If you sketch, chances are that you will find yourself drawing the urban world around you. From the street you live on, the architecture you see on holiday, through to urban street scenes.

The Urban Sketchers movement was founded in 2007 by a Seattle based journalist called Gabriel Campanario. Urban Sketchers is an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering a global community of artists who practice on-location drawing with a mission ‘to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.’

There is usually a group of people you can connect with local to you.  Just look up your town’s location on their website to see which one is closest to you! This activity is now part of my holiday to-do list. I have spent many interesting evenings and afternoons meeting new people who have remained my friends as well as creating memories of the places I have visited.

The attached urban sketch was when I was down in London on the day of the Chancellor’s 2020 budget. Little did I know that it would be a matter of weeks before we went into national lockdown as a result of the global pandemic. London seemed quieter than usual. I had tea with one of my contacts and we got to talking about sketching. Later, and four stories up gazing across the skyline of St Paul’s behind a sheet of glass that muted all sound, I found myself reflecting on that conversation.  People will always be drawn to things that help them create mindfulness. Drawing and sketching does that even in the midst of busy-ness.  I’m thankful to be able to capture the ability to be solitary in the middle of a city and as self reflective on paper as I would be at home in wide open spaces with not a soul around.

Little did I know how much this philosophy would be tested in the following year!