Thursday, March 26, 2020

Art In Isolation: Urban Sketchers Style

A note to the Weekday Sketching Group  (and others) 

The great paradox of the pandemic is that we are in isolation together.  

Perhaps some of you have seen the article in the NY Times "Art In Isolation, a Coloring Book". which is supposedly the view from the artist's window of how his neighbors are dealing with confinement.  Here is a link to the article.

The artist is Tomi Um. I too didn't recognize the name but realized I know his work from the NYC Subway campaign for Casper Mattresses 

And here is a link to a longer article about Art in Isolation: 

My point in sending this note, is to say we are not alone in our isolation.  The article shows the work of many artists using their creative spirit to help deal with the reality of the crisis.  That is a message for all of us. 

Going forward with NYC Urban Sketchers, you will be receiving a weekly "meeting" notice from Mark Leibowitz.  Since we are all home bound, I will not be posting a weekly "meeting" notice for the Weekday Sketchers.   Let's just consider the NYC Chapter for now as one large group and follow Mark's prompts on collective art experiences.  

In addition here are some suggestions: 

  • Visit our blog page for the Weekday Schedule March/April (you have to keep scrolling backwards) and virtually visit the places we were to go as a group and sketch away.

  • Visit the Urban Sketchers International site ( to see how chapters around the world are working through the pandemic.  Also look up the current and past issues of Drawing Attention (click tab "about" and then "Drawing Attention") 

  • For those who like figure drawing there is Croquis Cafe, Line of Action and Bodies in Motion, to name few sites offering models for sketching.

  • Danny Gregory of Sketch Book Skool has contacted us and invited us to participate in the many free daily drawing experiences on their web site and Facebook Page. He is also offering free access to one lesson in each of his paid courses. 

  • Try working in a new medium, style or subject matter. You might find out you like colored pencils, toned paper, or still life.  Try this: use an ordinary ball point pen. Do your sketch with cross hatching. Then take a cotton swab dipped in 70% or higher alcohol which will dissolve the ink creating a wash.  

  • My new mantra is: every day that goes by is one day closer to the end of this isolation. Feel free to use it as often as you like.

  • Just think of how much better your skills will be after this concentrated art experience. 

Going forward, watch for Mark's posting for the Saturday sketching events.  I am looking forward to seeing you all again on the streets of NYC!

Raylie Dunkel 

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