200 sketches!

It is unseasonably cold for this time of year. It’s almost May and I see snowflakes on the weather map for tonight. That didn’t stop this determined fisherman in Lachine this morning. He was going to catch some fish even if he had to be out there in his parka!

I hit another milestone today. 200 posts! Over half a year of sketches! It must be time for a little reflection, so here are five thoughts, in no particular order:


1. There’s a stack of Moleskines sitting on my desk, and they are full. Each page covered. When I looked back at them to refresh my memory for this post, I realized that they are more than a random pile of sketches. There is a chronology to them — a chronicle of the seasons, mostly — and more importantly, they exist on paper (of course in pixels too, for the purpose of this blog!). They can be touched and handled. In this digital age, when most mementos of our lives are housed on hard drives, I am pretty happy that I have these to put on a shelf.

2. I used to think of a sketch as the means to an end — that end being a full-size painting. And who has time to do a painting, with work and life getting in the way? Until I stumbled on Danny Gregory’s book, “An Illustrated Life,” and the light bulb went on! This book was filled with descriptions and illustrations of people’s sketchbooks. So the sketch can be the end? I love it! I can at least manage that…

3. The writing is almost as much fun as the sketch and I have Marc Taro Holmes to thank for that. He encouraged me to write a little something to go along with every sketch, and in the spirit of Urban Sketchers, I think this helps to complete the story of each post.

4. Drawing gets easier with practice. It’s about taking the time to really see things, and if you slow down enough to notice the details, it is inevitable that your drawing skills will improve.

5. There are lots of sketchers out there! Over the past 6 months, through comments on the blog, through the Urban Sketchers Flickr group and through the USK site, I have met people from all over the world, commented on their work and read their thoughts about mine. With this common passion we all share for drawing and painting, we are able to cross oceans, language barriers and cyberspace. Quite remarkable!

Someone asked me recently where I intend to go with this blog. I have no idea. I’ll just keep doing a different drawing every day.

27 Comments on “200 sketches!”

  1. Jane says:

    Thank you Shari 😉

  2. Linda Daily says:

    Thanks so much for your reflections.Your daily practice serves as inspiration to your many followers.I admire your ability to complete a daily sketch.
    It caused me to reflect also on why I love keeping sketch journals.
    Your blog is very much appreciated!

  3. Laura says:

    Just found your blog today. I’ve just recently started my blog so I am also wondering the same thing where does a blog go. After reading your piece today I’m also thinking… why does it need to go anywhere??? It just is… Wherever the inspiration leads you, the blog will follow. Just let it happen… That’s the attitude I’m going to have with mine too. Thanks for the inspiration… Laura

  4. Orit says:

    Congratulations Shari on arriving at 200 sketches! What a wonderful journey it seems to have been and surely continues to be. I love your work and always look forward its daily presence in my inbox.

  5. Shari, although I cannot profess expert advice, I can truly appreciate your work and hope that one day I will have the opportunity to bear one of your wonderful sketches on my wall! Just love your work! Louise (aka Carbone)

  6. Ross C says:

    Congratulations on reaching 200, Shari! I have a few comments on your comments:

    1. It is great that we live in a digital age because without that you would have all these Moleskines with 195 great paintings and sketches in them (yes, there were a few ordinary days), but they would be just sitting on your shelves. With your blog, they are seen and appreciated around the world.

    2. When you say “who has time to do a painting” I am not sure what you mean? Seems to me that you have been doing a painting almost every day… perhaps you need to broaden your definition of “painting”.

    3. Thank you for the words… they have been an important part of this fun journey (which I have been on since December). How could I forget your fear of rampaging nuns, taking photos of an on-line dater or being intimidated by a (female!) bus driver because of where you parked… however, let’s not talk about your highly questionable parking practices on this special day!

    But most of all, thank you for consistently dropping a little surprise in my inbox every day.

  7. drawandshoot says:

    Shari, Congratulations!
    What a treasure to have a stack of moleskin’s on your desk filled with these gorgeous sketches. And what a treasure that you share them with us. Thank you.

    Your writing is always a lovely accompaniment to your work.

    Looking forward to the next 200!

  8. Valerie says:

    Thank-you for your reflection. It is very informative. However, you have left out one very important outcome of your 200 posts and that is the joy they provide all of us who read your blog every day. I feel it is like a beautiful little gift that I receive every day. How lucky is that. Thank-you for your perserverance and for sharing these gems with so many people.

  9. Valerie says:

    For those grammar and spelling sticklers out there, I realize I put one too many ‘r’s in perseverance. vc

  10. John Wright says:

    Thanks for your perserverance and for posting so faithfully Shari. It takes a certain sort of courage to just ‘put it out there’ every day. I have been learning from observing your work, not to mention simply enjoying looking at it daily.

  11. marctaro says:

    Congratulations! Great landmark!

  12. Sonia Hawes says:

    what an inspiration to others and what a joy to see, just found your blog today and looking forward to the next one already!

  13. textplus says:

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone! It’s impressive! Thank you for giviing us quality as well as quantity.

  14. Super woo hoo! Here’s looking forward to the next 200 inspiring sketches!

  15. Joan Shouldice says:

    Shari: I am emjoying your blog immensely and have sent it on to several people. I love the sketches, but I am also getting a lot out of the descriptions, so keep them coming. My favourite suppport for watercolour sketches is the Arches Travel Book (140 lbs, 6″X10″). Valerie and I can’t wait to take your course in June.

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