I received a mystery package yesterday which was a complete surprise. A boxed set of the Urban Sketching 100 Postcards PLUS 3 packs of 100 postcards of the three sketches of mine that was included in the set. Wow! What a treat!
These days, there are a lot of sketching books on the market or about to hit the market. I am constantly asked to contribute to books and it is getting rare that I receive a complementary copy of the book when it is published. I am still very happy and honoured to be part of a friend’s book but I think it is a little rude that the publishers don’t give contributors anything at all but ‘exposure’. So you can imagine my delight at receiving this bundle… the release of these postcards wasn’t even on my radar. I seem to recall a long time ago sending off an approval form for my work to be used but had completely forgotten about it!
The set, if you don’t know about it, is a collection of 100 images from The Art of Urban Sketching book – a truly wonderful book that has been inspirational to many people and been a big part of the growth of the USK network. This postcard set brings back all the excitement that I had when the book was first published and it is really nice to view many of the works in the book again – this time as single images. I have been having fun as I look through the set, remembering and guessing the artists’ work.
My work has changed so much in the 5 years since the original book was published but important memories and milestones are recalled by these three works and the Urban Sketchers network were a big part of these. I would like to share with you my trip down memory lane.
Notre Dame, Paris – 2009
This part of my first overseas serious sketching trip in 2009. First big trip traveling on my own – driving through Wales, England and Scotland and sketching was the big focus of the trip. Full sketchbooks are here.
The last week of the 5 week trip was spent in Paris with my great sketching friend ‘Eza’ and this sketch was done from that visit. My work was ‘tighter’ with more reliance on line back then. Whilst the desire and drive to sketch when I was travelling was already there (I had filled 2 sketchbooks during a trip in 2007) Urban Sketchers had given me a lot more confidence to sketch anywhere.
This trip was also the start of ‘meeting up with sketchers everywhere I go’ – I met up with the Scottish correspondents (Wil Freeborn and Stuart Kerr) and sketchers in Paris (Rick Tulka and Jan from Australia who was in Paris at the time). You can read my blog post from the day I sketched this sketch here.
Australia Day 2010 – Hot Air Balloons at Parramatta Park
Urban Sketchers really got me out going to more events and places in my own city. The desire to actually do something on Australia Day and sketch it inspired me to get up at a crazy early time to see the hot air balloons – something I had wanted to do for years.
The confidence to sit in a prominent position to sketch with people all around was certainly thanks to USK. Original report of the day here.
Sydney Harbour Bridge 2010
This sketch (and a companion one of the Opera House which is included in the book) is highly significant. It was done the day after returning home from my incredible 11 week ‘long service leave’ sketching trip. Coming into the heart of my hometown and sketching the Sydney icons was a way of expressing the feeling that I had at the time, that my trip was not over when I returned home. The skills I had developed during the trip where with me even though I had returned to normal life and that the whole of my city was there ready to explore. When you have a sketchbook in your hand, you are always travelling! Once again – here is a link to what I wrote at the time when I did that sketch.