01. Together Through Lockdowns and Beyond

January 3, 2021 – “Together Through Lockdowns and Beyond”

USk Paris: Together through Lockdowns and Beyond

03 Jan 2021

Genine Carvalheira, Brigitte Lannaud Levy, Marion Rivolier, Dwa

In this first episode of the new season, you joined us on YouTube where host Rob Sketcherman gave us some teasers about the season ahead. Today’s episode focus was on Chapters, and to help talk about it Rob introduced USk vice president Genine Carvalheira. Genine joined us from Toronto, Canada, and told us about her role as an executive board member working on long-term planning and the day-to-day running of the organization, and about working with the 320+ chapters world-wide in her role as membership director.

Brigitte Lannaud Levy and Marion Rivolier/USk Paris Chapter

Rob introduced Brigitte and Marion by thanking them and the USk Paris chapter for being supportive of USk Talks from the start. They reposted challenges and even tuned in during late hours when we changed the program time.

Marion, who has led USk Paris since 2014, and Brigitte have worked with volunteers to organize many programs such as exhibits, 10×10 workshops, and participating in the USk 10th Anniversary. They received a USk Community Workshop Grant for their proposal to teach kids urban sketching in museums as a way to discover the world and art.

In early 2020 they partnered with Le Santé Prison to teach prisoners to sketch their daily lives in the prison. USk Paris volunteers were allowed to sketch all parts of the prison and conduct workshops with the prisoners, culminating in a large piece portraying a loose map of the prison, but filled with sketches of the place and the people, mixing their sketches and sketches made by the prisoners. The final piece, which was the same dimensions as a cell, is now permanently displayed in an area of the prison where prisoners can see it. This unique project showed the possibility of human connection through sketching.

Brigitte, Dwa and Marion


Dwa is an artist from Madagascar who joined us to first talk about how welcoming the Paris chapter was to him when he was in Paris in 2018 for an artist residency. He said that meeting them was like starting at a new school because he didn’t know them but they all knew each other, but that he soon felt comfortable because, “everyone speaks the same language by sketching.”

We got to know more about Dwa and the books he has published of his sketches, one about Paris, Un Gasy á Paris, and another about Madagascar, Back to Al Bak. He told us a bit about sketching in public in Madagascar where he always ends up surrounded by kids watching him sketch. When he’s finished sketching, he shows his audience his sketches and tells stories about them, making his sketching outings into a bit of a performance but also inspiring kids to become urban sketchers, like USk Paris and their workshops.

Wherever you are in the world, urban sketching is an inspiring way to meet new friends and make connections in new ways.


Challenge: Paint Your Window View

Paint your window view using direct painting, and add character with window frames. Watch the episode for Brigitte’s tips on painting your window as though you are looking through it.
This challenge was inspired by the lockdowns they have experienced in Paris due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The USk Paris chapter was proactive in finding ways to get together virtually and motivate sketchers, encouraging everyone to discover treasures in their daily lives that we don’t normally pay attention to.

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