Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Urban Sketching at 401 Richmond


Earlier this month, I organized a sketching event at 401 Richmond for the Toronto Urban Sketchers group. It's a very interesting restored heritage building right in the middle of the city and is home to several artists, cultural producers, microentreprises, galleries, festivals and shops. It's always a bit of a challenge to find indoor spaces that will accommodate a large number of people comfortably with interesting things to sketch when it's cold outside, but this building fits the bill. It wasn't too cold in the sun so some people event ventured outside in the courtyard and created beautiful sketches. (You can see them on the Toronto Urban Sketchers blog and Facebook page

Manning the event and taking pictures of the sketchers tend to eat into my sketching time, but I managed to sketch the view from the second floor into a parking lot. There was this skinny long building right in the middle of the parking lot and a little parking shack next to it, surrounded by tons of barrels. Weird. It also looks like the top floor is someone's home. If that's the case, the surroundings are not very welcoming and the stair leading straight to the parking lot are rather steep. There's absolutely no green space around it either, kind of sad.  

I usually get to play "Where's the Urban Sketcher" during these event, capturing them in their element, totally focused on what they are sketching. I managed to capture quite a few in the zone. It's great to see how they benefit from this relaxing activity and how they interact with one another. 



The event is typically divided in two sketching sessions. For the second part, I spend most of the time exploring the building with some of the participant but still squeezed in a quick sketch of a really neat art installation made out of drinking straws, shown below.   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge - First Quarter


What have you been reading lately?

Shown above are the books I read over the past three months. It's interesting for me to see how books just "land on my laps".  Despite having a list of books to read for my reading challenge this year, there seems to be certain books that find their way ahead of the list. Seth Godin, Zig Ziglar, James Altucher, Jason Gaignard and Robin Sharma's books were amongst those who skipped the reading list line this first quarter of the year. I'm happy to report that I'm 3 books ahead of schedule, according to Goodreads. Audiobooks are a big help in keeping up with the challenge. Perhaps I can increase the amount of books I read over the next three month. I'm curious to see what kind of books will end up on my read list in June.

Invest in yourself. Read a good book!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Start With What You Keep Avoiding

art journal april clouds
Is there something creative you'd like to do but keep rescheduling it to "Someday" every time you think about it? Is it writing a book? Scrapbooking? Making a video? Designing something? For me it's painting. For some reason, I can't stop thinking that I should paint more and more often. But as soon as that thought comes to mind, so does about a dozen thoughts about all the reasons why I should wait until someday when...  [insert excuses here]. It's a trap! "Someday" is not a day of the week. My way around that has been to do little paintings in my journal at least once a month : no pressure, no "waste" of canvas, no big time commitment. Not only is it a good way to actually do it, but it also encourages me to do it more often. This one was made with only two colours and a couple paint brushes on my desk in about 30 minutes. Take that Resistance! Now I feel like I'm starting this month on the right foot and I'm very happy with the result. 

What have you been putting off to "someday"? What small step you could take today to start chipping at it? Whatever it is, I hope you find a way to fight your way through any discouraging thoughts this month and start expressing yourself creatively. I'm sure you won't regret it.