Next Sketch Outing

Sept. 22: Columbia City

Monday, July 17, 2023

Highlights from SketcherFest

My sketch of the Edmonds waterfront made
during Virginia Hein's workshop.
After more than seven months of eager anticipation (and much hard work from volunteers), SketcherFest finally came to fruition on the Edmonds waterfront last weekend. The brainchild of Gabi Campanario, SketcherFest included urban sketching workshops, sketchwalks, vendor market, book fair, presentations and an art exhibit. It looked a lot like a mini USk symposium! Modeled after the carnet de voyage events popular in Europe, it’s the first of its kind in the US. As if all of that weren’t enough, it occurred on one of the most beautiful weekends of the year.

Last year when Virginia Hein was in town, I missed out on her workshop, so I was especially happy to grab a ticket for her SketcherFest workshop, “Up Close and Far Away” (it filled within minutes when registration opened several months ago). Her Saturday morning workshop focused on seeing and capturing depth and distance in compositions.

Virginia explains concepts and gives demos

Workshop attendees received a goodie bag filled with sponsor donations! Did I mention that SketcherFest was like a mini symposium?

The next day, I began by taking in the Sketchbook Fest and Art Market and all the artists exhibiting there. It was also a wonderful treat to reunite with several guest artists and attendees that I usually only get to see at international Urban Sketchers symposiums.

Jane Wingfield

Frank Ching

Gail Wong

Sunil Shinde

David Chamness

Andika Murandi

Stephanie Bower

Singapore urban sketcher Paul Wang was at Daniel Smith's 
booth as the paint manufacturer's brand ambassador.

Alvin Wong of Hong Kong surprised friends with his impromptu visit by way of L.A.

Michelle and Olivia Campanario sell books at Sketcher Press's booth.

Liz Nordlund, one of many USk volunteers, greets visitors at the Art Market.

I spent the rest of the day at sketchwalks (led by Seattle USk members) and socializing. I don’t know if we have a total tally of all the sketchers who participated, but I heard that upwards of 400 had registered for the free sketchwalks. “Mini” symposium? That’s nothing short of a full-fledged symposium!

During the Sunday morning sketchwalk, I was thinking about the concepts I learned from Virginia as I captured a few thumbnails of the Edmonds waterfront while chatting with friends.

Ferry on its way to Edmonds.

This scene was one of my warm and fuzzy moments . . . so many sketchers together doing what we all love most! It was my most symposium moment.

Tina, Momoko (who visited from Vancouver, B.C.) and Sunny

Group photo of sketchwalk led by Susan Cornelis

Many thanks to Gabi, Mario Linhares, Jane Wingfield, Gail Wong and all the other hard-working volunteers and sponsors who made SketcherFest possible. And don’t miss the fantastic press coverage of the event by
Lynnwood Today. 

Edited 7/19/23 See Alvin Wong's video coverage of the event on YouTube.

SketcherFest promotional poster at Top Pot Doughnuts near the Waterfront Center.


  1. What a great summary, Tina. I've never been to an international symposium, but I was pretty sure that's what it must feel like. Kudos to the organizing team, all the artists and sponsors, but especially to those new urban sketchers that made the leap and joined us on a first Sketch Walk!!

    1. Thanks for all your volunteer work over the weekend, Kim! Kate and I can't keep up with the FB group adds right now, so we certainly do expect to see lots of new members at upcoming outings! ;-)

  2. Excellent summary. Not only have we had a flood of FB group requests, there have also been several requests to join the Google mail group!

    BTW: I'm signed into Google so don't know why my credentials don't show up in this reply.

  3. Tina, so spot on with your description of this amazing event. The atmosphere had so much energy and excitement which allowed us all to meet urban sketchers from around the world was … priceless!!! Successful event in my eyes!!

  4. Such a fun post, Tina! We can't forget Mario Linhares! His plan to visit Seattle was the impetus for the whole event!

    1. Oh, you're right! And I was sad that I didn't get a chance to take his photo!

  5. Thank you so much for organizing the Edmonds Sketchfest! I came over from Coeur d’Alene and brought my daughter who lives in Kirkland. We both really appreciated how welcoming the artists were with us new beginners and such beautiful artistry they displayed! We left with ideas, new supplies, plus our Sunday afternoon Edmonds ferry sketch. : )