Why I love to sketch the world. . .


Life mostly happens too fast to take it all in, except when I'm recording it, however quickly and simply with my pen and watercolor. Years ago I learned to pack up my book and materials and take them with me so that I could sketch anywhere, even while walking in a parade, watching a performance or sitting in a kayak. Drawing connects me with the sensory moment. I never forget those moments when with pen and watercolor I am focused on capturing the visual image, sounds, tidbits of conversation, weather, and random thoughts. Perched on my tiny portable stool with brow knit intently and pen and brush moving crazily, I become an actor in the play of the moment.

As an Urban Sketcher I participate in the rich international culture of "showing the world, one drawing at a time". Drawing on location is a kind of visual journalism or reportage where the image is one seen not through a camera lens but with the filter of personal experience. The circumstances, at times chaotic - with moving subjects, weather discomfort and materials malfunctions - lend the kind of spontaneity that appeals to poetic souls.

When one travels and work with visual things. . .one uses one's eyes and draws, so as to fix deep down in ones experience what is seen. Once the impression has been recorded by the pencil, it stays for good, entered, registered, inscribed. -Le Corbusier

Posted here is a small sample of my reportage drawings and illustrations. Perhaps thousands more can be found on my blog going back to 2006 when I first started posting.

In addition to my blog and newsletters I offer the following:

• Workshops: pen and watercolor drawing on location with a focus on figures, animals, travel, nature, and more. See the workshop page here, or request a workshop for your group.

• Commissions: to capture your event, organization, or business, with individual pen and watercolor drawings or a series of reportage illustrations done over time. Digital files created for your social media or print needs as well as original illustrations.

• Giclee prints in custom sizes of your favorite sketches from my archives.

Contact me susan@susancornelis.com, 707-824-8163, to discuss your needs and get a price quote.