Saturday, January 23, 2016

50th Worldwide Sketchcrawl- Houston

Chris, Mary, Brian, Kim, Judith, Carolyn, Adine, Suzanne and Katerina..not pictured: Ken

For today's sketchcrawl we chose the warmth of the Jesse Jones building at the Houston Public Library. It started out pretty nippy for sketching and the library has large windows with good views of downtown.  10 sketchers showed up, which I think is a new record for the Houston group.

Friday, January 22, 2016


I know that the weather isn't optimal all over Texas for tomorrow's worldwide sketchcrawl, but I'd like to encourage the urban sketchers to go out tomorrow. Even coffee shop sketches would be interesting.
Here are the plans for the Houston group as posted by Judith:
On Saturday, January 23 meet up at the Houston Public Library Central location, (Jesse Jones Building) 500 McKinney. The library opens at 10 am so if the weather is bad indoor sketching is still possible. Library parking is $2.00 an hour. In the area: City Hall park, reflecting pool, Allen Parkway, Sam Houston historic homes, the Ideson building.
We will convene afterwards for pictures and lunch.

Results and pictures to follow in another post. Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California sketchin'

Just got back from a great 30th anniversary trip with my lovely bride, Missy...I was able to carve out a little time for sketching!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Our next Fort Worth-Dallas sketch outing will be 10am Saturday, September 19th.  Gayla and Mike Shannon have arranged a great morning at the historic Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Grand @ Gould on the north side of Fort Worth.  Oakwood dates to 1879, and is the burial site of many cattle barons, oilmen, and other legends in North Texas history.  The cemetery has some impressive monuments among ancient trees to sketch, and has great views across the Trinity to downtown.

We will meet in the Chapel for a brief history of the cemetery (15 min), then disperse to sketch singly, in pairs or in groups as you wish.  We’ll reconvene at 12:30pm to share sketchbooks and for a group photo, then head out for optional lunch/libations on the north side.  Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  A SketchCrawl isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online.

Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat and sunscreen are a good idea. Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  If you have questions shoot me an email at  Please join us!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

USK-TX on display at the library

Montogomery County Library-South County location has a display of Urban Sketcher sketchbooks on view until the end of August. I found the local library will permit displays of "educational" items that are of interest to the public. And of course, what could be more interesting than sketchbooks? Right? My friend and fellow artist, Mary Case, helped me install the display last week. I picked up Chris Fitzgerald's sketchbook this weekend to add to the display.
I also included several books from my bookshelf including: The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel CampanarioSketch Your World by James HobbsAn Illustrated Life, by Danny GregorySketchbook Confidential, by Editors of North Light Books. The library has most most of these available to check out from their collection.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fort Worth and Dallas...Come sketch Wings of the City Aug 1!

The next outing for our Dallas-Fort Worth sketch group, in association with Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI), will be a self-guided “SketchTour” of the Wings of the City sculpture exhibition at several sites in Downtown Fort Worth on Saturday, August 1. You can learn more about the exhibition here: Wings of the City.  To avoid the hottest part of the day, we’ll meet at 10am at the “Active Pool” of the Fort Worth Water Gardens at the south end of downtown.

This outing will be exciting, providing sketching opportunities that mix figure drawing of the sculptures with their urban context.  We’ll walk from one site to the next, sketching at least three sites.  You may want to try something different like combining all your sketches on one larger sheet to tell a story, or adding a freehand map of the route to your work.  We’ll finish at Burnett Park around noon.   With refreshments provided by DFWI, we’ll share sketchbooks and ideas, and take a group photo to post online.

Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  The SketchTour isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online.

What are the rules?
1.  There are no rules.
2.  Anyone can participate, be it to draw for 20 minutes or the full scheduled time.
3.  Any level of ability is welcome, from veteran artists to first time sketchers.
4.  Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat, water and sunscreen are a good idea.
5.  Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Downtown parking is free on weekends.  More info at  If you have questions shoot me an email at  Please join us!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Road trip to Montgomery, AL

Last week we took a little road trip across the south to Montgomery, Alabama. Sketching in the car gives my line work a certain shakey character that makes me have to forget about details. I can't resist keeping count of the Waffle Houses along the way - 11 counted while i was passenger another 16 not recorded because I was at the wheel. We went to Montgomery to go to Southern Makers, a festival live music, and makers of textiles, food, craft beer, broom maker, boat maker, soap makers & of course moonshine makers. Great fun and real high quality products created by artisans from across the south. The setting was a large train shed along the railroad tracks with trains pulling through every hour or so, perfect addition to the sound track of the day.

Chef Leo and Chef Miguel gave a demonstration of how to prepare lion fish ceviche. The lion fish is an invasive species really reaking havoc on the Gulf habitat. So how better to get rid of them than cooking them. 

At Railhead Brewery Saturday night, I forgot to pick up a Y'ALL tshirt.
Your Alabama Light Lager dratz. After the fish cooking demo of course I had to eat me some fish tacos! Not lion fish though:(

From my seat on a haybale I captured the CedarRock Bluegrass Band. Pickin' and a grinnin'. A couple of folks came by to ask about sketchbooking.
Sketching in a new Monologue sketchbook, the paper is good for mixed media, but you can't work on both sides of the sheet without see-thru, it does not lay very flat at all especially for placing face down on the scanner. Muji jell pen black, Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rockin' and Rollin' Prints 2015

Print Matters is a Houston artists' group that promotes the art of printmaking with events in the late spring and summer months. For the last five years they've held Rockin' and Rollin' prints where large blocks of MDF are carved and printed with a steamroller. I've participated every year. You can see my print from this year and two previous years here.
This is my friend David inking my block.
And this is my sketch of Leamon Green inking blocks.
Usually I'm too keyed up to tap into the zen of sketching, but this year I made myself relax and capture a bit of the action. Several other Houston sketchers made an appearance and did some sketching. It was a beautiful day for it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hey Houston come out and sketch April 18 OR 19

Houston area sketchers - for our April outing we have two opportunities-Sat or Sun.
SO which will you attend? Option 1 requires more coordination so that we can find each other - it covers a very large area. 
SATURDAY Option 1. San Jacinto Day Reenactment Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Jacinto Monument, Free admission.…/Our_Annual_Reenactment/
battle reenactment, army camps, period costumes, food trucks, shuttle from parking is easiest access
SUNDAY Option 2. Rockin' Rollin Prints
April 19 from 10a.m.- 4p.m. Free at St. Arnold Brewery, 2000 Lyons Ave., 77020 - warehouse area, steamroller printing, print artist vendors, food truck & beer
Please RSVP by comment so that we can coordinate which we will attend. OR rsvp via our FB page. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring at the McGovern Centennial Garden and Other Recent Sketch Outings

I have been remiss in posting and remiss in sketching because I have been consumed with my printmaking activities. However, I did make two sketch outings recently. First I went to the Houston Livestock Show and spent a morning sketching animals. I always enjoy the trip. This is "Dude" was a grand prize winning steer. He had a beautiful creamy coat that a mere pencil sketch would never do justice to. It was almost a palomino-type mottled with brown spots. He is, I'm told, most likely destined to be a lawn ornament on someone's ranch. Good. He is a beautiful animal.

Yesterday was a group sketchout to the McGovern Centennial Garden in Hermann Park. This is the pagoda given to the city by Taipei. It is one a few elements of the old garden that remain. It looks much more attractive in the context of the new garden surrounded by shrubs and pine. The weather was glorious and the garden was full of families exploring this very new space.

Of course there's always one person who sits facing a lovely view on a perfect day and instead stares at their phone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Ready for some Spring sketching?  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ve had to make a change in plans (venue and date) from our previous email blast.  Please join our next Urban Sketchers Texas outing on Saturday, March 28, at Fort Worth’s Earth Party at Magnolia Green, 1201 Lipscomb in the cool SouthSide neighborhood.  We’ll meet at our regular time of 2:30pm at the south side of the green.  There’ll be booths, food and music.  Admission and parking are free.

As usual, we will gather briefly at 2:30, then draw until 4:00, and then gather to share sketchbooks and a group photo.  It ought to be a grand time.  The festival runs from 11am-4pm, so come early and enjoy if you’d like to.

Bring a friend, and if this is your first outing with us, welcome!  A SketchCrawl isn’t a class, workshop or competition.  It's an opportunity for creative people to meet each other, draw together, and share their sketches with each other and online.

What are the rules?
1.  There are no rules.
2.  Anyone can participate, be it to draw for 20 minutes or the full scheduled time.
3.  Any level of ability is welcome, from veteran artists to first time sketchers.
4.  Bring your own sketching gear.  A hat and sunscreen are a good idea.
5.  Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

If you have questions let me know.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Houston Area Sketchers Meet Saturday March 28, 10 a.m.

Houston Area Sketchers Meet Saturday March 28, 10 a.m. across from the Museum of Natural Science and Hermann Park.
In hopes of spring weather we'll meet in Houston at the newly designed Centennial Gardens. Bring your friend, kids and sketch gear and a picnic lunch. Plan to sketch a couple of hours and visit over lunch.
Meet 10 a.m. inside the entry in the seating area facing the big lawn. See photo. If you haven't been to the new Garden you are in for a treat. It replaced the old rose gardens. 
USK Texas Facebook page go to USK TX facebook page and let us know if you are planning to join us 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fort Worth or Florence??

Most of the thousands of visitors to Fort Worth's Historic Stockyards District never realize that Marine Creek runs right under Exchange Street and its 19th century buildings...slide down the alley next to Riscky's Steakhouse, down a circular staircase, and it's another world.  I thoroughly enjoyed sketching this hidden scene with Herb Reed during our monthly Urban Sketchers Texas outing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dallas Fort Worth Sketchers will meet January24!

Dallas and Fort Worth Sketchers!
After a hiatus in December, we’re starting our 2015 calendar of sketch outings on Saturday, January 24, 2:30-5pm.

This month, given the unpredictable nature of January weather, we’ll meet at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on the southeast side of Dallas Love Field Airport, on Lemmon Avenue north of Mockingbird Lane (thanks again to Herb Reed for the suggestion).  As Herb says, “It’s not free, but it’s warm,” and there’s an amazing assortment of exhibits and vintage aircraft, from a Wright brothers flyer to the Apollo 7 spacecraft.  There's a $10 admission fee; parking is free.  Here’s a web link with more information:

As always, we’ll meet at 2:30pm and chat briefly, then disperse to sketch the subjects of your choice. We’ll reconvene at 4:30pm to share sketchbooks and for a group photo.

Photo from

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Houston Sketching Scrimmage JAN. 24, 2015

Roller Derby Opening Scrimmage - Houston
Saturday, January 24
at 11:15 a.m.
Where: Houston Indoor Sports
221 Barren Springs Dr. Suite 15, Houston, TX 77090
Visit the USkTX Facebook page for current info - and let us know if you will be there.
USK TX Roller Derby FB pageSketchers meet at 11:15 the scrimmage will start after 11:30. Admission is Free. (Unless you plan to be in the derby) There are restaurants nearby for after derby gathering. Stay and visit with us afterward - that is when you get to look in people's sketchbook, talk about art supplies and generally geek-out over sketching.
Bring your own art supplies and be ready to sketch. All ages welcome, no unsupervised children under 16, all skill levels welcome.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Seattle, WA, 05 December 2014 – Urban, a non-profit organization, is celebrating its fifth anniversary since incorporating on December 6, 2009. Its mission is to promote on-location sketching and to connect people around the world who enjoy urban sketching. Wildly successful, the international community of urban sketchers is estimated at 50,000+ and almost 14 million page views on the Urban Sketchers (USk) blog.

Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario launched the group in 2007 by creating an online community of urban sketches on Sketchers scan their drawings and share them on the group’s Flickr site, Facebook page or blog. The idea went viral. So far communities of sketchers have formed 60 regional chapters in 29 countries.

"Urban Sketchers is growing because sketchers are finding each other where they live and travel.” says Membership Director, Jessie Chapman. “Members are building relationships and communities with people who share the same interests, both online and at our events."  

USk raises the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing with workshops and events held all around the world. USk has organized five international symposiums in Portland, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Barcelona, Spain and Paraty, Brazil.

The 2015 Symposium will be held in Singapore July 22-25. Organizers expect 250+ attendees from around the world.

“Artists of all ages and skill levels have stories to tell,” says founder Gabi Campanario. “Urban Sketchers is a free group that provides a platform for them to renew their love of drawing and to learn more about storytelling.”

To find out more about Urban Sketchers or to locate a regional chapter near you, visit

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"Ceta Canyon Road"

This is a little sketch I did recently in the panhandle of Texas near Tulia.  This is in an area that was originally part of the famed JA Ranch which was founded by Charles Goodnight and John Adair.  This area is part of Palo Duro Canyon, which incidentally, is a great area to sketch and paint!  Much of the canyon is now part of Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Looking back at summer in UK

Here is a sketch of London viewed from the cafe on the 6th floor of the Tate Modern during my visit in July. As we sat sketching the Tour de France was expected to pass along the other side of the Thames from us. Any minute...any minute. We had just about given up after many false sightings as cars with flashing blue lights rolled by but still no riders, finally a helicopter flew over signaling the riders. We could see a flickering through the crowds, it lasted 10 seconds and poof, it was over. At least we were waiting where it was dry and we had our sketchbooks while the spectators outside stood in the rain. Did I mention that the Tour started in England and then across to France.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Painting on location-Wayside Elevator-Wayside, Texas

Forgive me!  Not exactly "Urban"!

At the PowWow

I know my relatives always laugh their heads off when I talk about "cold" in Texas, but Saturday was overcast and gray and damp and cold. Four people showed up at Trader's Village outside Houston to sketch the pow wow and festivities. I had never attended a pow wow so this was all new to me.

I've been trying to do more gesture drawings and quick drawings of people without resorting to using  "icons" other words honing my skills at quick but accurate impressions. There were some colorful subjects to work with, but the dancing was so fast and furious that even Judith had a hard time getting things on paper. I settled for people on the sidelines watching or waiting to go on. The figure on the left had long beautiful wavy hair, but it wasn't until he turned around that I realized that it was a young guy. The center figure had real buffalo horns and fur on that hat. He was a fabulous dancer. The woman on the right had a burn-your-eyeballs-out colorful costume.

I got very cold quickly sitting in the bleachers so I caught up with Judith in the lunch area, grabbed some lunch and headed for someplace warm.