What does “home” mean to you? Is your home a house? An apartment? Does your home have a fireplace or a cathedral ceiling or a tiny bathroom or an unfinished basement? Is it cozy or ultra modern? It’s January, sketchers! And it’s Edmonton. And at the moment, it’s -20C and getting colder (again). So, unless you must leave home for work or groceries or to pick up library books, stay in this month and sketch. Invite us in and show us your kitchens, dining rooms, or even your bedrooms (blush). Or, if you’re brave, sketch your house from across the street, your apartment block from the alley. Just remember to sketch ON LOCATION and provide context for objects you draw. Urban sketching is all about storytelling.
As usual, you can also post your sketches of other urban sketching subjects on our Facebook page. Happy sketching!
We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and even though the continuing pandemic kept things small for another year, we were still able to celebrate in many inventive ways. Here are our celebratory sketches, many from our own homes:
Others went a little farther afield:
And one of our sketchers went much farther afield!
Thanks to admin Yvonne Rezek for her December sketching prompt.
December means celebration! What better way to capture its essence than to sketch the events and scenes that happen at this time of year. Lights and decorations. Shoppers and malls. Turkeys and pies. Family gatherings and sledding outdoors. This month’s theme is less specific than before and leaves interpretation up to you. So, let’s get out there (or in there) and sketch December! Post your sketches by the end of the month to be included in our blog post.
Remember the main urban sketching rules:1. Draw on location from direct observation. Scenes change. Adding colour and details later is acceptable. 2. Make sure your sketches tell a story. Describe the event or scene visually. Sketch the context.
We are sketching on our own for now with winter and the continuing pandemic precluding get-togethers at sketch-meets, but we are sketching a united theme each month to keep that feeling of community going. Our theme for November was libraries, with an additional challenge to include people, which some of us managed! Of course, sketches of other urban subjects are always encouraged so we have some of those too.
Thanks to Admin Yvonne Rezek for her November sketching theme.
October was our last sketch-together event until the weather warms. Admins decided not to schedule indoor venues for the winter months, as we’ve done in the past, for community health reasons. However, there is a plan! A theme will be posted based on a specific venue or on some related variation on the first weekend of each month. Sketchers will have two weeks to sketch the theme as many times, in as many ways, (and in different locations, too) as you want. Sketchers can post anytime but the deadline for inclusion in the monthly blog post is the third Sunday of the month.
The theme for November is libraries! The Edmonton Public Library has 21 locations throughout the city. Your sketchy mission this month, should you choose to accept it, is to sketch one or more of the EPL branches, indoors OR outdoors, or indoors AND outdoors! Why stop at one sketch? Bonus points for including people in your sketches. Post your sketch(es) by Sunday, November 21 for inclusion in the USkE blog post. One theme. Many possibilities. So excited to see what we all come up with!
NOTE: Of course, sketches of libraries in surrounding communities or farther afield are also welcome!
Keep on making other sketches of urban scenes too. We post reminders from time to time about what constitutes an urban sketch, so here is another reminder. One of the hints is right in the title of the group: “Urban” Sketchers, so be sure to make your sketches about life in cities and towns. On the Urban Sketchers webpage is the mission statement, and on that page is the quote “for all sketchers out there who love to draw the cities where they live and visit, from the window of their homes, from a cafe, at a park, standing by a street corner… always on location, not from photos or memory.”
Thanks to Yvonne Rezek for organizing our October Sketch-Meet on Saturday October 16 from 11am to 1pm at the Pioneers Cabin, 9430 – 99 Street (Scona Road).
Due to outdoor winter weather conditions and public health restrictions for indoor gatherings, this will be our last in-person sketch meet until Spring. It’s an opportunity to sketch not only the Pioneers Cabin (formerly known as the Old Timers Cabin), but also parts of its beautiful setting overlooking the river valley.
Please keep your social distance and wear a mask in proximity of others. Bring a chair or stool. If the weather is poor, we can still sketch from our vehicles. There is ample parking.
The Pioneers Cabin was built in the 1950s to evoke romanticized images of pioneer life. It is an example of modern log construction and was built by 76-year-old Hobart Dowler for the Northern Alberta Pioneers and Descendants Association which dates back to 1894. It is one of Edmonton’s most unique special events venue, rented for occasions such as weddings, receptions, and other social and corporate events.
We were very fortunate to be able to sketch on the grounds at the Magrath Mansion for our September 18th sketch-meet. Thanks to Diane Smarsh for setting this up for us.
The Magrath Mansion was built in 1912 and designed by architect Ernest W. Morehouse. This fourteen room, three storey home is the showpiece of the Highlands neighbourhood, and was built by developer William Magrath. Magrath came to Edmonton 1904 and with his business partner Holgate, they developed the Highlands neighborhood – one of Edmonton’s oldest. Concordia University recently acquired the Magrath Mansion, partly through a generous donation from the Braaksma family, who had lived there just before and restored the home to its former glory.
There were lots of other wonderful sketches done through September too:
Thanks to Diane Smarsh for setting up a fantastic opportunity for us to sketch on the grounds of the Magrath Mansion (6240 Ada Blvd) on Saturday September 18 from 11am to 1pm. We will be sketching outdoors only.
The gate on the north side of Magrath Mansion (on 111 avenue) will be open for us to enter the grounds. There is a lot of street construction in the area but side street parking from 62 St to 65 St should be just a short walk.
Because of the recent surge in Covid19 cases, please be particularly cautious. Do not come if you are feeling ill in any way. Masks and physical distancing are required at this outdoor event by the recent provincial Covid19 restrictions.
The Magrath Mansion was built in 1912 and designed by architect Ernest W. Morehouse. This fourteen room, three storey home is the showpiece of the Highlands neighbourhood, and was built by developer William Magrath. Magrath came to Edmonton 1904 and with his business partner Holgate, they developed the Highlands neighborhood – one of Edmonton’s oldest.
Concordia University has recently acquired the Magrath Mansion, partly through a generous donation from the Braaksma family, who had lived there just before and restored the home to its former glory.
Lots of sketching happened in August, some on our own and some at our sketch-meet at Manchester Square, which is a retail mall designed to look like an old European streetscape. It was challenging to sketch this development with 52 different facades in various colours and types of brick, but as always we met the challenge and created great sketches. It was a beautiful sunny day and so nice to see some of our sketchers who we haven’t seen in a while and meet some new sketchers too!
September still has great weather for outdoor sketching so let’s get out there and keep on sketching!