The grassroots non-profit group Urban Sketchers has been around for many years and has now covered the globe. Members are in every continent except Antarctica, as you can see from this map on their website. Over a hundred correspondents update the site with their sketches and stories from their home town or their travels. There is a flickr site for sharing images, a vimeo site for videos, a facebook page with over 37,000 Likes, and a book with over 300 full-color pages of sketches, paintings and stories. Shown here (below) is a group in Moscow.
The fifth annual Urban Sketching Symposium will take place this year in Paraty, Brazil, from August 27-30. A three-day workshop entitled Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries, featuring three instructors, will take place in Oxford, England, on July 9-12. Registration is limited to thirty, and previous workshops have been sold out.
From chapter 1 of the book, “As hobbies go, urban sketching gives you a lot of bang for your buck. With nothing more than a piece of paper and a pencil, you are equipped to start drawing your city or village, the people who live there, and the things that are happening in it.”
Spanish American painter Ramon Shivá was born in Spain in 1893. He traveled in Greece, Turkey and Panama before coming to Chicago in 1910, where he worked at lithograph firms. He saw the New York Armory Show at the Chicago Art Institute in 1913, and this, the first large exhibit of avant-garde European and American art in the U.S., redirected him toward a more abstract, colorful and geometrical style.
He studied at the Chicago Art Institute from 1913-1917 and became a member the the Palette & Chisel Academy. He also lectured at the Chicago Art Institute on the subject of color permanency.
Trained in chemistry, he started developing his own line of oil and casein paint and lithographic inks, guided by the reactions of his many artist friends. Eventually, during the 1940s thru the 1950s, Shiva became the leading oil paint manufacturer in the United States.
Shivá had a sixteen year–old errand boy by the name of Jack Richeson, who made deliveries to the factory and was fascinated by the paint making process. In the year 2002, a lifelong dream of Jack Richeson’s came true. Today Jack Richeson & Company is manufacturing all the original formulas of the 1950s that made Shiva oil the top brand in the United States.
The current issue of The Artist’s Magazine has a “road test” of the new Shiva oils by Brian Burt, which you can find here. (Scroll down to see the article.)
Award-winning artist West Fraser has painted throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and Scandinavia, yet his passion always draws him back to the marshes and landscape of his beloved Georgia and South Carolina Coast. Recently, he created a fun project, Painting in a Tree, to raise funds (and awareness) for various non-profits. He actually hangs a finished painting in a tree, with instructions for the finder to make a donation to a favorite charity. The first painting, a 6 x 8 inch oil on panel titled Dungeness Ruins, Cumberland Island, was recovered on Cumberland Island by Canadian sailors Mike and Barb Turney who were heading home to Nova Scotia from their summer sojourn in the Keys. The painting, now mounted on the bulkhead of their 42’ Ketch, Nelleke, prompted the couple to donate to the Cancer Society and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in their home town Halifax. The couple also passed through Charleston after making contact with the artist and met to share their story.
Shown here are an 11″x14″ oil on panel entitled Morning Tones (top) and a 10″x8″ oil on linen entitled On the Rocks (right).
His website also has a journal entry with the text of a speach he gave about the roll of the arts in the new creative economy. “Industry studies have established that workers who played an instrument, acted in plays or were otherwise engaged in the arts were better members of their team, stayed in their job longer, were more productive & were better at customer service.”
Artist and instructor Chris Wright has been teaching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn since 1999. At left is a plein air painting of storage tanks along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Below, in progress, is an 8″x10″ painting of the Long Island Railroad Atlantic Yards.
He has taught at several other schools in New York City, including the New York Academy of Art, the Educational Alliance, the Dahesh Museum of Art and at Parsons The New School for Design.
Below is an oil on paper entitled Calle Del Forner, done in Italy: