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Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Few Memories of the First Day at USK Chicago Symposium

I'm relieved to see that there are a few other sketchers like me who need some time to put together their thoughts and reminisces of the 8th Annual Symposium in Chicago. It's quite a task to try to convey just how amazing the experience was. So, even though this is a bit late in posting, I trust that it will give an impression of what it was like on the first full day, July 26, 2017.

That's me in a black top next to the bench, taking a panoramic photo of our huge group on our way to the first Sketch Walk at the USK 8th Annual Symposium 2017. We walked up Michigan Avenue to the South Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago. Eventually the approximately 200 sketchers (my guess, I haven't seen the official count) strung out for three blocks and through several stoplights. Note: If you have a good eye, you might spot Jane and Gail from USKSeattle in the right side of this shot.
This was the sketch walk gathering point outside of the symposium venue on the first morning. Thanks to the volunteers who guided us to the best sketching spots in the city.  None of these photos can truly express the impact of  the entire crowd of around 200 sketchers walking together along the streets of  Chicago, stopping for a while to see the world one sketch at a time..
The reflecting pool and fountain at the south garden of the Chicago Art Institute was a tempting spot to try to stay cool while sketching an inspiring subject.

I decided to go on ahead of the group to the north garden of the Institute, our second stop on the sketchwalk. It's a smaller space and even without the fountain, provided a nice shady spot with benches, tables and chairs perfect for sketching. Outdoor sculpture, like Alexander Calder’s Flying Dragon, is carefully sited. I always enjoy viewing from different angles and chose this north facing profile because it seemed not at all like a dragon, but like some exotic tropical bloom, repeating the shapes of the surrounding foliage and other plantings.
Yesterday morning we went out on our own to see the Buckingham Fountain. Even at 8:00 am, it was hot enough out in the sun to appreciate the cooling windblown mist off the edge of the fountain.
Buckingham Fountain with Chicago skyline. 7/25/17

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