|Antonella sketching at Viva Farms in Mount Vernon, WA (Photo by Rebecca Murray)|
|The John Deere tractor posing for me in all its majesty (Photo by Rebecca Murray)|
Here is me sketching at Viva Farms, a non-profit "farm incubator" near Mount Vernon, WA. Viva Farms provides land, tools, and training in sustainable and organic farming practices to new farmers in Skagit Valley. My husband Scott was there with videographer Rebecca Murray to do some filming for a new training video, and I took the opportunity to visit the Farm and to do some sketching. I loved the place, and especially this green and yellow John Deere tractor, but also the amazing produce, the flowers that grow on the farm, and the mission of this organization.
A bit more about me. I was born in Rome, Italy. While working on my PhD in Cognitive Psychology, I took a plane (and an umbrella) to Eugene, Oregon—just like Andika!—as a one-year exchange student to the University of Oregon Psychology graduate program. There I met Scott, my future husband, and I never went back.
Throughout my life, I've been geographically restless. In Italy, I lived in Rome, in Pisa, Tuscany, in Padova, a 30-minutes train ride from Venice, and a few other places you wouldn't recognize. In the US, after Eugene, OR, I moved to Philadelphia, PA and suburbs, and then to NYC. I finally landed in Seattle in December of 2015.
I loved drawing as a kid, and I've been working on some kind of artistic project on and off all my life, but only in the past few years I started to be serious about sketching and painting. I took classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and at the Gage Academy in Seattle, and I started hanging out with urban sketchers, the best training of all. I got hooked with urban sketching even more after attending the two most recent Urban Sketchers' Symposiums in Chicago and Porto. In May of this year, I quit my job in high-tech as User Experience researcher, which left me more time to sketch and draw.
Sketching to me is, above all, a meditative activity. Drawing and painting an object or a scene make me learn about them more intimately than just looking at them or taking a picture. I see sketching as an act of "bearing witness" to the reality around us, an opportunity to open up to the uniqueness of what is in front of us and "to meet it just as it is."
A few of my recent sketches:
|The Amgen Helix Pedestrian bridge on August 24, at the latest USK Seattle event|
|After the Symposium in Porto, I spent a few more day in Portugal, traveling to Évora|
|Sketching at the demonstration Families Belong Together at the ICE Detention center in Tacoma in June|
|Learning from the best: sketching at Gabi Campanario's workshop in Seattle last May|
I'm looking forward to contribute to this blog. In the meanwhile, you can keep up with my sketches on my Instagram account, @antonellasketches. and on my blog AntonellaSketches.com.