Yesterday, Sunday 15th May 2016, in Varazze was held the first meeting of the Urban Sketchers Liguria group and I took part in it; from 9 AM we sat in the middle of the town and we drew architectures, people, daily life scenes.
The Urban Sketchers movement
Do you know “Urban Sketchers”?
It’s an international, indipendent and free movement that has the mission to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.
The group was born in 2007 and, day after day, started to connect people who have a bit of a plus in their lives: they travel, sit in cafes, go to work and often meet each other without ever forgetting pencils, colours and sketchbooks.
Attendance to the events is free, you just only need a passion for drawing and to follow some easy rules grouped in the Manifesto:
Urban Sketchers MANIFESTO
- We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation.
- Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel.
- Our drawings are a record of time and place.
- We are truthful to the scenes we witness.
- We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles.
- We support each other and draw together.
- We share our drawings online.
- We show the world, one drawing at a time.
Urban Sketchers are super organized: there’s an official site, then the local and personal blogs, the Facebook groups, the official social media profiles, a newsletter and an annual international meeting.
The claim says it all: “See the world, one drawing at the time“. Maybe this recalls something to all of you? 😉
The discovery and the Ligurian group
I discovered them around a year and a half ago and it made me very happy. Do you remember Blind Melon’s video “No Rain”? The sensation was that: after years of solitary sketching, finding out that there are not just other people, but a fully organized international movement (also very active both offline and on the web), was awesome.
The first thing I did, as you can imagine, was to search for the groups near me. However, not the Genoa nor the Belfast group seemed in activity, so for a long time I continued to draw by myself (apart from the LOFT’s “Drink & Draw” in Belfast).
Then, after some time, I saw the newborn group “Urban Sketchers Liguria” and finally, since in this period I am in Italy, it was possible to take part to a meeting. To meet other people whom, as me, have passion for sketching was a very good experience: finally I had the chance to compare, chat and ask about subjects, technics and materials.
While chatting and knowing each other, this is what I drew on my Midori:
- I started on the train, despite being sleepy (the food fair in Ovada the previous night didn’t help!), but I’ve been caught straight away, so I left the blonde lady incomplete.
- in Varazze we chose the square with the old municipality building: Piazza Beato Jacopo da Varagine. In my sketch a (annoying, I admit) lady who screamed in her telephone for some time and a detail of the building’s architecture.
- one of the good things of Italy is there’s always a guaranteed group of old people sitting on the benches chatting or just watching people go by.
- the portrait of another Urban Sketcher, took while she was sketching me; I didn’t see her work though, I’m curious 🙂
- the cafè in the square, with its coloured chairs, was the perfect occasion to sketch a pretty traditional scene in Italy: breakfast or just a espresso sitting in the dehors when the weather turns good.
- the benches in the square gave me some happiness: I love to draw people, so the constant change of characters was pretty fun.
- near the end we moved to another square, the one in front of the Church of S. Ambrogio. The white marble statues against the light blue sky inspired me.
If you are interested to Urban Sketchers and to find a meeting near you, you could use these links: