Sketching the Holiday – Making Memories in Ink


Just this week, my husband and I returned from our first long vacation in almost 2 decades.  We ventured out on an Amtrak train in one of the Roomettes to NYC from Tampa.  What an amazing vacation it was!  As an artist, I engross myself with a wide range of tools to cover a wide range of mediums.  I paint with both watercolor and acrylics.  I draw with charcoal, graphite, and conté crayons.  I carve into linoleum and print with water based and oil based inks.  I have a love for colored pencils and pastels.  But my favorite 2 forms of art are urban sketching with ink pens and photography – both film and digital.  So it is these two forms that I engaged in fully during our holiday trip.

As we’ve only been home for a day and a half, I have yet to go through the 700 or so photos and videos I took with my iPhone.  Additionally, I have nearly 20 rolls of film to develop that were taken with my Canon AE-1, my Lomography Sprocket Rocket or my Diana F+.  I’ll be happy if any of the film photos turn out.  It is REALLY difficult to shoot good photos while on a trip with someone who is not interested in photography whatsoever.  We definitely clash on this front and because it was our first time ever to NYC, I did not venture out on my own very far or very long from our hotel room.  Still, I am excited to see what comes out of the efforts to shoot a lot of film.  I’ll be posting all photos later in another post.  This one is dedicated to sharing my urban sketches.

The impetus of even starting my studio from my home was the fact that we don’t travel much and most of my artistic inspiration comes from my local adventures in our urban neighborhood of St. Petersburg, FL.  I thoroughly love to stop and watch people and urban happenings.  Only in recent years did I come across urban sketching when I found Gabriel Campanario on Facebook.  I used to see his art in the local Seattle newspaper when we lived in Tacoma and always liked his style.  His Facebook site introduced me to a Facebook group of urban sketchers and I became quite hooked on learning this style of art.

During our trip, I tried to sketch often from the varying locations we visited to include the train ride north and back.  I had hoped to fill my book while we were vacationing but again, the trip was not all about me so we did not stop at my every whim to sit and observe.  Some of the train sketches were from very quick stops at a train station along the way where we could not get off the train, others where I could get off and get a quick sketch going, and even others where the engine car was being swapped out and I could really look at the scene I was about to draw.  Capturing people is my weak point, but is ultimately the highlight of an urban sketch so it is something I keep working on.

Take a peek at the sketches and comment on any you might like.  I appreciate you being here to share your time with me.

Sketch of Tampa Union Station
Waiting for the train to NYC.
Sketch - Departing NYC
Moynihan Train Hall, NYC in the Amtrak Lounge


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