The USK Symposium 2018 held in Porto this year

It’s time to share a my sketches and impressions of the USK Symposium 2018 in Porto. Jerry and I attended in July this year. (When you click on the images you can see a larger version) We purchased a sketch pass for the USK Symposium. We could have had a workshop pass but I am pleased we kept it simple. When we went to Kuching I discovered with workshops and sketch walks I can quickly hit overload so I decided this time to keep the activities to a manageable level. Other factors were involved too. We visited Porto towards the …

Travel Journal tip 2 from on the road

Travel Journal tip 2 is a quick simple thing that you can do to enhance your travel journal while you are travelling. It will not  take up too much time, does not require a particular skill or needs much in the way of equipment. Ok so what is my travel journal tip 2? One of the first things I do when I land in a new city is to visit the tourist information office. Most places are only too keen to promote  their city and these services have been set up in order to sell you tours of one sort …

A visit to the British Museum Enlightenment Room

Recently I had the pleasure of sketching with friends at the British Museum. It was a wonderful morning with our sketches in what is known as the Enlightenment room. The following day we returned as the exhibit had me intrigued and I wanted a quiet look at it – I am pleased I did, as the room kept me busy for 3 hours! The Enlightenment room at first glance looks very old fashioned. That is because it recreates, how collections were presented to the public during the Enlightenment. It houses a permanent exhibition of thousands of objects that demonstrate how …

The V&A and the South Kensington System for Art Studies

Our last day in London found us re-visiting the V&A and investigating the 4th floor where it is simply described as Britain 1760-1900. In these galleries you will find an exhibit that features objects and drawings illustrating aspects of early British design education. Many students of Art and design do not realise that the process they partake in during the course of their degree stems from ideas about art education developed in the 19th century. One of those precedents is the South Kensington System which was a state run syllabus that was delivered in institutions across the UK. From the …

Three Great Art shops in London in zone one

When you visit London there is so much see and do that long trips on public transport in the quest of art supplies is not fun or practical. So, here are 3 art shops in London that are in zone one the very heart of the city. All 3 are situated near major attractions so you don’t have to go far out of way to add a bit of art supply shopping to your day. Please note: I am not affiliated with any of these businesses. Neither have I received any goods or financial compensation for writing the article. I …

What is this Camino thing about?

Some readers have asked: what is this walk we are doing? Although since we both a very bad flu caught on a plane while traveling here this walk might be postponed for a couple of days at least. My daughter describes the Camino de Santiago as epic. In a way it is but I think of it as a long walk that has some amazing moments. The Camino (which means ‘the way’ in Spanish) is an ancient medieval Christian pilgrimage route that will take us 800km/500 miles across northern Spain to a place called Santiago de Compostela – which translates as …

Why is the Mona Lisa so Famous? And what is the big deal with it?

We paid a visit to the Louvre today and of course braved the crowds in the room that houses the Mona Lisa. For many people seeing this painting is a bucket list item but when they get to see it you can tell they are slightly disappointed. Not every one of course but you can sense they walk out wondering why is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa considered to be one of the greatest portraits of all time? It is a global icon with rock star status that has been endlessly studied, copied, and parodied. But when many people see this small …

A new everyday sketch challenge

Liz Steel has announced a new everyday sketch challenge. Just like many of us Liz struggles with sketching daily as the mundane can take over and squash creativity and sketching the mundane doubly so! There are a number of everyday sketch challenges online but they all propose either drawing a thing or an idea. Probably one of the first and best was Danny Gregory’s Everyday Matters Challenge. The EDM challenge suggested drawing things like a coffee cup, trees, tools, or bikes etc solid things – nouns in other words- that you go and find and draw. For me this was …