January 2022 sketching theme: Home

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!

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Sketches of celebration and more: December 2021

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:

Yvonne Rezek
Heather Dubé
Luise Mendler-Johnson
Beth George
Marlena Wyman
Luke Strama
Shelby St. Jean
Shelby St. Jean
Lori Taylor Leech – sketched from her window

Others went a little farther afield:

Karen Boschee – Candy Cane Lane, Edmonton
Jason Wase – Victoria Park Skating Oval, Edmonton
Gordon Ramsey – south central industrial zone Edmonton
Beth George – Highlands shops, Edmonton
Luke Strama – Iconoclast Coffee, Edmonton
Maets Belmes – car dealership lounge, Edmonton

Karen Dee – Chartier Restaurant, Beaumont AB

And one of our sketchers went much farther afield!

Zulima Acuña – Christmas decorations in Barranquilla, Columbia

Happy New Year and keep on sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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December 2021 sketching theme: Celebration!

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.

Can’t wait to see everyone’s December sketches!

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Sketches of libraries and more: November 2021

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.

EPL Capilano Branch by Diane Smarsh
EPL Woodcroft Branch by Karen Boschee
EPL Woodcroft Branch by Luke Strama
EPL Woodcroft Branch by Luke Strama
EPL Westmount Branch by Lorie Taylor Leech
EPL Stanley Milner downtown by Sandra Der
EPL Meadows Branch by Heather Dube
EPL Highlands Branch by Yvonne Rezek
EPL Strathcona Branch by Marlena Wyman
EPL Strathcona Branch by Marlena Wyman
Fort Saskatchewan Public Library by Karen Dee
New York Public Library by Karen Wall
Old Strathcona, Edmonton by Gordon Ramsey
Rossdale Power Plant, Edmonton by Gordon Ramsey
Rossdale apartment building, Edmonton by Gordon Ramsey
Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton by Sandra Der
CKUA Alberta Hotel building, Edmonton by Sandra Der
Flatiron building , Edmonton by Sandra Der
Victoria Park Pavilion, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
Edmonton River Valley by Brian Pearson
West Edmonton Mall by Jason Wase family
West Edmonton Mall by Jason Wase family
YEG airport by Zulima Acuña
Ucluet BC lighthouse by Brian Pearson

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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November 2021 sketching theme: Libraries

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.”

Have fun with the library theme for November!

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October 2021: Sketching the Pioneers Cabin and More

We had our last sketch-meet of the year on October 16th at the Pioneers Cabin. Lots of other October sketches of here and away, and of course of Hallowe’en!

We will be sketching on our own over the winter. Monthly themes will be suggested but as always, sketch whenever and whatever inspires you as long as it’s an urban sketch!

Sketchers at the Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton. Photo by Jo-Anne Farley.
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Jo-Anne Farley
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Diane Smarsh
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Sandra Der
Pioneers Cabin, Edmonton by Zulima Acuña
Edmonton River Valley from Pioneers Cabin by Marlena Wyman
Edmonton River Valley from Pioneers Cabin by Karen Boschee
Walterdale Bridge, Edmonton by Luke Strama
ch. cafeteria, Edmonton by Luke Strama
QE II Planetarium, Edmonton by Marge Somkuti
Hawrelak Park Amphitheatre by Marge Somkuti
Alberta Avenue, Edmonton by Zulima Acuña
Edmonton west end alley by Karen Boschee
Hallowe’en decorations at an Edmonton 124 St house by Karen Boschee
Hallowe’en decorations at a house near High Street, Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
Square 1 Coffee at West Block, Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
Square 1 Coffee at West Block, Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
Versailles Cafe in High Street ,Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
Edmonton LitFest by Sandra Der
Living room in Vancouver , BC by Marlena Wyman
Jasper, Alberta by Jo-Anne Farley
Jasper, Alberta by Jo-Anne Farley
Canmore, Alberta by Karen Boschee
Canmore, Alberta by Karen Boschee
New York by Beth George
Vancouver, BC by Karen Wall

Keep on sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch-Meet: Pioneers Cabin, 16 October 2021

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.

Hope to see you there!

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September 2021 Sketching: Magrath Mansion and more

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.

Urban Sketchers Edmonton at Magrath Mansion. Photo by Marlena Wyman.

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.

Magrath Mansion by Diane Smarsh
Magrath Mansion by Sarah Lee
Sketchers at Magrath Mansion by Sarah Lee
Magrath Mansion by Gordon Ramsey
Magrath Mansion by Berta Beltran
Magrath Mansion by Berta Beltran’s son
Magrath Mansion by Jason Wase
Magrath Mansion by Jason Wase’s daughter
Magrath Mansion by Jo-Anne Farley
Magrath Mansion by Gulnar Rahemtulla
Magrath Mansion by Yvonne Rezek
Grounds at Magrath Mansion by Karen Boschee
Magrath Mansion by Tetayna Blyznyuk
Magrath Mansion by Marlena Wyman
Magrath Mansion by Danielle LaBrie

There were lots of other wonderful sketches done through September too:

Outdoor Crafters’ Market, Edmonton by Angie Sotiropoulis
Outdoor Crafters’ Market, Edmonton by Angie Sotiropoulis
Edmonton house by Zulima Acuña
In Hermitage neighbourhood by Anna Nowakowski Hayes
Bicycles at Strathern Art Walk, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
Government Hill Park, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
At Hawrelak Park, Edmonton by Debbie Ha
Anthony Henday Drive, Edmonton by Anna Nowakowski Hayes
Square One Coffee, Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
124 St Farmers’ Market, Edmonton by Lorie Taylor Leech
Edmonton view by Gulnar Rahemtulla
Perron Street, St. Albert by Beth George
St. Albert Place by Beth George
At Maligne Lake, AB by Zulima Acuña
At Maligne Lake, AB by Zulima Acuña
Gibbons AB Museum by Yvonne Rezek

Keep on sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch-Meet: Magrath Mansion, September 18, 2021

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.

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August 2021 Sketching: Manchester Square and more

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!

Manchester square sketch-meet – photo by Beth George
Beth George, Manchester Square
Diane Smarsh, Manchester Square
Gulnar Rahemtulla, Manchester Square
Karen Boschee, Manchester Square
Lorie Taylor Leech, Manchester Square
Lorie Taylor Leech, Manchester Square
Marlena Wyman, Manchester Square
Sarah Lee, Manchester Square
Yvonne Rezek, Manchester Square
Terry Elrod, Manchester Square
Marge Somkuti, Rutherford House, Edmonton
Marge Somkuti, Little Brick Café, Edmonton
Marge Somkuti, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Zulima Acuña, 106 St LRT, Edmonton
Zulima Acuña, River lot 11, Indigenous Art Park, Edmonton
Zulima Acuña, Sheriff Robertson Park, Edmonton
Aeris Osborne, McLuhan House, Edmonton
Aeris Osborne, Alberta Avenue house, Edmonton
Lorie Taylor Leech, Government House Park, Edmonton
Lorie Taylor Leech, saskatoon berries picked along Ravine Dive, Edmonton
Lorie Taylor Leech, lemonade stand supporting the Stollery Hospital, Edmonton
Karen Boschee, view from Valleyview Drive on a smoky day, Edmonton
Karen Boschee, squirrel in the back yard, Edmonton
Karen Boschee, City of Edmonton’s new waste collection bins
Debbie Ha, Pop-Up Macbeth performance b y Freewill Players, Ritchie Park, Edmonton
Angie Sotiropoulos, appointment waiting room
Gordon Ramsey, portrait of artists in a back yard, Edmonton
Julie Daly, Holyrood bench project, Edmonton
Julie Daly, Holyrood bench project, Edmonton
Luise Mendler-Johnson, grain elevators, St. Albert, Alberta
Abha Hoedl, Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon

September still has great weather for outdoor sketching so let’s get out there and keep on sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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