illustrating journeys and urban sketching at the avid reader

at the Avid Reader, June 8th Last Saturday evening I was fortunate enough to give a talk at my local bookstore The Avid Reader about travel journals, urban sketching, and Danny Gregory’s latest book ‘An Illustrated Journey‘, in which I have a chapter. I gave a talk there last year about ‘The Art of Urban Sketching‘, and I have always liked that store – it was the place I first worked, years ago, when I came to Davis. I had a little office under the stairs.

Saturday was also the hottest day of the year so far, in fact probably the hottest ever recorded on that date in Davis – 109 degrees Fahrenheit at one point we saw, and that sort of heat will drive you bonkers. So big thanks to all who braved the heat and came out to hear me talk!

An Illustrated Journey & the Art of Urban Sketching

The two books. USk spotters: see also my ‘Lapin’ pencil case and ‘Paul Wang’ Moleskine

Ramble on more like. I had a plan, not a script exactly, but you know how it is, once you start talking about this subject you go off in all directions. That’s how I travel, funnily enough. We had a good turn out, I counted about twenty people. Here is store owner (and my old employer) Alzada Knickerbocker introducing me.

Talk at Avid Reader June 8th 2013Talk at Avid Reader June 8th 2013

I prepared a big board of sketches to show people during the talk, so I wouldn’t have to keep scouring through sketchbooks to find the example of that one bridge I sketched that one time, and so on. I enjoyed making this, but I accidentally put one image on there twice (doh!).

Talk at Avid Reader June 8th 2013
For each of the attendees I also made something special – a micro-sketchbook, only 3″x4″ big and eight pages long. I cut up a load of different paper, mostly Strathmore drawing paper, but also some thinner Canson paper, some watercolour paper, some squared paper, even a few grey tinted sheets. I also cut up a whole bunch of those brown Chinese envelopes I like to draw on, the ones I get at work from all the graduate applications I deal with. I stapled them together, stuck a little ‘Pete’ sketch on the front and voila, micro-sketchbooks. I made a whole bunch, and I will probably give out the rest at the next sketchcrawl, or bring them to Barcelona.
micro-sketchbooks

I had a lot of very good questions at the end, most of which I was able to answer without going into too much of a tangent. I hope. I wanted to get across the message that sketching is for everyone, accessible and approachable and doable, and that the important thing is to use sketching as a tool to observe and build a relationship with the place in which you exist. Location sketching, especially when travelling, is much more rewarding as documentation of your travels than drawing from a photo later on. When you sketch on location, you are in effect having a conversation with a place. When you’re not together, it’s not really much of a conversation.
Talk at Avid Reader June 8th 2013

I enjoyed my conversations with everyone who came on Saturday and met some interesting folk! It was nice to have a few familiar faces there too for support (including my very supportive wife, and my young son who sat quietly to the side drawing the whole time, good lad). Thanks also to Alzada and the Avid Reader for inviting me to speak again.

Keep on sketching!

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an illustrated journey at the avid reader

at the Avid Reader, June 8th

Exciting news! This Saturday, June 8th, I will be giving a talk at the Avid Reader bookstore about keeping travel sketchbooks, and presenting Danny Gregory’s excellent book “An Illustrated Journey”, which as you will recall I contributed a chapter. The book features drawings and writing from forty traveling artists from around the globe and I was honoured to be involved and am constantly inspired by seeing the work of others. Bring your own travel journals and sketchbooks to show!

WHEN: Saturday June 8th, 2013 @7:30pm

WHERE: The Avid Reader, 617 2nd St, Davis CA

Hope to see you there!

Facebook event page

an illustrated illustrated journey

An Illustrated Journey
As mentioned in a previous post, I have recently had the immense honour of being included as a featured artist in Danny Gregory’s latest book, “An Illustrated Journey“. And here it is! I got my copy recently, and have been poring over each beautiful page, inspired by not only the pictures but the words of the great keepers of sketchbooks inside. So much to read, but every time I do, I just want to get up and draw stuff. So I drew the book itself, on the last regular page of my watercolour Moleskine…
AIJ
Here is a sneak preview of some of my pages. To see the rest, you’ll need to get the book!
An Illustrated Journey
An Illustrated Journey
Many thanks once more to Danny Gregory for including me in this book. You can get it from your local bookstore (which I recommend), or you can order it from Amazon here.

I hope you enjoy it!