Wednesday 20 January 2021

2021 Review of 2020, Welcomes, Thanks and New Ideas

Isabel Carmona writes:

Happy New Year! 

I want to review last year as it was an odd one for us. A year of change and adaptation.

We started with a couple of well attended sketching events in January at the Tate Modern and then in February at the Wallace Collection. And then our brilliantly put together programme of meetings (masterminded by the fabulous Jo Dungey and Lis Watkins) had to stop as big gatherings were not allowed and we went into the first lockdown.

We put up a challenge of 30 days indoor urban sketching during the first lockdown and many of you contributed and that kept us going.  

Helen Hayhoe's 30 days sketchbook

We gathered ideas of creative activities by all sorts of institutions and attempted a virtual sketchcrawl and kept the summer evenings sketching ideas going as close to home or in small groups as slowly we were allowed to come out. We also listened to the USk Talks by the global Urban Sketchers group and some may have taken up their challenges. 

Helen Hayhoe's Summer sketching

Jo Dungey left the administration team in the first half of the year. We can't thank you enough Jo for all your great organisational skills, getting people together to contribute ideas for the next sketching venue or ideas for a challenge. Thank You!  

Helen Hayhoe joined the administration team in May and immediately engaged with the global community, taking part in a global collaboration creation. We look forward to all the new ideas she brings.

We continued with various sketching challenges including words and Victorian buildings, history, took inspiration from various London locations and looked at our own personal collections (during the second lockdown).

Jo Dungey's Historical sketching challenge

Throughout the year, we've learned to sketch by ourselves or in smaller groups (when we were allowed). However, I still miss our larger gatherings and seeing each other regularly. Our Facebook group and Twitter presence keeps growing and collect the day to day of our urban sketching adventures. 

For 2021 we are still in lockdown, now version 3! and our 2021 sketching programme can be done in your local areas (and even in your homes).  Keep an eye for announcements as we are introducing a few changes and hope to be able to do intros to the themes and virtual throwdowns in the next few events.

We thank Lis Watkins for all her hard work during the last four years as administrator of the group. Lis stepped down at the end of the year and we welcome Sasala Wickramasinghe to the administration team.

With a fresh team to take on 2021 a few new projects have started and we need your help for all (taking part and contributing in organising events).  Most importantly, we need you to keep sketching and sketch your local environments in London.  

Our London

In 2021, we are embarking on a new adventure and need your help. We've called the project Our London and it is an online interactive map collecting our London sketches

We want to put our urban sketching view of London on the map and have created a map page that we want to fill with your sketches of your London area. 

So far we've gathered all the locations we've sketched since 2017 and other places we've sketched as individuals and have posted in the blog.  

The Our London map shows that many of our areas within the M25 are in need of sketches. The map is live, and we'll be including more and more sketches as we get contributions.

Our London - an interactive sketch map project by Urban Sketchers London

Perhaps you have sketches of your local areas to contribute and would like to share them with us, so that we are able to populate it with our stories and places: local, interesting, quirky, famous, mundane, historical (whatever interests you!). If so, please send a good image (and also the story behind the sketch in a few words) to us by e-mail with the subject line: Our London. Remember to tell us who you are (so that we can credit you) and what is the location of your sketch, so we can locate it easily on the map.

Thanks in advance for your contributions - get your London neighbourhood on the map!

Note: The map administrators reserve the right to exclude any sketches that don't clearly comply with the urban sketchers principles or have insufficient information about the sketch.