Australian Sketch Exchange – Part Two!

I am excited to report that I have now received my sketch  (two sketches in fact!) from the Australian Sketch Exchange! I was traveling in Alberta all of last week, so I don’t know exactly when these beauties landed in my mailbox in Montréal. But what a nice surprise to come home to! Two wonderful drawings of Shelly Beach by Chantal, one of the participants in the Expressive Urban Sketching workshop. Chantal knew that I had spent an afternoon swimming and snorkeling at Shelly Beach and thoughtfully chose this location as her sketch subject. I didn’t try the Ocean Bath this time (I was anxious to go see the fish!) but I will next time I’m there. Thanks for the beautiful artwork and the nice memories Chantal!

Australian Sketch Exchange 2



Australian Sketch Exchange

I have recently taken part in an anonymous Sketch Exchange with the other participants from the Expressive Urban Sketching workshop that I took in Sydney, Australia back in March. What is an anonymous Sketch Exchange, you ask? Each participant receives only the address of someone else in the group (selected at random by the organizer), but NOT that person’s name , creates a sketch for that person, then sends the original work to that person. In this case, the subject matter must be something that is found within 15 minutes of the artist’s home. Everyone ends up with a unique treasure – an original work – from another Urban Sketcher that depicts their surroundings.

For my image, I chose an area on the road that runs over the iconic Mount Royal in the middle of Montréal. If I’m running, I take the trails on the mountain itself that go to its summit, but on days when I feel like wandering, the bus that travels over the mountain runs between two beautiful rock faces on its way up. It’s great to see this natural beauty only a few minutes away from my home.

I can’t wait to see who will get my sketch and whose I will receive! Many thanks to Angela from the workshop for organizing the exchange. I hope that there will be others!

sketch exchange

Joyeuses Pâques! // Happy Easter!

Ce Vendredi saint et samedi, nous sommes allés à Ottawa pour voir la famille et pour nous détendre. À la gauche, un kiosque vendant des colliers et des accessoires de feutre dans un marché pendant un rare moment tranquille. Et à la droite, des tulipes dans le salon de nos hôtes gracieux.


This Good Friday and Saturday, we went to Ottawa to see some family and to relax. On the left, a market stall selling necklaces and felt accessories during a rare quiet moment. On the right, some tulips in the livingroom of our gracious hosts.




Au stationnement // At the parking lot

En promenant au centre-ville samedi matin dernier en direction de rue Ste. Catherine, j’ai remarqué cette femme, qui patientait sur le trottoir lorsque son compagnon payait les frais de stationnement.


While walking around downtown last Saturday morning towards rue Sainte- Catherine, I noticed this woman waiting on the sidewalk while her companion paid for the parking.


En attendant le tram à Melbourne // Waiting for the tram in Melbourne

Je suis revenue, la semaine dernière, d’un voyage en Australie! À Melbourne, j’ai vu cette femme deux fois pendant la journée en attendant le tram. Donc, j’ai dû la dessiner!


I returned last week from a trip to Australia! In Melbourne, I saw this woman twice in one day while waiting for the tram. So of course I had to draw her!

ponytail_back001 ponytail_front001

Urban Sketchers Adventure in Sydney, Australia!

Expressive Urban Sketching Workshop – Cockatoo Island with Liz Steel and Paul Wang – by Uma Viswanathan

Last month I traveled to Australia for the first time, took part in Liz Steel and Paul Wang’s Expressive Urban Sketching workshop, and had the chance to meet and draw with the wonderful members of the Australian Urban Sketchers (USK) group. Any one of these experiences would have made for an unforgettable trip but I was lucky enough to have all three!

I’m a lifelong artist who loves to travel and is new to Urban Sketching. When Marc Taro Holmes posted a notice on the Urban Sketchers Montreal blog about the Expressive Urban Sketching workshop by Liz Steel and Paul Wang on Cockatoo Island, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to finally see Australia. (

In taking the workshop I hoped to learn some new techniques and develop a more spontaneous approach to my work in Urban Sketching (I already knew I would have fun!).

In addition to the techniques and exercises expertly imparted to us by Liz and Paul involving mark-making, colour, and creating a focal point in a drawing, some key points I took from the workshop were:

–       There is no judgment at Urban Sketchers or in the workshop

–       No one is allowed to call themselves ‘hopeless’

–       USK is all about sharing one’s work

–       Ask yourself: Can you get your sketchbook out in 10 seconds or less? (My answer was No –time to ditch the backpack!)


The site of Cockatoo Island ( was ideal for the workshop in terms of its location and its rich assortment of subject matter – as a tourist it was one of the places I likely would have missed, had I not been enrolled in the workshop.


A huge thank-you to Liz and Paul for a fantastic workshop – I felt very inspired and encouraged by your instruction. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to take another one with you in the future. I’d also like to thank all the workshop participants and USK members I met for their warm welcome to both their sketching group and to Australia. I’m looking forward to sketchcrawling with all of you again, hopefully very soon!


Écharpe jaune // Yellow Scarf


Samedi après-midi dans un magasin de vêtements au centre-ville, cette femme attendait à l’extérieur des cabines d’essayage et à côté d’une fenêtre. Son expression mécontente me fait se demander si elle avait envie de sortir et profiter du soleil et le temps beau ce jour-là. C’est exactement ce que j’ai fait immédiatement (après j’avais fait mes achats).


On Saturday afternoon in a clothing store, this woman was waiting outside the fitting rooms and next to a window. Her discontented expression made me wonder if she wanted to go outside to enjoy the sunshine and the day’s good weather. That’s exactly what I did (after making my purchases).