USK Day in Newcastle

January 12, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

What a wonderful day we had at Newcastle on Saturday – the first regional USK event we have organised.

Over 15 sketchers from Sydney travelled on the train (2.5 hours) up to meet some local sketchers. We had a perfect summer’s day and a wonderfully inspiring time sketching together! It was just so great to meet some of the locals and catch up with some of the ‘Sydney gang’.

A special thanks to Phil Bamford who did an amazing job of organising the day- including an information board with a map of essential details. I posted more photos over at on the USK AUS blog (check out other people’s work there too!)

I was not fully back into Sydney time after my Singapore trip, a little hyped up meeting all the people, and had started two new sketchbooks with different paper… so really wasn’t quite in the groove or in a calm enough mood for focused sketching in the morning.

Group sketching events are often like that and despite a certain frustration that I can’t settle to do some serious sketching,  I do love meeting people – for me, people are always more important than art. Therefore I am content that my work at events like this is whatever I can manage. I do train myself for these ‘reflex sketching’ occasions and like the way that my reflex sketches are a barometer of my mood!

I did a few quick warmups using some of the experimental techniques I was doing in Singapore (mixing up painting and drawing), totally disregarding any need for correct proportions or perspective. I was also trying to start a habit of doing quick sketches in my daily sketchbook and then a slower piece on loose paper (I still haven’t found the perfect paper for me – this time is was Fabriano Cold Press) I didn’t quite manage the ‘slower pace’ on Saturday!

I hope soon to be able to explain further some of the ideas, thoughts and experiments that have been going on during my recent trip – these sketches were a little test of trying to put some ideas into practice in the context of a big social sketching day.  I have to admit that I was missing my A4 moleskine sketchbook big time and the vibrant colours of Asia!

These sketches are of the old Newcastle Post Office in and the tower of Custom House.

After lunch, a group stayed on sketching till the 430pm train. We went down to the riverside and sat in the shade at Queens Wharf.

It was one of those perfect summer’s days – warm  (hot away from the coast) but with a lovely sea breeze and crisp light and blue blue sky.

Staying for the afternoon was wonderful… and I was starting to slow down and get into the swing of things by the end of the day…just when it was time to go!

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