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Urban Sketchers

Discover Pinterest’s 10 best ideas and inspiration for Urban Sketchers. Get inspired and try out new things.

Hemingway's Cuba

In late May, Patti and I had the opportunity to travel with the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Education Center on a cultural exchange to Cuba. The theme, fitting for the museum, was "Hemingway's Cuba," and the tour focused on the writer's life from 1939 to 1960, when he made Cuba home to his life and work. Of course, the sketchbook was my passport and constant companion. We spent time in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, and traveling the countryside in between. As an artist and an academic, I've long been interested in the intersection of place and creativity: the cities, towns, landscapes and experiences that inspire ideas and great works. Hemingway very purposefully sought out places conducive to his writing—Paris and Key West, among others—but he lived and worked in Cuba longer than in any other setting. As always, sketching allowed me to more deeply see and experience these locales, and to document a personal response to the places we encountered. The heart of Old Havana. Hemingway knew these streets well, and was a regular for the mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. Hemingway wrote parts of many his novels from room 511 in the Hotel Ambos Mundos in Old Havana. Hemingway's writing studio at his home outside Havana, Finca Vigia, was a surprise gift from his fourth wife. He preferred to write in the bedroom, where his typewriter still waits. A house in a central Havana neighborhood reflects its original opulence and the day-to-day realities of post-revolution life. From October 27-November 14, sixteen of my watercolor sketches will be on exhibition at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, near the family home of his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, whose family essential underwrote Hemingway's career and lifestyle during his most productive years. These watercolor sketches offer my own authentic look at today’s Cuba, where past and present intertwine, and at many of the largely unchanged settings that fueled Hemingway’s imagination and some of his best writing.

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90-minute FREE sketching Demo with Urban Sketcher Ian Fennelly!

Watch Ian Fennelly sketch the historic Seligman Hardware Store “Birthplace of Route 66” as he answers questions about his special interests, career, and arti...

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Impromptu spin around the city

[Guest post by Harshad Arole in Pune, India] It was just five days to the first exhibition of the USk Pune group and I was leafing through my sketches, deciding which ones to put up on display. There were some good ones in my sketchbook but I was not keen on cutting out pages, some were two-page panoramas and some pages had sketches drawn on both sides. Making a choice was getting tough and I thought if could go out, spend the afternoon and evening sketching, I could get some brand new ones done. I decided to drive towards the old city, park the car somewhere near to the Omkareshwar temple (which I was definitely going to sketch) and then continue roaming about. But before that I couldn't resist drawing the bustling traffic and the people against the backdrop of the statue of Rani of Jhanshi, who was one of the leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (image at the top of the page). The chowk or the square also houses Balgandharva Rangamandir, a famous theatre for Marathi drama (the yellow building). I moved to the Omkareshwar Temple next. Afternoons are quiet and peaceful in the courtyard of the temple. I found a comfortable seat on one the many empty benches. The structure of the temple is such that I couldn't sketch the entrance archway as well as the temple in one view, so I drew a small inset sketch in the main one showing the arches and the Nandi temple seen through it. The temple is located at a lower level than the road. I had parked my car on the bridge road above. Sitting in the car, only the peaks of the temple domes were seen, which made an interesting sketch. I strolled through the area near the temple, called Shaniwar Peth. There are many such peths or localities in Pune which have been established as long back as the 1600s. These areas are now a mix of old wadas (old traditional residences) and new concrete buildings. The paths through the peths are very narrow alleyways. A huge tree right in the middle of the path, a couple of small shrines at its base, balconies of the old wadas, a small street food stall, busy shops in the background and an array of parked vehicles made my day. It was around 5 pm when I took the route back home, but this time over the Shivaji Bridge or Nava Pool, one of the oldest bridges in Pune constructed around 120 years back. I was able to park my car just for a while near the bridge while I quickly sketched the beautiful old lamp posts, a kulfi (a frozen milk dessert) vendor and not to forget the Pune Municipal Corporation building towering from above the dense foliage at the end of the bridge. Light had faded and I headed home; however, not before a nice dinner. The restaurant was less crowded, which gave me a chance to sketch the lovely interiors over a relaxed dinner. A fine day that was! The exhibition of Urban Sketchers Pune was a great success and I ended up displaying all the sketches that I made on my impromptu spin around the city. Harshad Arole is the founder of a PC/mobile game development studio based in Pune, India. He is a member of Urban Sketchers Pune. You can see more of Harshad’s sketches here.

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Izzy Janx
Izzy Janx saved to ART


Sketches from the Urban Sketchers 2016 Manchester Symposium. Would have loved to do a few more, maybe one day I'll go back.

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