“In spite of popular opinion, Hawai’i is not all beaches and rainbows,” says Sebastian Sievert, one of the co-founders of Urban Sketchers O’ahu. The group depicts the grit and diversity of Hawai’i during its outings.
Lead Image: Artists gather for the inaugural event of the O’ahu Urban Sketchers.
“O’ahu has its fair share of industrial areas, and we believe that urban sketching should reflect reality. We try to depict everything: the grit of construction sites, scenic views, public events, as well as activities of daily living,” says Sievert. “Given our location, I think nature will always be a prime attraction; however, cityscapes have been popular as well.”
O’ahu is the Hawai’ian island that holds Honolulu, and is the most populated of the isles. The Urban Sketchers group headquartered there was formed in Spring 2014. “Unlike most of the United States, we are blessed with mild weather year-round,” says Sievert. “While this deprives us of the opportunity to sketch snow-covered sidewalks, we can meet and sketch outdoors at any time of year. We also have a tremendous diversity of subjects and scenes, from rural to urban, from beaches to mountains, in such close proximity to each other that choosing between them often literally just requires one to turn around.”
Sievert says that while the Urban Sketchers of O’ahu are pulled together by a love of creating art, the resulting community may be the best thing about it. “We created this group with the hope of developing a community in which people of all backgrounds and experience levels can socialize and share their artwork,” he says. “Sketching is a wonderful way to meet people or just spend a few hours in a relaxed and friendly environment. We also learn from each other, in a casual and non-competitive fashion.”