Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Royal Ontario Museum


As luck would have it, I met a really nice fellow urban sketchers, Brenda, founder of the USK Kitchener group (in Ontario) while attending The 4th International Urban Sketching Symposium in Barcelona. She's the founder of the Urban Sketchers group in Kitchener, ON.  We recently met again on the other side of the Atlantic, at the Royal Ontario Museum to sketch together.  

I'd never been to this museum before. It's an older building with a modern minimalist extension at the front, which I was told caused a bit of controversy when it was built. It's like the Toronto version of the Louvre pyramid in Paris.  I love its angular shape, it's very dynamic. There are also neat benches for people to sit and take the city in or just read a book like the lady on the left.  
Inside, there were a group of art students drawing various statues and busts while we were there. They had a set amount of time to draw their chosen piece and then had to switch place to draw another statue from another angle. 

I really like the dinosaur area with the giant bones. It's such a fascinating thing to see and imagine these giant creature roaming the earth a long time ago. They are not the easiest thing to draw, but they are fun. It's like studying their anatomy. I'll have to go back again and spend more time there, specially in the winter. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome to Toronto USk

Toronto is said to be the largest city in Canada with over 2.6 million residents[1]. As a newcomer to this vibrant city it is my hope to connect with fellow urban sketchers and together show the world of Torontonians and tell their stories, one drawing at a time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet the Correspondents : Farid Ahmadi


Farid Ahmadi 
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Sketching, for me, is a kind of language used to communicate with people artistically. Before I begin, I look at the subject I plan to sketch and try to find the spirit of the space. My goal is to represent my understanding of the subject using the language of lines, dots and different forms. For me, creating light and combining forms is the essence of the feeling of space. I am able to embrace and express the myriad of emotions felt by people and transfer them through the language and story of water and color.



Meet the Correspondents : Collin Zhou

Collin Zhou 

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I love creating all sorts of fantastical, video-game inspired designs. Years ago, I committed to drawing from real life as a way to fortify my skills and expand my visual library. Urban sketching has been a necessary part of that process. As part the Toronto Urban Sketching community, I really enjoyed exploring the city and trading stories with fellow artists. Over time, I came to appreciate drawing on location as a fun social activity rather than just a training regime. 

Coming from a technical background and focusing on design, my sketches focus more on line and structure, the relationship between objects. Although I'm trying to diversify, my technique has focused on the speed and convenience of capturing these elements.


Meet the correspondents : Perry Chow


  

Perry Chow


Whether group or solo sketching, I enjoy feeling different beats of a city and planning how to capture my impression. Urban sketching has embedded my life and has become my regular activity ever since I found the Urban Sketchers on Flickr in 2007. I have to admit that it is addictive as I spent hours on Flickr daily. It is so amazing to see the world in this way, and the sketches are very inspiring. I joined Hong Kong Sketching Society in 2009. In 2010, my first book “Sketching | Impression of life”, collecting my sketches of Hong Kong, was launched. In 2012, one of my works was selected for the publication “The Art of Urban Sketching”. 

Only a few days after touching down Toronto in 2010, I attended my first sketching event hosted by the Toronto Plein Air Painting group at the AGO and later became part of the Toronto Urban Sketchers as well as the OPAS. Meeting like-minded artists drives my insistence in exploring Toronto altogether. Toronto is a city you would never get tired of capturing because of its endless themes and diversity. I do both drawing and watercolour paintings, depending on the time and location.

Meet the Correspondents : Barbara Eguchi

Barbara Eguchi

My deep interests as a landscape artist and landscape architect are complementary to each other. Through art I openly explore our shared environment- earth. The many joyful and challenging experiences I have help in my continued emergence and growing awareness of life. Art provides a medium for me to observe, reflect and wonder and allows me to share my experiences with others. As a landscape architect and environmental planner, I enjoy creating cultural landscapes- beautiful and meaningful places for people to live- landscapes where they can find calm and delight in each moment. In my ‘professional’ capacity, I travel around the world designing many types of engaging environments. Sketching parts of city landscapes is a key component of my work. To balance that, I regularly practice drawing and painting ‘en plein air’ in and around Toronto where I reside. This ritual helps to ground me and the intimate engagement I experience through my art practice in the urban outdoors, reconfirms the gratitude, joy and peace I feel for having Toronto as my home.


Meet the Correspondents : Amara Strand

Amara Strand

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I am a freelance 3D visualizer, originally from Bangkok, Thailand with a background in Interior Design. As part of my job I used to draw and paint with water colours. Sketching is one of the things I love to do the most and makes me feel true to myself. I immigrated to Toronto in 2010 , and for the first few years I explored the city through photography. Something was lacking though. With a camera I felt like I only captured the moment in front of me, it was not enough. Then I realized what I was missing. DRAWING! With that realization I decided to join Toronto Urban Sketchers and take the opportunity to learn and explore the city, as well as make some new friends.

Sketching on location for me is about the challenge while still having fun. I am intrigued by an artists creativity. Even at the same location artists can have totally different views of the same scene. As a compulsive urban sketcher, I have paid more attention to the details and getting to know more of the city. Sketching as a group is always enjoyable and inspiring. I am happy when others talk about art that inspires them.

I mostly use watercolours with liner pens. I love to see colourful watercolour running, seeing the lines go on my sketchbook and never knowing exactly how the sketch will turn out when it is done. This excites me.

Meet the Correspondents : Marion Younan

Marion Younan

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I’ve been drawing off and on for most of my life, but now I’m in a permanent state of ON. I really got bit by the urban sketching bug a few years ago when I undertook to fill a sketchbook during a 7-week trip to Italy. Now I have an almost fanatical love of sketching and sketchbooks (with several on-the-go at any given time), and joined Urban Sketchers to be in a community of people with a similar passion. Even though I’ve lived in the Toronto area for 30+ years, it’s been so amazing to be rediscovering the city through my own sketching and those of my TOUSK colleague-artists.


Meet the Correspondent : Hasibush Shaheed

Hasibush Shaheed

When I was a student of architecture, sketching was the most useful tool to get ideas from the existing or old designs. Furthermore, it helps me a lot to conceptualize forms and spaces with graphite , ink or watercolor media. After moving to Canada, I planned to live near the vibrant Toronto City, so that I can explore the heritage of Downtown neighbourhoods. I also like to get inspiration from a variety of styles of all the sketchers in this group. Although I worked as a 3D illustrator, I always have a huge passion to improve my illustration skill through quick thumbnail sketching. Eventually that helped me a lot to produce a final digital rendition. No matter how digital this world is evolving into, I hope urban sketchers will always represent and preserve those glorious stories of the past with color and light.

Meet the Correspondents : Marek Badzynski


Photo : Ellen Probst

Marek Badzynski 

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Drawing is something I liked to do all my life; it really took off while studying architecture, and even more while traveling around Italy - especially when sketches sold to tourist were buying a train ticket to yet another glorious old town! After moving to Toronto I went back to sketching to give the mind a moment of sanity form everyday rush, and discovered the individual charm of this city hidden away in a variety of neighbourhoods, busy streets, and their back alleys.




Meet the Correspondent : Nora MacPhail



Nora MacPhail 

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I love drawing! It is such a wonderful activity to have in one's life. It is highly challenging and always rewarding, no matter how it turns out. Living in the awesome city of Toronto, and being a city girl, I was naturally drawn to sketching cityscapes. They are so diverse, they allow a sense of playfulness to be added to every scene. I just try to let my pencil respond to what is in front of me, not worrying about the outcome. Then, I always add watercolour to my work to keep it fresh and bright. Whenever I'm looking for a subject in Toronto, I make sure I can add some people to the scene. Adding figures gives that extra bit of interest and colour. To be an Urban Sketcher, you just need paper and pen, and if you like, something for colour. It is an affordable, portable, available, immediate and highly satisfying challenge. Plus you meet great fellow sketchers and it's fun! 



Meet the Correspondents : Eugene Zhilinsky




Eugene Zhilinsky  

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Eugene Zhilinsky is a Toronto-based, Russian-born artist, and architectural illustrator. In 1986 he graduated with a Master’s degree in Art and Architecture from the State Academicals Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He is also a member of American Association of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) and Urban Sketchers community at http://www.urbansketchers.org/ When he is not found designing and rendering his architectural projects he is drawing his comic books and makes travel sketches. He’s work - the book-combination of mini comics and urban sketches “Toronto Graffiti”, - was presented at the 9th International Biennial of Carnets de Voyage in the city of Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne, France).




Meet the Correspondent : Lichia Liu


Lichia Liu

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For me, sketching is the most intimate way to remember a place. When I sit in one spot to do a sketch, I remember every detail: how the air smelled, the locals chattering around me, the people I was or wasn’t with, the way the sun hit that one spot on my hair. When I come back to these sketches years later, the memories of that moment leap from the page. Sketching is also a great way to meet people; for example, on the day I sat down on the Great Wall of China to sketch for two hours, I had countless photo requests, and people of all ages from all over the world sat down on the steps beside me to strike up conversations. It’s heartwarming to know that in this day and age where smartphones alienate person-to-person interaction, sketchbooks do quite the opposite and bring people together. After travelling and living abroad for almost a decade, I returned to Toronto and am happily re-discovering this vibrant city. There’s an authenticity here that you don’t find anywhere else. Toronto doesn’t pretend to be a beautiful, but it’s got a lot of personality and soul. I love this city, and it inspires my work and art every day. 






Meet the Correspondent : Ken Yuen


Ken Yuen

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Born in Hong Kong, and immigrating to Canada at the age of 7, I have always dreamed of being an artist one day. I would bring my pens and pencils wherever I go and doodle on whatever I could find. Instead of going to Art school, I decided to study Computer Science in hopes for a more stable career.    But back in 2012, I decided to challenge myself and sell original watercolor postcards in exchange for donations to a charity. To keep the challenge as authentic as possible, all of the postcards were drawn on-site. The subjects for each postcard were places of interest around Toronto, because I find Toronto is full of interesting places and I love discovering the hidden gems in different neighborhoods! The challenge was an overwhelming success, and it reignited my passion for art. Since then, I have joined the Toronto Chapter of Urban Sketchers in hopes to meet and learn from fellow artists, and started my art business – dreamsouth – selling my line of Paper Goods to people that enjoys my art.





Meet the correspondents : Wilfred Wong


Wilfred Wong  

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My interest in urban sketching started 6 years ago when I decided seriously pursue my art. Outside of my studio practice, sketching allows me to hone my observational skills and secondly and more importantly, allows me to record a point in my life, however mundane; Looking back at old sketchbooks I could remember exactly what was going on at the time I drew a particular scene. My interest in urban scenes usually revolves around people. They infuse an urban scene with life and the nuance of capturing the human figure in motion is a challenge I like taking on. My present choice of medium is the Bic round stick medium point pen. Drawing in pen is a challenge because there’s no room for mistakes. No use of white out. The pen is an everyday object that I like using because it has the ability to render scenes with sensitivity and subtlety. It’s an on going challenge to learn what I could do with the pen.



Meet the Correspondent : Marie-Judith Jean-Louis


Photo : Mei Chen

Marie-Judith Jean-Louis

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Soon after moving to Toronto in 2013, one of my priorities was to start sketching the city as often as possible. After participating to my first Urban Sketching Symposium in Barcelona, I was hooked. Being new to the city at the time, urban sketching gave me an incentive to explore the city and meet creative peers. Toronto is a great city to sketch. There's so much happening and it has such a great variety of subjects to sketch, that I can't help but wanting to sketch more. For me sketching has also become a form of meditation. It enables me to be present. When I sketch on location, I become the observer. I get to take a step back, look at the world around me and find beauty and inspiration in the little things I would otherwise miss. As far as sketching mediums are concerned, I'm still exploring the various possibilities. I love the control of simple pen sketches and I'm also attracted to the vibrancy of watercolours. When I sketch, I like to not only look at what's around me, but to listen as well, which sometimes results into integrating bits of conversations to my sketches.