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Monday, November 7, 2016

Urban Sketching Barcelona. Day 10: Meet up with "Inky Fingers"

Meet up with the Sketching Group "Inky Fingers"

October 14, 2016

One of the most fun and exciting things I did in planning my trip to Barcelona was to connect with Urban Sketchers in Barcelona. I learned that there are two groups - one called "Inky Fingers" who meet every week at a different location in the city and the other, the official chapter of Urban Sketchers. It turns out many of the same people belong to both so I looked forward to meeting them. I asked to join their Facebook page and told them I was coming and was hoping to sketch with them. I received such a lovely response and couldn't wait to actually be there to meet them.

Urban Sketchers, if you don't know, is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sketching on location and sharing the sketches online. I was amazed at the number of people who show up and delighted to see all ages, men and women so into this art activity that I also love! It seems to me that with all the high tech gadgets we have access to that there is a desire to create using old-fashioned, simple tools, like pens and sketchbooks without use of a computer (although there are ways to use a stylus with a tablet, but that's still just a tool you operate by hand!) and to meet face to face, all the while making use of social media to announce events and post information and photos.

My first encounter was at a location I did not know, a good distance from the downtown areas. Using GoogleMaps in my apartment to find the location and my Metro map to figure out how to get there, off I went to the Biblioteca Jaume Fuster a very modern library at Placa de Lesseps in the Gracia neighborhood.  Jaume Fuster (1945-1998) was an award-winning Catalan writer and cultural activist and one of the founders of the Association of  Catalan Writers.

I had arranged to meet Melanie, one of the sketchers I had been communicating with from home (in Delaware) at around 6pm, since we had not yet met in person. This talented, spunky, friendly Parisienne by birth, young woman, living in Barcelona took me under her wing and helped me in so many ways during my time there, I can't thank her enough. I finally met others face to face I had only seen on Facebook and we all settled in to draw our favorite view. We met at 6:30pm and sketched until we lost the light. Then a number of us shared drinks and snacks at a cafe on the same square and passed around sketchbooks, admiring and commenting on each other's work, after having piled into the library for a group photo and photos of all the journals. There must have been at least 20 people there! Fortunately for me, many spoke English and I was able to introduce myself and get to know them as well. It was sheer joy for me! What a great way to travel and meet the locals!

So here are the photos from that evening, my first with this talented, friendly group!

Inky Fingers and Me in the Library

The Biblioteca (Library) Jaume Fuster

The Library, after dark 

Sketchbooks - as varied as the artists!

More Sketchbooks - mine was in the group somewhere!

Melanie - I'm so glad we met!

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