#USkChicago2017

My first Urban Sketchers Symposium is done and in the bag. What a great experience! I'm full to the brim with sketching inspiration and techniques. So fun to be with my tribe...like-minded sketchbook artists from all over the world...in one place, to draw what we see, and encourage each other.

 We are 570+ people from 34 countries in Chicago to draw. I'm one of the pin dots near the statue.

We are 570+ people from 34 countries in Chicago to draw. I'm one of the pin dots near the statue.

We love to sketch. We love to talk about paper, pens, pencils and paint. We love to pull out a sketchbook in the most unlikely place even if it attracts attention. We love to "cherish our individual styles" and we love to "show the world one drawing at a time." See the full USK Manifesto. 

 A quick colored pencil sketch as we drove into the city

A quick colored pencil sketch as we drove into the city

Once a year the Urban Sketchers has a symposium somewhere in the world...this year Chicago, last in Manchester, England, and the year before in Singapore...eight gatherings in all so far. USK has been around in some form or other for ten years. Happy 10th Birthday, USK!

 Spruce Street Harbor Park, Philadelphia

Spruce Street Harbor Park, Philadelphia

There is an international organization and local affiliated chapters. I belong to Urban Sketchers Philadelphia and anyone can see what we're up to and when we meet by looking up and/or joining the Facebook group. We meet once a month in some interesting place in Philadelphia, PA. Such a great city to draw. Join us!

 At PHL airport, waiting for my flight makes me happy when I can sketch it

At PHL airport, waiting for my flight makes me happy when I can sketch it

I flew out the Saturday (July 22) before the conference to some family fun time with my daughter, Alicia  and her husband, Robert, and their family in Oswego, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. 

 Gotta be quick to capture cars on the highway

Gotta be quick to capture cars on the highway

One day we drove into the city with the girls to see what we could see at Navy Pier and the Chicago Children's museum (and eat yummy cupcakes!).

 Three cute granddaughters

Three cute granddaughters

Three-year-olds love fishing in the "stream" and paddling in the mini canoe at the Children's Museum at Navy Pier, four-year-olds love to tumble in gymnastics class, and six-year-olds love to laugh and punch in Karate class. They all love the slide at the big swimming pool and the backyard pool. We had a good time playing Legos, reading bedtime stories, and drawing together.

 Paints, brushes, pens, sketchbooks ready to go.

Paints, brushes, pens, sketchbooks ready to go.

But after a few days it was time to switch gears and join the sketchers in Chicago. I was ready. I had prepared my sketch kit, done a few warmup drawings of important Chicago landmarks, and packed light.

 Moo cards

Moo cards

I had my mini trading cards from Moo, hoping to make some new friends. Such a noob!

 Our #oswegofamily

Our #oswegofamily

And my +1 partner, my daughter Alicia, joined me in the city too. She was taking a mini vacation in her own hometown, and keeping a eye on me and my health (that's another story).

Next blog post...Day 1 of the 8th Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago.