My neighbor Dan Vera and I have wanted to do a sketch crawl in Washington DC with other sketching artists for a number of years. This past Saturday we finally got to join a group of local artists and tour several of the Smithsonian museums and National Gallery of art to draw and dine and enjoy the company of like minded artists.
A "sketch crawl" is a group of artists who set out like a bar crawl to draw instead of drink. You gather your force and travel from one setting to the next drawing a sketch or two then everyone moves on to the next spot drawing/drinking until you drop. I first heard of this new phenomenon from Danny Gregory the master sketcher in NYC who fueled my passion to draw on the go.
Because it is February and cold we chose the museums on the mall for your settings beginning at the Freer, an Asian art museum near metro as the place to begin our crawl. Dan and I met Christian Tribastone first who's art blog I have been following then he introduced us to the three other artists in our sketch crawl party. We were six sketchers strong, Çhristian Tibastone, Dan Vera, two women named Erin: Erin Malick Thompson & Erin Antognoli and Joel Winstead . It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed being inside drawing out of the cold wind but the walks were refreshing between museums. Each of this artists have posted something on their blogs or flickr. pages and I linked the names for you to go take a peek at our WDC group's accomplishments. Erin Antognoli a photographer took a nice group portrait of us ,posted on her flickr set, out in front of the Botanical Gardens and the US Capitol.
I have loaded all my photos of sketches and people and the artworks I was sketching on my flickr. page . There you will see a set of 20 photos including 5 sketches done in 6 hours with two stops for food and drinks. It was an excellent day of sketching and getting to know new art making people. I was surprised the guards let Dan and I carry our folding stools into all the buildings so we could sit where ever we wanted to draw. One drawing scene caught a photographer's eye and she came up and took a photo or two of me drawing an ivory carving of Adam and Eve with a very old twin lens camera with a view finder on top. It surprised me with a very loud shutter release. I was flattered to become part of art while making some of my own about another artist's work (Adam & Eve ivory carving circa 1680) Layers of art making piled high. What a rush.
Thanks to all the artists who made a great company to sketch crawl with in Washington DC. The next International Sketch Crawl is coming up Saturday May 15th and you can find your cities group by joining a forum here: SketchCrawl.com they are about every three months and dates are set by the founder of the sketch crawl in San Francisco, Enrico.