Next Sketch Outing

Oct. 13: Seattle Center

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Bag Gets 15 Minutes of Fame

My day job is freelance writing, so I gave myself and urban sketching a little publicity: The Summer issue of Studios magazine published an article I wrote about my bag – my “portable studio.”
In part, here’s what I wrote:

Urban sketching is taking the world by storm! Unlike traditional plein air painters – who are often portrayed in fields with easel, palette and beret – contemporary urban sketchers take a more portable approach. For these thousands of sporadically nomadic artists worldwide, their “studios” have to fit in pockets, backpacks, purses or everyday bags.

That’s because, at least for this urban sketcher, a sketching opportunity can occur at any time – during a lunch break, while waiting in a dental office, or at a brief stop between errands. So I like to have my gear with me wherever I go.

The article includes photos of the contents of my bag, my attachable watercolor kit and a couple examples of my sketches.

I wrap up the article with how I came to be an urban sketcher:

By now you’re probably wondering if I even have a “real” studio at all. For the past 10 years, I have worked as an abstract artist in a variety of media that require traditional studio work, so I do have a small home studio.

But the other side of the story is that for most of my life, I simultaneously felt both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to learn how to draw. In 2011, partly because of my desire to learn and partly because the Urban Sketchers movement resonated so strongly with me, I decided to overcome my fear.

In particular, I was inspired by Urban Sketchers founder Gabriel Campanario and his weekly column in The Seattle Times. His sketches of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – depicted sites I had been to many times yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see and experience those places more thoroughly. And I couldn’t do that if I never left my studio.

Now my studio comes with me wherever I go, and I’ve never looked back.

The Summer 2013 issue of Studios magazine can be purchased digitally or in hard copy.


  1. What a wealth of information Tina, thank you so much for sharing. You're going to Barcelona for Urban Sketchers,hummm, I've been to Spain a few times but still feel a little green with envy. Do enjoy and looking forward to a full report on all the activities at the symposium.