestra's dress rehearsal of "Harry's Musical World".

Someone asked me how long the Ottawa Urban sketchers had been meeting and I recalled how I had been organizing LOTS of FREE sketching events (ie. WW Sketchcrawls, etc) for some time prior to becoming an official chapter in 2016.

I love organizing these sketching events and I am completely amazed that at EVERY event I organize in Ottawa, "NEW" sketchers come out. They often say things like "I've been following the Ottawa urban sketchers (Ottawa USk) for a while, but this is my first time" or "I have always wanted to attend an Ottawa sketching event but have been shy/afraid/busy/unsure/etc"

The Ottawa Urban Sketchers at Centrepointe Theatre May 2018

Sketching At The Events That You Organize

I know that my fellow Ottawa USk co-founders/co-administrators (Colin White and Kristina Corre) would agree with me when I say that organizing these sketching events usually means that you, the organizer, may not get a chance to actually sketch.

My first sketch of the Ottawa Pops Orchestra; May 2018
On Friday, at the dress rehearsal, the sketch above is the only one I managed to complete (on site) with any satisfaction.

The sketch below, ( based on a failed sketch that I made on site) was completed the next day in my Fabriano sketchbook using only two colours (Payne's Gray and Burnt Sienna)

My two colour sketch (Payne's Gray/Burnt Sienna) done the next day
In my role as co-administrator of our Ottawa Urban Sketchers group, I love to blog and post the sketches of these amazing Ottawa artists ('newbies' and veteran sketchers) who show up and share their work online.

This, for me, is one of the many benefits of organizing these events. Visit my latest Ottawa USk blog post here: "Sketching The Ottawa Pops Orchestra"

Friday, May 11, 2018

2018: Taking Stock

With the weather in Ottawa finally warming and LOTS of new, exciting, and inspiring art events kicking off (see links below), 
I've been taking stock.
My Mexico 2017 palette recently decommissioned
I've been reviewing and reorganizing all of my art spaces and my art supplies.

My 2nd floor bulletin board with some of my 6x6 acrylics
 And I am reducing all of the art supplies that I take out with me every day.

My Spring 2018 palette.

And I'm taking inventory on ALL of my finished and unfinished canvasses in my studio.

Me enjoying some studio time
I'm ready. 
Hope to see you out there making art as well.
Ottawa Spring 2018
  • Block Sketching: Artist Colin White kicked off May 2018 with some Block Sketching! Check Facebook for future sessions held in the evenings on week days
  • Atelier Denu: Shawn Philip Hunsdale is again offering the Life Drawing Summer School every Tuesday (May 8 to August 14) in the evening at the University of Ottawa for the amazingly low cost of $9 for drop-ins. Details can be found here:
  • Artawa: you should definitely be watching (and liking) on facebook where they are posting lots of art events around Ottawa
  • Drawing at The Rooster: Artists Peter and Rebecca Purdy are still offering this once-a-month sketching event at the Atomic Rooster on Bank Street. More details here:
  • Art House Cafe: This is a great place to go for coffee and connect with other artists. Lots of art events hosted on the premises. Visit their website:
  • Ottawa Art Gallery: Newly opened in Spring 2018 - this inclusive, inspiring space is a MUST see
  • Ottawa Urban Sketchers: Check regularly for organized sketching events around Ottawa that are FREE and open to sketchers of all ages and skill levels.