July 11th, 2013: Day 1, Usk Barcelona

It’s an early start to the day, with 8:00am registration at the CCCB Barcelona. Those volunteers handing out goodie bags and schedules to everyone are so patient with questions. Swasky gives the opening speech welcoming everyone to Barcelona.


10 am, and the workshops begin. I follow Marina and Ea’s class to their workshop in Marcat Boqueria which is already teeming with life. The group loosens up with quick gestural sketches from around the market. I do a couple of pages of sketches, take in their talk on negative space and then sketch my 2 favorite stalls in the market. One is a mass of colored juices, the other has hanging legs of ham.


I stroll out of the Mercato to see Melanie Reim’s class out on the Rambla for her session entitled ‘Channeling Picasso’. They’re talking about expressive mark making and are creating wonderful pieces inspired my the teeming crowds on the Rambla.


A quick lunch break and it’s afternoon demo time. I attend Ch’ng Kiah Kiean ‘Dry Twig and Ink’ demo where he talks about his tools and technique. He uses really unusual tools: a peeled and sharpened twig and chinese waterproof ink. He and his dad carefully peeled and sharpened a twig as a little gift for everyone in the demo. The sketchers give sketching with the twig a try. Then KK does a demo.


Rain surprises everyone in the afternoon and Shari takes her Triad Symphony session indoors, into the inner courtyard of a church. They discuss building whole paintings on a base of just 3 primaries. It’s a fascinating coversation that I could learn so much from… It is one of those times when I wish I could just stay through the entire workshop. Shari, don’t be surprised if I pop back in tomorrow to catch the rest of that session!


It’s time to go catch Inma as her class as they capture the Rhythm of the City. Inma’s unique perspective on drawing architecture and using color makes for an interesting workshop. The group sketches Roman pillars and the view from the History Museum.


Heading back to the evening Drink and Draw session, I get totally lost in the labyrinth of the city, so I stop and sketch the beautiful Miro mural in the middle of the Rambla. So many people walk down the Rambla right over it everyday. Rarely do they notice the piece beneath their feet.

Miro Mosaic, Barcelona

Tapas for dinner, and my day is done. And what a day it was…Looking forward to day 2 and 3!

Tapas at the end of a very long day, Barcelona


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