Wednesday, August 26, 2020

SUNDAY: High on Color!

Sunday - that’s right, Sunday, … not our usual day.

Can’t get enough color?  Then you probably already love the Fauves, the incredible art movement that replaced Impressionism with a burst of colors that left the artworld speechless.  Our topic for this Sunday’s Virtual Sketch is the Fauves.  This day of virtual sketching was suggested and will be hosted by Patricia Chow.

We will visit the Mediterranean seaside town of Collioure, France.  Collioure is known as the birthplace of Fauvism, an art movement focused on color and individual expression.  Fauvist painters like Henri Matisse and Andre Derain traveled around together, sketchbooks in hand, searching for places to paint - just like urban sketchers did (prior to the pandemic).  But, have no fear, we will join them from the comfort of home by exploring virtually


In the morning we'll sketch the town of Collioure - including the tiny medieval alleyways of the Old Town, the 800-year-old Ch√Ęteau Royal, the famous lighthouse - now the bell tower of the church of Notre-Dame des Anges, the beachside promenade of the Boramar district, or even the grave of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado in the Collioure cemetery.


In the afternoon, we'll venture into the hinterlands and sketch the vineyards and natural landscapes that inspired Matisse and Derain to push past the color boundaries of the Impressionists and experiment with the expressive use of bright, contrasting colors.  

Since we will be working virtually you are free to use any source material you like.  However Patricia has prepared a short list of useful links:

Collioure Tourism Website:


Google Earth Street View,+France/@42.5271295,3.085509,3a,75y,285.56h,106.23t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipOlrh8AuKNWolqFasD2hkJYoutHtpwtq1IiwjH1!2e10!3e11!!7i8704!8i4352!4m15!1m7!3m6!1s0x12b07f95291fde8d:0x91f56d4265317420!2sCollioure,+France!3b1!8m2!3d42.526752!4d3.084631!3m6!1s0x12b07f95291fde8d:0x91f56d4265317420!8m2!3d42.526752!4d3.084631!14m1!1BCgIgARICCAI?hl=en


You need to register to attend this event.   Registration is open now and closes on Friday at noon.  If you register you will receive dial-in instructions in an email on Friday..  The event starts at 10 AM on SUNDAY, ... (not our usual day - please note.)

Click here to register:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

SATURDAY: The Hometown Sketch

For Saturday August 22, 2020 - starting at 10 AM

Since the pandemic started and we began our virtual sketching adventures we have turned our backs on what was for years an inexhaustible source of inspiration.   New York City - our hometown is calling.  We will spend Saturday drawing the places we love best and the activities that we miss.   

Yes, we will return.  Let’s consider this day of sketching a bookmark, saving our place so we can return enthusiastically when it’s safe to be out sketching together.

  • AM - The NYC places we miss
  • PM -  The NYC things we miss doing

Definitions and Rules:

  1. NYC refers to all five boroughs of our city - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.
  2. You can use any source material you like including personal photographs,  Google Maps and any website you like.
  3. For visitors from other cities and countries, if you’ve never been to our town please share with us the things you’d love to see and do when you do visit us.

To participate you will need to register in advance.  Registration ends on Friday at noon.   You will receive an email from us on Friday afternoon with the login details.

To register now - click here:  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

SATURDAY: Poetry Sketching

We have two interesting ideas to explore. The morning session will be completely different from the afternoon event.


Sometimes the most obvious thing to do when looking for topics for our sketch events is to look at what our group is posting. 

A lot of people had a hand in suggesting this morning’s topic. Suzanne Cleary (who teaches poetry) suggested using favorite quotes. Shawne Cooper led an event a few weeks ago that got us to incorporate words with our pictures. And this week Susan Chavez refined the idea by using a poem as her inspiration.

Poetry is an adjacent art form with a depth and richness equal to our own sketching. We can honor the value of poetry with our art.

Your challenge this morning is to take a line of poetry that has special meaning for you and explore it with an image you create. Feel free to use the entire world for source material. Include the lines from the poem that influenced you.


The Repurposing Project - Things are manufactured with a purpose in mind. Artists are creative enough to see these objects in a broader context. As artists we have the unique vision to create new missions for old objects. Pick your object and show us how you'd repurpose it. Feel free to use your artwork and words to tell your story. Humorous uses are encouraged.


Registration closes at noon on Friday.  Our virtual sketch event will happen this coming Saturday from 10 AM EDT until 3 PM 

Click here to register.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Weekly Theme:

Let the Words Frame Your Art

Sketch by Christina Ramos-Payne
Lyrics by Cat Stevens from the song "Oh Very Young"

Images can speak louder than words. JFK said "Let the word go forth." For this week's theme we will have the written word be the inspiration for our sketching. Pick a book, poem or song that is dear to you and interpret it through your art work.

"Listen to the Wind" Sketch by Sophie Cheung

If you listen to the wind, you can hear me again 
Even when I'm gone you can still hear the song
High up in the trees as it moves through the leaves
Listen to the wind and I'll send you my love ...

— from the beautiful song sung by Hayley Westerna. 

Some ideas and examples are as follows:

1. Be with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as you paint steamboats on the Mississippi River.
2. Dally with brushstroke painting to accompany quotes from Lao Tzu.
3. Create a painting of the Swiss Alps alongside words from a Sound of Music song.
4. Render some surreptitious characters from your favorite spy novel. 

These articles may give you some ideas:

When art meets literature - famous artwork inspired by literary greatness

"My Antonia" Sketch by Emily Stedman

"I always wanted to be a pioneer woman a la Willa Cather when I was a child—living out on the prairie, strong women, defending their home and children. It seemed exciting at the time! This is based on a picture called Women of the Prairie by Harvey Dunn."

Rumi Inspired Sketches by Jamie Williams Grossman

You get the idea, the sky's the limit. Have fun and remember to post your work on using the hashtag #nycurbansketchers and NUS (Non an Urban Sketch).