Friday, March 18, 2016

Fairbanks Sketchers IV

   Another installment of updates on the roving band of local artists who meetup once a month at random places around our community (previous posts here and here). For March we're hanging out at another favorite spot of mine mentioned many times here over the years: Gulliver's Books, upstairs in the Second Story Cafe - should be some good material to work with, inside and out.
   Last month we congregated at Silver Gulch Brewery, and were treated to some sumptuous libations and scrumptious victuals. In particular I absolutely love their seasonal "40 Below Imperial Stout" paired with a Stoutburger, hearty, flavorful fare which in turn got those creative juices flowing.

   There were at least a couple-dozen folks who turned up, many of whom I’d never met before, which is really inspiring especially when one is effectively ensconced in a setting like structured university classes and/or is used to working on one’s own all the time. So touching base and networking with other like-minded individuals is really a fun opportunity, along with getting to sketch new subjects.
   That’s why I really like the angle of the whole “urban sketching” group’s manifesto: there’s no shortage of awesome art spotlighting the usual epic Alaskan landscape/wildlife et al, but comparatively little featuring what comprises a community, like the businesses and institutions. It can be as much of a defining aspect of places we live in to focus on more humble or everyday locales as opposed to the usual money-shots in travel brochures. Here's our local chapter's Flickr page + the Facebook group for updates and more information.

   Liner Notes: Technically with these I’m in violation of the legit Urban Sketching “rules” (see the official organization websites here, here and here) by not completing everything on-site, but I usually don’t pack the pen + ink stuff on field trips: so I just spend twenty minutes or so roughing out a composition; then in keeping with the spirit of a timed session, ink it up soon as I get back to the studio + a quick wash, maybe for another half-hour, relying on memory to fill in the blanks. I rarely if ever use reference photos, preferring more of a combination of spontaneous interpretation & residual impressions to create a slightly different take on any given scenario. In other words, realistically make shit up.

   We were also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities by out gracious and accommodating host - an impressive operation and successful business. I caught sight of an old classic Freeze-Frame panel still stuck up on the wall of the office that hearkened way back from 1999’s “Stuck In A Rut” book release party: three hundred people @ thirty-below with all the awesome folks from Trademark helping out + Gangly Moose live. Somewhat fitting to see a piece of history in such a setting, not to mention how much better I can draw musk ox now.

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