Sketch Out & About: Your Choice. 26 June 2021

This week was another theme of “urban sketch of your choice”. Starting in July until at least September, we will be suspending the weekly themes and returning to monthly sketch meet-ups. Please continue to share on our Facebook page any urban sketches that you do on your own.

Now that vaccinations are freely available and restrictions are lifting, we will be posting an event for meeting together on the third Saturday of each month, while continuing to encourage folks to maintain social distance and mask-wearing. If you have suggestions for possible outdoor venues, please let us know.

Come September or October, we’ll evaluate on best available information if indoor sketching will be possible. If not, we may reactivate weekly themes for the winter months. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, when meeting together was unsafe and restricted, we set up the weekly themes to encourage everyone to keep on sketching and to stay engaged with Urban Sketchers Edmonton. It’s been hugely successful, don’t you think? It’s wonderful to take a peak over each other’s shoulders, so to speak, and see what you are seeing. The themes have drawn out (pun intended) so many great interpretations and sketches. Thank you for participating!

Here are our sketches from the last week of June:

“Went to watch some cricket at Coronation Park and drew this historic gem. I went to this in like grade 3 many, many moons ago.”

Here is is a beautiful film about the restoration of the planetarium.

By Beth George

“I wish I could just sketch heritage buildings without having them under threat of demolition. This is one of the two houses in the U of A’s East Campus Village that could disappear soon. It and its neighbouring house were built in 1914 in the Art & Crafts style. Built in the same era as the Ring Houses. Background here.

By Marlena Wyman

“Drive-by, thumbnail sketches – from the passenger seat – on bumpy rural roads, earlier this week.”

By Yvonne Rezek

“A view from the very crowded accidentally beach this weekend. It’s too hot!”

By Sarah Lee

“For this week’s “your choice” I finally got back to the sketch I did two months ago and wanted to color in. I wonder how big the goslings are now? Will have to ride over to the neighborhood storm pond again and find out.”

By Karen Boschee

Stay safe, stay cool, and keep on sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Meet: Bees at the Alberta Aviation Museum. 19 June 2021

It was great to see so many sketchers in person (still distanced). It was a lovely day for sketching. Thanks to Enessa Habib of Highlands Honeycomb/YEG Honeycomb for talking with us about her bee project, and thanks to Dana & Nick from the Alberta Aviation Museum for allowing us the opportunity to sketch there. It was a great combination of sketching things that fly! Here is some background on Bees in Blatchford Field.

Urban Sketchers Edmonton with the bees at Blatchford Field
Enessa checking on the bees
Angie sketching the airplanes

“Bees and planes from Saturday’s sketch out. Beautiful day. Was nice getting together with people to sketch again! Managed 2 sketches on-site. Darkened some shadows on both at home and added some text. Looking forward to getting back to group sketching monthly again soon!”

By Angie Sotiropoulos
By Angie Sotiropoulos

“I sketched at the aviation museum just before covid shut downs started. It’s nice to close a circle and come again as it prepares to reopen.”

By Sarah Lee
By Sarah Lee

“I started drawing the hives just before Enessa arrived. When she did, of course I had to include her! It’s a funny thing about inspiration. My first thought on seeing two yellow boxes and what seemed like a barren wasteland beyond the fence was, “geez, this is kind of a dull, uninspiring view”. But I think, for me at least, inspiration comes from sitting myself down, focusing my attention and drawing what is in front of me. The drawing, and the story, usually emerges. Usually. Didn’t work with the airplanes. 😁

By Yvonne Rezek

“I realise now that my sketch looks a bit like a prison camp for bees but really the fence protects them and they seem very happy. I wanted the challenge of sketching the chain link fence. Got my challenge!”

By Marlena Wyman

“A fun and informative sketch out at the Alberta Aviation Museum. Thanks to the staff there, and to Enessa and her bees!”

By Diane Smarsh

“I wasn’t able to attend today’s sketch out on time, so instead I biked to Cooking Lake Airport to sketch there. On a side note, recently I’ve been listening to and getting inspiration from the SneakyArt Podcast by @thesneakyartist who discusses several topics around Urban Sketching. I’d highly recommend it!”

By Marissa JT
By Marissa JT

“I didn’t get out yesterday but here’s a sketch from another aviation museum in Quebec from a couple of years ago. No bees though. p.s. this is also a father’s day sketch as it’s one of the planes he worked on when posted at this air base back in the 60s.”

By Karen Wall

“Took this little inukshuk photo last year when I found it built in Canmore. Used it for my “Every child matters” profile picture this month. Was back there this weekend and surprised to discover someone had added inukshuk children to it. That’s my sketch for this week.”

By Karen Boschee

This coming week is a “Your Choice” urban sketch. Have fun with it!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Out & About: Signs. 12 June 2021

The sketching theme this week was “Signs”, and there were some great interpretations:

“Neon Sign Museum. Functional historic neon signs restored and installed on the east wall of the Telus Building and south wall of the Mercer Warehouse. 104 avenue & 104 street.”

By Diane Smarsh

“First one was sketched last summer in Oliver. How quickly we have become acclimatized to Covid social distancing signs. Another bike route I enjoy takes you up behind Fort Edmonton through the river valley. Looking forward to when it reopens. Still lots of construction signs there now. But, you can take a look at the changes they are making and see some of the old favorites too. Such a great place to learn about Edmonton area history. When I was still teaching this was my favorite field trip destination for the kids and often our year end outing in June. Good memories. We can all learn from our history!”

By Karen Boschee
By Karen Boschee

“This is a sketch I drew a couple weeks ago of Hard Core Bikes in Old Strathcona and their wrought iron corner sign. Since the pandemic they’ve been accepting customers through this side entrance which has a series of posts that remind me of Japanese tori gates.”

By Debbie Ha

“There’s finally signs of life on my balcony vegetable garden! It’s the first time I’m starting everything from seed so I was a bit worried that nothing would sprout. But as Jeff Goldblum says, “Life finds a way”. 🦖

By Debbie Ha

“I call it ‘sign of the times’. I am trying to like scooters but it is a struggle 🙂. I sketched this from the porch of the Alberta Architects Assoc on Saskatchewan Drive-the Duggan House built in 1907- and then inked with a dip pen at home and added some coloured ink with a brush.’

By Cary Brown

“While waiting for my vaccination. The only sign in sight was on this truck. Drew from life. Added colour at home.”

By Karen Dee
By Karen Dee

“It’s a sign that the pandemic is easing: the church by my house is back on in almost normal conditions.”

By Abha Hoedl
By Sandra Der

Remember we are meeting together for sketching on Saturday June 19 from 11am to 1pm outside of the Alberta Aviation Museum on Kingsway! Sketching with the Bees.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Meet: Sketching with the bees, 19 June 2021

We are having a sketch meet at the Alberta Aviation Museum! 11410 Kingsway Avenue, Saturday June 19 from 11am to 1pm.

A program to link bee hives with heritage buildings has been started by Enessa Habib. She and the Alberta Aviation Museum have invited us to come and sketch the bee hives and the airplanes. The hives are beside the row of airplanes on the east side of the building. They are behind a locked fence so we can only sketch there at the above time. Please wear face masks and keep social distance.

Note: The Museum has not re-opened to the public yet, so the interior, including washrooms, are not accessible at this time. A staff person will be there to allow us access to the outdoor area where the bee hives are located.

Check out the bee story here. As an added bonus, Enessa has kindly offered to be there to talk to us about her bee project.

Bee there or bee square!

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Sketch Out & About: Clocks. 5 June 2021

Our sketching prompt for the week was outdoor clocks and clock towers. Here are our timely sketches, as well as a few others!

By Yvonne Rezek: “June 4: By the time I got downtown to sketch the City Hall clock tower this afternoon, it was raining. The idyllic plan to set up my stool and sketch in the sun went out the window. What’s a poor urban sketcher to do? Set up a mobile art studio in the front seat of my car, ink out the sketch, and splash on some watercolour! Added a few coloured pencil details at home later. The City Hall Clock Tower, aka the Friendship Tower, is about 200 feet high and is topped by 23 carillon bells.”

By Yvonne Rezek: “June 5: I really wanted to sketch in the sun so out I went again today. It was warm and beautiful and after a quick stop at the Downtown Farmers Market, I parked my stool at the bus roundabout on the west side of the Royal Alberta Museum. The intent was to make a quick sketch of the south facing clock which had been saved from the old Canada Post building. But one mark led to another and the next thing I knew, I had sketched out the complex west facade of RAM. (The clock is basically a boring round circle – not terribly interesting to sketch on it’s own). Then, of course, the clouds massed and a bus stopped in front of me and the motor was turned off. Time to pack up and head home.”

By Sandra Der: “When its sunny.. make more art..”

By Diane Smarsh: “MacEwan University Clock Tower”

By Sarah Lee: “The Old Strathcona Post Office’s clock. Any excuse to spend an hour nursing a chai latte from Remedy.”

By Karen Boschee: “High Street near 124th has a clock tower. Living in the west end I have driven past these shops on my way to and from places over the years often. Use to enjoy stopping at the Starbucks. Sad to see it’s gone. Now like many others I also use the popular and busy bike trail that runs past it. Got braver today and really did use my watercolors in the car, like many of you do so well, to block in my sketch instead of coloring later as I often do.”

By Karen Boschee

By Julie Daly: “Perron Street Clock Tower, St Albert was built in 1995 as a U of A research station to study how bricks erode and weather over time. Four different construction styles are used on the walls. Equipment inside measure the erosion and movement. Gryphons adorn the four corners.”

By Marlena Wyman

By Angie Sotiropoulos: “Appointment with my mom near Dutch Delicious Bakery yesterday. Decided to do a sketch while I waited. Appointment was super fast so I only got the line work done. Colour was added at home. Oh and we totally stopped in for pastry to go.”

By Cary Brown: “Sketched and watercolour wash from my balcony – the scooters are everywhere and make my hair stand on end- I call it ‘watching the watcher’ – the person in the blue chair was really enjoying the show from a front row seat!”

By Karen Wall: “In lieu of travel, a flashback to a road trip to Vancouver.”

By Karen Wall

By Karen Wall

By Karen Wall

By Karen Wall

This coming week’s prompt is “Signs”. We’re sure you’ll find them everywhere!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Out & About: Your Choice. May 29, 2021

This week sketchers could choose whatever inspired them personally. Here are all the excellent sketches with a wonderful variety of subjects:

“A quick sketch of downtown from Rowland Park”

By Lana Anderson

“At Queen Elizabeth Park today – May 30 2021”

By Abha Hoedl

“The abandoned interpretive center at the Strathcona Science Park. This park doesn’t get much love so here’s my hot tip: the trail along the refinery fence has a wonderfully productive grove of choke cherries. What a joy it is to fill your pockets with wild fruits.”

By Sarah Lee

“Peter Hemingway Pool at Coronation Park was designed by Peter Hemingway in 1967 as a Centennial project which won the Massey Medal. The design features a curtain wall which reflects different colours depending upon the angle of the sun.”

By Julie Daly

“I didn’t get out to sketch this weekend so I’m recycling a sketch from 2019, of the Capilano Library.”

By Yvonne Rezek

“I see different things here all the time.. I’m at Victoria School, its a Saturday and kids are out practicing with their skateboards.. and its a beautiful day. 🙂 (the background wasn’t dark enough.. so I darken it a bit.. I’m so obsessive) 😃

By Sandra Der

“A couple late posts of a sculpture at the indigenous art park in April (with snow!) and my cozy reading corner that I drew 2 weekends ago.”

By Debbie Ha
By Debbie Ha

“In the city the other day, admiring all the cherry trees and really wanted to sketch and colour them, well I started drawing the Ritchie Mill and ran out of room where the little cherry trees were blossoming! Unfortunately I had to do leave and not returning to the city this week. I look forward to June‘s theme.”

By Henry Joanne Van’t Hoff

“I haven’t posted for a while but wanted to share this picture I did 7 years ago when I was living in Nova Scotia. Between appointments there I would find a nice place to park and sketch on my iPad. I was urban sketching before I knew what it was!! This was a bed and breakfast in Mahone Bay.”

By Beth George

“For our “urban sketch of your choice” I am returning to the U of A Ring Houses for 3 reasons: I hadn’t sketched Ring House 4 yet, the landscaping around them is particularly beautiful now with the lilacs and apple trees in bloom, and I am still worried about the Ring Houses – their future is uncertain and it is possible that they could still be demolished.”

By Marlena Wyman

“I had every intention of making Heritage House condo building in old Strathcona the focus but the tree outside the building just took over! I did a contour drawing – never lifting the pen- on site and added colour at home.”

By Cary Brown

“Guanahuato Mexico. In lieu of travel.”

By Karen Wall

“Mama deer or soon to be. I didn’t see any fawns but that’s the idea I guess😉

By Pamela St Laurent

“If you know your mountains you’ll recognize these. In Canmore this weekend. Sketched the Three Sisters from Millennium Park athletic field a picturesque vantage point. Tried a light on dark effect with white charcoal. When I bike in Canmore I often stop here just to take in the beauty of the surroundings. In the Stoney Nakoda traditional language these peaks were also referred to as the Three Sisters.”

By Karen Boschee

This coming week be on the lookout for an outdoor clock or clock tower to sketch!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Meet – Highlands: May 22, 2021

On May 22 we sketched sort of together (as pandemic restrictions allowed) and sort of scattered about in beautiful historic Highlands, and a few other inspired sketches were created this week as well:

“Gibbard Block in Highlands. Built in 1912/13 it originally housed luxurious apartments with main floor retail shops. It has been beautifully renovated and is now home to Fox Burger, June’s Deli, Highlands Liquor and lovely suites.”

By Diane Smarsh

“A gorgeous morning for sketching outdoors. A small but dedicated turnout in Highlands today. Drawn on location. Colour added later.”

By Yvonne Rezek

“A collection of little vignettes from the Highlands community garden. Found it while visiting this Edmonton neighborhood that is full of character this afternoon. Charming old homes big boulevard trees, a popular tiny business core and people of all ages out and about enjoying the sunshine. Found a new bike trail that I will ride in the future. And wow when did they start adding that modern addition to the old classic Highlands Junior High?”

By Karen Boschee

“One of the houses on Ada Boulevard. Ada is an odd unofficial section of the river valley bike trail (the alternative of crossing over Gretzky bridge is just awful). It’s a residential street but walkers and cyclists have claimed it back from cars.”

By Sarah Lee

“Exciting to sketch one of iconic house in Edmonton, ‘Highlands Tudor House’ before painting. The Holgate Residence was built in 1912 by developer Bidwell Holgate as home and advertisement for life in The Highlands subdivision.”

By Aeris Osborne

“Coach House was for the chauffeur. Couldn’t get the whole house in. Too much to look at. Decided to try just the patio/balcony at McGrath house as I still had time but the house is enormous. For sale…if you’re interested 🙂 great day nice area.”

By Julie Daly
By Julie Daly

“Heading out of town for the weekend but did a quick sketch of the corner in Highlands at 62 street and Ada Blvd.”


By Brent Baim

“Something that I once heard at an urban planning event: ‘City planners should not assume that they know more about what a community wants than the community itself’. Sadly, that is rarely the case.”

By Marlena Wyman

“Something I worked on a couple of weeks ago.. when it was more end of winter.”

By Sandra Der

“A while back there were some posts of pets and animals. This weekend I had the opportunity to sketch Peaches who was enjoying a day long nap in her favourite chair. This was a fun challenge as there were about 4 vanishing points for the chair. Apparently upon closer inspection there was even a vanishing brace. Peaches wasn’t too bad to paint as I just dropped some colours onto the damp paper and they blended together.”

By Jason Wase

“Quick sketch of my plant shelf to mail to my parents.”

By Debbie Ha

For those of you who like the weekly urban sketching topics, this week you get to set your own! As long as your sketch is drawn on location and upholds the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, the subject is up to you. Please provide a short description of the location.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Out & About, Animals: May 15, 2021

Our challenge for the week was to include animals in an urban sketching setting. Birds, dogs and cats won!

Here are our furry and feathery sketches, and since the theme is always optional, a couple sans animals (unless they are “Where’s Waldo” sketches!):

“We’ve had a pair of Robins hanging around our place the last week. One sat still on the neighbour’s clothesline for a good 5 minutes while I drew this.”

By Angie Sotiropoulos

“Garden and yard work has taken over my life right now so here is my animal sketch from June 2020!”

By Marlena Wyman

“A hobby chicken farm in the countryside near Edmonton. They really enjoyed our watermelon rinds.”

By Sarah Lee

“The goslings have hatched and the geese are gathering again at the Terra Losa neighborhood storm pond. Such a delight to watch. That’s where I sketched this weekend. Sitting on my stool drawing geese was a challenge. They’re always moving but fun to watch. Can’t put anything down because they think it’s food and approach sometimes very close. Added some color this evening. I really like the solo goose and goslings one will take some more time and thought to finish. Time to post what I’ve got.”

By Karen Boschee
By Karen Boschee
By Karen Boschee

“Beach day, Kelowna’s City Park beach”

By Saturday Delson Sazaran

“Our pup trying to ‘break out’ for her walk on this gorgeous Saturday!”

By Diane Smarsh

“Today at the Roper Road storm water facility. It had come alive! All sorts of birds and all sorts of greens! 15 May 2021”

By Abha Hoedl

“This is Ruckus, our 18 year old cat, doing what he does best. Drawn on my iPad from my favourite chair.”

By Yvonne Rezek

“Puma isn’t the best model, but he makes a fun drawing. He is still in a happy slumber.”

By Sandra Der

“A stroll in Government House Park on this beautiful breezy Saturday afternoon. The sketch, a wedding replete with satins, silks, brocade, and delicate flowing organzas, flower girls twirling beside the gothic like columns, wine toasting, laughter, good times, guests to the nines, a black dog playing stick fetch with o pa, freshly washed white tail spinning, a helicopter feather. On scene graphite, watercolor later, May 15, 2021. Ljtl.”

By Lorie Taylor Leech

“CKUA Radio Headquarters, a former Alberta Hotel Building. The original four-storey hotel hosted Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier in 1905 when Alberta joined Confederation. The main part of the hotel, the four-storey brick and stone building with its iconic tower, was designed by James E. Wize and constructed in 1903.”

By Aeris Osborne

This coming week is a Sketch Meet in the beautiful historic Highlands neighbourhood. We are sketching “together” on Saturday March 22 at 11am, but pandemic restrictions apply regarding numbers, distancing, and mask-wearing. We will not be able to come together to view each other’s sketches or to take a group photo.

Since we are still in pandemic sketching mode, we can also sketch there any time this week and post our sketches on our Facebook page.

The good news is that the sketch location is the charming Highlands neighbourhood along 112 Avenue between 64 and 66 Streets which provides ample opportunity to be sketching in general proximity with plenty of social distance. Sketching from your car is also an option.

There are a variety of cool small businesses with interesting store fronts. The newest is Kind Ice Cream at the corner of 65 Street. Lots of people to sketch too, as they wait patiently in line for a “cold one”! Janis Irwin’s constituency office, Mandolin Books and Coffee Shop, and Chickie’s Antiques add to the area’s vibrancy.

With the neighbourhood renewal plan for Highlands, the City is unfortunately going to be changing the look of some of Highlands’ iconic wide sweeping street corners by squaring them off, despite neighbourhood input to the contrary. So if you want to capture those streetscapes before they are changed, they are at 62 St & Ada Blvd, 64 St & Ada Blvd, and 63 St & 111 Ave.

Hoping for a warm, sunny day of sketching!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Jane’s Walks May 8, 2021

This week’s theme was “Jane’s Walks“, which celebrates the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs by promoting walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy and cities planned for and by people. This is a festival that takes place annually around the globe. Due to the pandemic, the Edmonton walks, as with many around the world, were self-guided and virtual this year. Urban Sketchers Edmonton could choose a walk and go there in person whenever we liked to choose one point or more along the walk to sketch.

Here are our sketches from the website walks, and some that we created ourselves. All wonderful walkable city sketches!

By Diane Smarsh

“Heritage Tree Avenue in the Highlands. The canopy is created by American Elms planted in 1957. This street is particularly beautiful in the fall and in December when all the neighbours string lights across!”

By Gordon Ramsey

“Shadows in a damp city :Belgravia. The corner cafe.”

By Gordon Ramsey

“The vacant lot behind Saskatchewan Drive. The house of the fire damage is gone now: rain saturated old foundation.”

By Marlena Wyman

Info about the incomparable Edmonton Grads women’s basketball team here.

By Julie Daly

“Queen Elizabeth Planetarium at Coronation Park. Recent renovations to this landmark has made it barrier free and provided washrooms to a well-used community park. Sketched Sunday instead of Saturday. Avoided the rain and spent a relaxing Mothers Day morning sketching.”

Info about the beautifully renovated 1960 Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium here.

By Karen Boschee

“Drove the streets of old Westmount this afternoon. Such a lovely and well preserved old neighborhood. Many homes are near and some over 100 years old . Plaques giving the year they were built and original owners have been placed on some. Quite an interesting place. Too rainy to walk or draw with wipers going. Snapped a few photos and drew a portion of a home built in 1925 this evening. That’s when I discovered the decorative old weather vane on the roof!”

By Saturday Delson Sazaran

“On Tutt Street, Kelowna BC”

This coming week’s sketching prompt is to include “animals in the urban scene”.

And just as a reminder about what constitutes an urban sketch, this is from Urban Sketchers international:

For indoor sketching, All drawings MUST remain direct observation drawings. It is alright to post sketches of things around your home. BUT please include context in your sketches. They should be sketches of things as you find them, NOT still-life setups. Also, keep posting those views from interiors, from windows, etc. It would really help if you write a line or two for context, especially if you are sketching at home due to special circumstances now.

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.

Thank you for understanding. Keep sharing those urban sketches, and be well.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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Sketch Out & About, May 1, 2021: Yellow

Our theme for sketching this past week was “Yellow”. Here are out bright and cheery yellow sketches!

By Sarah Lee

“The Butterdome: the most yellow structure in Edmonton? They used to do university exams in here. Everyone would cram shoulder to shoulder into the upper terrace and nervously wait before being allowed to take our seats.”

By Lorie Taylor Leech

“A vivid yellow house caught my attention. May 2021. Ljtl. Graphite and watercolor captured on scene from my car.”

By Diane Smarsh

“A lovely yellow house on my street.”

By Brent Baim

“My Yellow brick home in Highlands”

By Abha Hoedl

“A building at Jasper Place Lodge which was yellowish and red. So beautiful out in Jasper and so quiet. 30 April 2021”

By Yvonne Rezek

“Today I walked out to the street, sat on my sketching stool in the sun and…drew a fire hydrant for this week’s “yellow” theme. Need to practice painting shadow areas….”

By Karen Boschee

“Bought myself some lovely yellow tulips. Gazing out into my yard and the tulips are my ‘yellow’ for this week’s sketch trying hard not to be a still life!”

By Marlena Wyman

Our upcoming week’s theme is “Jane’s Walk”. Due to the pandemic, the walks are self-guided and virtual this year. This is also a Sister City Sketch with Calgary Urban Sketchers, and Calgary has virtual Jane’s Walks happening too. Urban sketchers can choose a walk and go there in person whenever you like this week to choose one point or more along the walk to sketch. Have a lovely walk and sketch!

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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