Tuesday, October 3, 2017

8th Urban Sketcher's Symposium in Chicago

The end of July brought one of the events that I usually look forward to all year long. As usual, after all of the anticipation it is over way too soon. Yet, sketching along some of my favorite artists, being surrounded by all of this creative energy, exploring a new urban place is something that I am so grateful for in my life.

Love this mural and many others in the city of Chicago 
This time the location of this symposium was in Chicago . I have never been to the Windy city, and was very impressed with its architecture, rich culture, and diversity. I brought my folding bike which allowed me to travel longer distances and explore some of the precious spots along the Lake Michigan which has surprisingly turquoise water.

Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan. Drew this for the Silent Auction to benefit the Urban Sketchers but at the end decided it wasn't good enough. Simo C. also wasn't happy with her sketch, so we just swapped instead.
I also managed to miss some of the most obvious landmarks. For example, seems like every sketcher was determined to draw their version of the famous Bean. There are literally hundreds of those sketches floating in the cybersphere–in all different styles. I somehow managed to miss it completely.
Sunrise from my rented apartment in the Presidential Towers 

Looking at my sketches from Chicago I realize that the density and the height of most of the buildings I saw sort of dictated the vertical layout, something I almost never use. Here are a couple of sketches from the 36th floor of the Presidential tower where I was staying. It was fun waking up with sunrise, even if it wasn't intentional–I was still fighting jet lag after coming here from Europe–and then watch the streets gradually fill with pedestrians and cars, peaking around lunch hour. Everyone rushing along carrying their Starbucks cups.

Madison ave. from the 36th floor 
The main reason for me to be in Chicago was to present a lecture on Documenting Resistance Movement in Sketches–the work I have been doing for the last 9 months since the election that shows various protests, rallies, and demonstrations taking place in Portland. The lecture was really well received even as it was scheduled for 6pm on Friday evening.
Presenting for the sketchers you have the luxury to be immortalized in sketches. Here is one of my favorites by Lapin

Certainly the most pleasant aspect of Urban Sketching symposium is being in the company of fantastic people from all over the world and all of the socializing that goes along with it.

Beautiful Nathalia and her boy-friend Rafael from Brazil at dinner in a Thai restaurant with Hose Louro to my left

Late dinner with Lapin, Wiltfried and Tapas Mitra on Thursday night

Live music at the closing night of the Symposium

Such a treat to see my friend Manuel. We were studying together in Barcelona and now he lives in Chicago

Ran into Peter Armstrong who took sketching classes from me in Portland in the airport, and we chatted over a glass of wine since our flight was delayed

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