Friday 19 June 2020

Virtual Sketching: Talinn on Tuesday 30 June

Our next art in the time of coronavirus will be on Tuesday 30 June, when we suggest that you try virtual sketching.   This has been the Urban Sketchers’ solution to the problem of how to carry on sketching contemporary life in a time of widespread home lockdown, and it has become possible  thanks to the technological marvels of those internet giants, google and facebook.   Many of you will be familiar with google’s streetmaps and aerial photographs of more or less the entire planet now; they have also driven round every road everywhere and photographed everything.   Artwork can be produced from these photographs, and the Urban Sketchers have organised a daily programme of “VirtualSketchtours” since early on in the lockdown.   As a sketching group, we thought that Art in the Park should be aware of this development, and try it out at least once. 
However, in the centre of the IAS Art in the Park we only have the barest minimum of technical capability, and are completely unable to work out our own virtual sketching tour.  We have therefore decided to join in on one of the Urban Sketchers’ Virtual Sketch Tours. 

Individual urban sketchers have taken the trouble to go through google’s photographs and select a number of places which would sketch well, and incorporate them into sreet tours.  These events are open to all, and we have decided on the Talinn tour.    Talinn is off the beaten track for most (but not all) of us, has the charm of novelty, is an attractive historic city, (in Estonia),  and has one of the better sets of photographs, google’s photos are not taken with any regard to allure.

What you need to do is this: 
1)  sign in or register with facebook – you can always unregister if your principles prevent you from contributing to Mark Zuckerberg.   It is possible that this link will let you see the relevant page on facebook without registering, but we would not bet on it:

 2)  Search within facebook for #Virtualsketch

3)  Click on Events  (in left hand column)

4)  Scroll down to Talinn, Estonia

5)   Click on See More at the end of the Talinn introduction

6)   Click on one of the location links for Talinn beauty spots

7)   A photograph appears;  move your cursor around and you will find that the view changes, it will stop moving if you stop moving your cursor

8)   Repeat until you have looked at all the locations, and found something which you would like to sketch

9)   If you are using your desktop computer, the light will almost certainly be unsatisfactory.  If this affects you,  take a photograph of your scene or scenes, and transfer it into your ipad, which you can then set up so that the light is OK

10  Then create art in the comfort of your home studio.

Certainly post your art on the #Virtualsketch facebook page if you are registered both for facebook and as a member of the Virtual Sketch group, and if you so wish. This should be done on or after Thursday 2 July, which is the date of the official Urban Sketchers sketchtour.   In any case, please send images to Sue Lees (via in the normal way and they will appear on the  blog in due course. 

Virtual sketching is much more fun than it sounds, and it does offer the opportunity to make something of a subject which almost certainly will not have the attractions of one which you have found yourself by actually padding the streets.   It also means that you are not constricted by time, changing light, weather, parked vans, and the other problems of plein air painting.

Good luck!  We look forward to seeing many interpretations of the Talinn street scene!

Saturday 13 June 2020

Tuesday 9 June: Hopes and Dreama - or Missed Opportunites

We have received a lovely collection of people's hopes and dreams, and missed opportunities due to coronavirus. Our artists long to see family and friends, and to return to places dear to their hearts. One artist longs to go off on a companiable urban sketching trip. Some of us recreated special memories. One person looked at her neighbours' windows and thought of all the longings within sets of windows. Some of us focused on missed opportunities, and hopefully it is beneficial to identify the losses and produce these in art form. A wide selection of media were used, and beyond our normal paint-based materials we have some three-dimensional sculptural work and collage, including embroidery.

As always, despite our best efforts, we have one painting unaccountably omitted from our previous collection, and some ex-theme pieces.

Details about our next art day will follow shortly  In the meantime, thank you for sharing your lockdown thoughts and other visions with us.

Images above are, left to right, by Diane Umemoto, Gafung Wong, Janet Payne

Images above are, left to right, by Cathy Burkinshaw, Maggie Pettigrew, Jenny Ainsley

Images above are, left to right, by Helen Fuggle, Gill Steiner, Wendy Long

Images above are, left to right, by Priscilla Worley, Tricia Sharp, Sue Lees
Images above are, left to right, by Imrana Khanum, Sara Meidan, Imrana Khanum

Images above are, left to right, by Pat Castle and David Milner

Image above is by Pat Castle

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Tuesday 9 June: Hopes and Dreams - or Missed Opportunities

We have decided to have another paint-at-home day next Tuesday, 9 June, because we think that you are all enjoying the challenge, and a painting day takes people's minds off the continuing unsatisfactory Coronavirus situation. This time the theme is "hopes and dreams", and alternatively, "missed opportunities". Plenty of scope for imaging what you would like to do, people you would like to see, etc., or your thwarted plans, (including collage - Ed).

And if you don't fancy the theme, don't let that put you off doing something else and sending it in.

The destination for images this time is: and we look forward to seeing your creations.

Happy Painting!

For those of you who want to get back to sketching the streets of London, a "virtual" sketchcrawl may be the answer. The London Urban Sketchers have got to grips with how to set these up, and their next event is on Saturday, 6 June, when the location is Little Venice. The USk have extracted various links from google's street photos, they put them on their blog page, artists click on the links and can pan round that particular location. You choose your view, and start sketching! Conveniently, the light does not change nor do vans park in front of the view. The usual throwdown displays of participants' work have been replaced by various social media links. Full details can be found here: This method of urban sketching is yet another step on for your artistic journey, maybe worth a go.

Finally, a new submission from Annie Faulkner.