Next Sketch Outing

CANCELLED: Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.: Lunar New Year/International District

Meet the Correspondents

 Correspondent: Antonella Pavese

Hello Seattle sketchers! I'm Antonella, and I'm excited to publish my first post as correspondent for the Urban Sketchers Seattle blog. This group has been my sketching community in the past two years and I've been in awe of its talented sketchers and supportive environment.

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 √Čvora

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

Correspondent:  Ujjwal Mahajan

Hello fellow Sketchers!
I am super excited to be writing my first post for Urban Sketchers Seattle blog. It's a great honor and pleasure to be a part of this forum.
My name is Ujjwal Mahajan. I was born and brought up in India. By profession I am an Architect and Product Designer. Me and my family moved to Seattle, Bothell in 2015. My husband is a Software engineer and we have a lovely daughter studying in Elementary school.
Since childhood drawing and sketching was part of my life. At the age of 9, I started doing oil paintings and had inclination towards art, thereby choosing the field of Architecture. Sketching is like meditation to me and I enjoy every bit of it.

I was introduced to Urban Sketchers group and Gabi's sketches by my brother, 9 months ago. The concept of visiting new places and sketching them live with actual surroundings appealed to me. It was a door opening to my passion and Urban Sketchers Seattle group. Thus, the journey started of carrying a sketchbook and a pen always! 
My first sketch crawl with USK Seattle was in January 2017 at Hing Hay Park, Chinese New Year celebration and it was a completely new beginning for me.
With USK Seattle I revived my architectural sketching skills, working on perspectives, trying different mediums, exploring new places and many more, it's simply amazing! Till date it's being so energizing, encouraging, meeting new people, sharing knowledge and learning new techniques each day. For a new comer like me, it is a warm and welcoming experience.
Apart from sketching, I enjoy traveling and calligraphy. Fortunate to move to a city like Seattle, which is full of natural beauty and artistic talents. I have been visiting new places in and around Seattle, capturing all the memories through sketches in my Travel sketchbook. Following are few sketches.
Center for wooden boats, Seattle
Meadowbrook Park, Seattle
Landscape Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Ballard Locks, Seattle

I look forward to share my experiences through sketches and stories here. I'm thrilled to be a Urban Sketcher Seattle Correspondent.
Happy Sketching!! Let's 'see the world one sketch at a time'.
My blog :
Flickr : ujjwaltmahajan

Correspondent: Lynn Cottie

I can't recall how I discovered the Urban Sketcher group but I do remember it was last April, I was excited to see so many folks drawing on location. I attended art school in Denver,Colorado right out of high school but dropped out to be a mom. Being a single mom I did not have a lot of time to pursue my love of drawing while raising my daughter. She is grown and creating her own art now so I don't have any excuses.

I love the portability of working with pen, ink and watercolor. Drawing signage,labels & letters appeals to me in a big way which I attribute to 20 years in the printing industry. I admit to drinking and drawing, Capitol Hill has a couple of really great brew pubs with big windows and great views. other creative outlets include doodling and collage. 

I have lived in Seattle for a little more than seven years and have befriended quite a few artists,I am excited to be a part of this group for the challenge it presents and the camaraderie it provides. 

Correspondent: Carleen Ombrek Zimmerman

Pygmy Nuthatch nesting hole, Wenas Campout 2009

I discovered Urban Sketching last summer at a workshop by Gabi offered through Kruckeberg Botanical Garden. I found out about the workshop accidentally by a birding friend of mine. I then attended my first sketch crawl at Jack Block park and since then have been blown away! What fantastic opportunities to share, learn and find new inspiration! And what enthusiastic and supportive artists and friends! Thanks to all of you for making me feel welcome!

I have been a birdwatcher for years, thanks to an early date at a sewage treatment in North Dakota (sewage ponds are birding hot spot in early spring for migrating shorebirds!). That birder became my husband 35 years ago, and we have been birding ever since. We are active volunteers with Seattle Audubon, and Neil is their Outreach Coordinator which offers us both ample opportunity for environmental education.

I am born and raised in Seattle. I was an art major my first three years of undergraduate studies at the UW, but ended up earning a BA as well as my MA in Norwegian Language & Literature. I then moved to the midwest where I was a college instructor for seven years back in Fargo/Moorhead. I ultimately decided not to pursue my PhD. I made a career change and applied my foreign language translation and literary interpretation skills to medical records. We moved back to Seattle in 1986 where I worked as a coder at Children's Hospital and Medical Center until 2000 and since then as a trauma Emergency Department coder for Harborview Medical Center.

I discovered nature journaling and field sketching by accident ten years ago while on a birding trip to Malheuer National Wildlife Refuge. Since then the emphasis on my sketches has been to depict habitat as well as use art and language to record observations. I have participated in many workshops and have offered other workshops and classes through Seattle Audubon. I have organized activities for the last six years at the annual state Audubon campout at Wenas begun by environmentalist Hazel Wolf fifty years ago.  And I have been a guest artist at Seattle Audubon's Nature Camp for 4-6th graders.

My field sketching is always done on site and true to observation, so the urban sketcher manifesto was not a new concept for me.

Purple Martin gourds at Jack Block Park 9/16/12
What urban sketching has taught me so far is to stretch myself, to sketch in public, to sketch people and events in urban settings rather than only non-urban or wild settings, and to learn to think geometrically so I can depict three-dimensional structures (I am still trying to wrap my brain around buildings and architecture!).

I hope urban sketching will continue to inspire my field sketching and nature journaling. It will always remain for me to sketch my community one drawing at a time, but in addition, to always show the relationship between the urban environment and our natural habitat. It is, after all, all about birds.

I look forward to meeting you all. Thanks for inspiring me!

Correspondent: Tina Koyama
8/31/12 Phinney Farmer's Market (fountain pen, marker)
Although I’ve been an abstract mixed media artist for years, for most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to learn to draw. In September 2011, partly because of that desire, and partly because I was so inspired by Gabi’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more thoroughly. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my world, one drawing at a time. 

I enjoy sketching a variety of subjects, but my favorite is people in their environment. (My current sketching bugaboo: cars. I’m working on it, though.) Last summer I went to as many neighborhood farmers markets as I could. Buskers and other musicians became my favorite sketching “victims” because they stay in the same spot for a while. The sketch above is of blues singer and guitar/harmonica player P. K. Dwyer performing at the Phinney Farmers Market in August. Some of his songs were about his experiences as a busker while living in New York subway stations. As far as I could tell, all the tunes he performed were original.
10/26/12 Zoka Coffee (fountain pen)

The second sketch is an example of how I spend all the many cold, wet sketching months: in coffee shops. With tall ceilings and lots of natural light coming through large windows, Zoka Coffee and Tea near Green Lake is my favorite. This sketch is also an example of my current favorite sketching medium/technique: water-soluble fountain pen ink washed with a waterbrush.

The photo of me was taken by my husband Greg as I sketched a swimming pool from our 23rd floor room of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last October. We aren’t really Vegas people, but we stopped over on our way to Zion and Bryce canyons. (You can see the finished sketch on my blog.)
Photo by Greg Mullin

When I attended my first sketchcrawl in May 2012 at Magnuson Park, I had so much fun and found everyone to be so friendly that I was encouraged to keep on attending. I’m thrilled to be a Seattle USK correspondent! Please visit my blog, Fueled by Clouds and Coffee.

Correspondent: Stephanie Bower
Hello sketchers...

I started sketching back in architecture school at UT Austin where drawing was (and still is) an important part of an architect's education.  In my 3rd year review, 2 professors wrote I had "weak graphic skills" -- honestly, I think that comment only made me work harder to learn to draw.  That struggle also became my inspiration for teaching drawing and perspective sketching--10 years at Parsons School of Design in NYC, briefly with Gail Wong and Frank Ching at UW, and more recently for a number of years at Cornish College of the Arts where I now teach a perspective field sketching class. I have also taught sketching classes to architecture firms  here in Seattle.

Although I got my architecture license while living in New York, I have spent most of my career as an architectural illustrator ( and have had the good fortune to work with many wonderful offices. Although digital imagery now dominates the profession, I believe hand drawing is still an important design and communication tool.  I truly hope it won't disappear.

Last year I made 2 sketching trips abroad-- one to southern Spain and a second to India/Nepal, where I filled 2 large moleskin watercolor books (you can see a few of the pages on my flickr site at )  India was amazing, but it's a very challenging place to draw.  Simply opening a sketchbook literally brings people running!   I hope to continue traveling and "seeing the world one drawing at a time" -- it is truly my passion.

I'm also exploring watercolor landscape painting and have had work in a few shows. If you are interested in watercolor, the Northwest Watercolor Society is a great resource.

As for personal info, I Iive in Seattle, am married to an architect and have 2 sons, one at Garfield High School and one just starting UW.

Even though I draw quite a lot, I feel that I still struggle with my field sketches.  It's so hard to master all the variables.  The energy and support the Urban Sketchers give each other, in person and on the websites, is amazing.  What a brilliant concept. This group is helping to keep hand drawing alive in a digital age -- around the world, no less!

The image I am posting is the one I'd grab if the house caught on fire (OK, I'd grab the India sketchbooks too.) I spent my 25th birthday here at Le Corbusier's cathedral at Ronchamp.  Although that was LONG ago, it was the magical day my drawing abilities came together.

So this is my first post as an official blog correspondent -- thanks so much, and see you at the crawls!


Correspondent: Kate Buike

This is my first post as a brand new contributor to Urban Sketchers Seattle.  I'm Kate Buike.  I just found Urban Sketchers on 21 February 2012 when Gabi Campanario appeared on a local show promoting his book, The Art of Urban Sketching.  Right then and there I said to myself, "That's what I want to do".  That Sunday, 26 February, I attended my first Sketch Crawl with this wonderful group and I've missed few since.

I just retired in August 2011.  Though I have a couple volunteer activities and lots of interests and hobbies, there was room for more.  Urban Sketching has brought me back to the practice of art and sketching that I enjoyed when I was young(er).  I had a some training and showed my art a little but after getting my first SLR camera in 1974, all my artistic expression went into photography.  Until now. It has been decades since I drew or painted and I am enjoying renewing my skills.  I especially am enjoying this group!

I was born and raised in Michigan.  I’ve also lived & worked in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington. I have a Masters Degree in Social Work and I’m a medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology.  I've been married for 32 years.  My husband is a computer professional.

I live in south King County and have been showing a bit of my area of Puget Sound in my sketches.  I chose this one to post here first not because it is my most recent one but because it represents where I live and it amuses me.  This is a Boeing 737 fuselage on a train, presumably headed for the Renton Boeing plant.  I often see trains like this passing through town.  The first time I saw one, I thought it looked very funny.  I had time to draw this as the train was waiting for cars to be towed! It was during Renton River Days and somehow some parked cars were blocking the train's passage.

Plane on a train:

My Blog: Red Harp Arts
My flickr page:  RedHarp

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