Sunday, August 13, 2017

On the Terrace, August Meet Up

USK Madison had a great sketching meet up on the Terrace of the University of Wisconsin Union, located on beautiful Lake Mendota in the center of town. Lots of people were out enjoying the weather and a few of us were glad there were clouds to help us sketchers who avoid the sun.

Thanks to Mercedes' husband for taking the photo, we're all here!


So glad two new folks joined us today, Rebecca and Mike (Mike wins the award for longest commute from Milwaukee). Also a big welcome back to Elsie who we've missed. Also in attendance, Mercedes, Gretchen, Pat, and your fearless reporter, Ruth.

Elsie makes us jealous
Elsie shared some of her sketches and cool tools from the Chicago Symposium...

Gretchen shares with Rebecca
We all shared our sketchbooks with each other - what's more exciting than that?

Mike looks happy
I think Mike was happy he came....I hope everyone comes back again. I saw a few jealous people watching us sketch. After all, nothing better than sketching with like minded people.

Enjoy these last bits of summer...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

USK Symposium 2017 - One Sketcher's Experience

Note:  I revised my previous note as it was way too whiny because I was still in so much pain from all the walking I had to do with the Workshop Pass.  This one is a bit less self-pitying!:

Here are few photos from the symposium.  Gabi's speech on the first night was the highlight for me.  It is really amazing what he started with that first sketch of his street in Portland.  It was nice to meet Liz Steel and Nina Johansson but the pace of their workshops was so fast that there was no time to actually speak to them.  For me Virginia Hein's workshop was the best of the ones I managed to attend.  She is a bit older than Liz or Nina and paced her workshop accordingly so it was much more enjoyable for someone like me.

I wish I could say I was glad I attended the symposium but I just physically could not keep up.  The Workshop Pass was not designed for anyone with a physical handicap or disability and required much too much walking and did not allow time for people to take other transport because the locations were kept secret until the last moment and sometimes changed at the last moment.  I did not feel the organizers really cared about someone like me who looks able bodied but is far from it as the result of a drunk driver hitting me while I was standing on the side walk a couple years ago.   When you pay an extra $300 for the Workshop Pass you sort of want to get your money's worth which in my case was just impossible.  It was very rushed and I found there was little time to interact with fellow sketchers.  In the end I could barely walk by the 3rd day and went home one day early while I could still get to the bus on my own.   Instead of socializing with other sketchers as I had looked forward to, I was in so much pain after the workshops that I had to go back to my room.  If I ever went to another symposium I would just get a Basic Pass and pick one activity a day that required walking and leave more time for just hanging out.  I heard the drink and draws were really fun and I regret not being able to get to those in the evening.  I think USK - Madison should have a drink and draw once in awhile if there is interest it that?

So even though it was not a good experience for me overall, at least the WEATHER was great and I learned some valuable sketching tips. We also got a bag of very nice freebies from various vendors.  And Stillman and Birn have come out with a great new black paper sketchbook.  Blick does not have them yet but I think they said Jerry's did.  I definitely want one for the Uni Posca paint pens.

Gabi Campanario - founder of USK

Gaby's first sketch in Portland, OR

Virginia Hein (right) -  workshop painting light & shadow in watercolor

Swaga from Seattle at Virginia's  workshop