Little group, big fun

It was just three of us at Waimea Valley on this rainy Sunday but it was still really enjoyable. We got to leisurely stroll the grounds of the park, mostly alone as the crowd of tourist made a b-line to the waterfall.

Christine, who has been there too many times to count gave us a guided tour on the best spots to paint. There are so many great areas of inspiration from nature. It seemed like every turn was picture perfect.

It was Bill’s first time visiting Waimea Valley. It was too crowded for his liking when we finally arrived at the waterfall. But the walk there was full of foliage and beauty even in the rain.

I was originally intending to paint the lily pond near the entrance but later we decided to paint at the waterfall because there was some protection from the rain and a nice place to sit.

Christine sketched on her phone while I struggled with capturing the waterfall with damp watercolor paper from the rain. Thankfully, we turned the morning into a teachable moment where Bill showed me how much darker I need to take my colors to show the depth of the waterfall. I’m still very timid in my art. But I am learning!

Even though it was just the three of us on this sub-Urban Sketching Sunday, I loved the feeling of being totally immersed in my art. That experience is priceless.

Christine’s sketch on her phone.
Our combo sketch!

Ready for a (Sub) Urban Sketching Event?

Fill up your gas tank everyone because we are heading to the country.

This Sunday (NOT Saturday), we are meeting at the entrance of Waimea Valley for a fun day of nature sketching. We are meeting on Sunday to take advantage of their LĀ ‘OHANA DAY, 50% off admission fees for kama’aina and military families. That’s a bargain $5 admission price! Also, please note we are meeting at 9am when the park opens for a better chance of ample free parking.

Besides your normal sketching supplies, you may also want to bring sunblock, mosquito repellent, and a hat. The park also suggests a rain jacket but that’s entirely optional. Wear comfortable shoes as the walk to the waterfall is 3/4 of a mile or about a 20-30 minute walk. If you arrive later than 9am, you can meet us at the halfway point to the falls, which is only a 10-15 minute walk. We’ll be meeting at the halfway point for sharing at 10:30am.

Please visit their website here for more info. Waimea Valley has a vast history and a strong mission of conservation and restoration.

If attending, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Saturday, July 17th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, as we are on private property, we are asked to wear facemasks when entering the visitor center, restrooms, snack shop, gift shop, waterfall area (unless swimming), and ticket booth. Please be consider of others around you and stay home if you feel sick.

Thanks to Christine who visited the park two weeks ago to do some pre-sketching research.

See you on Sunday, the 18th!


Go Big. Go Bold in Chinatown.

If you think art is an isolated hobby, try painting and sketching in the heart of Chinatown. Bustling with street vendors, shoppers, and colorful people, there is not a minute of sketching without someone peering over your shoulder. Creating art in public does invite the curious. Although it may be uncomfortable at times, it is our mission as Urban Sketchers to raise awareness about art in our community.

From Urban Sketchers website:

Our mission

Our mission is to raise the artistic, storytelling, and educational value of on-location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.

This was our first collaboration with Mark Brown Plein Air Art Master Class taught today by Dennis Daniel. It was such an honor to join a group of talented Plein Air local artists. We hope to do another collaboration again soon.


Two Great Groups, One Great Event (Important Update)

I have sad news. Mark Brown will be undergoing surgery this week and will not be able to join us this Saturday at Kekaulike Market in Chinatown. His class will still meet so we are still invited to join them. Mark’s assistant, Dennis Daniel who is incredibly talented will teach the class while Mark is recovering.

Here is a photo I took of Dennis at He’eia State Park in May.

We know this is disappointing news. Hopefully, we can do another collaboration in the future with Mark when he is back on his feet. In the meantime, please keep Mark in your thoughts for a speedy recovery.

See you at Kekaulike Market in Chinatown on Saturday!


Two Great Groups, One Great Event

Hello Urban Sketchers! Hope all is well and that you are enjoying the outdoors with less restrictions. Let’s hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

We have a great opportunity on June 19th to meet local Plein Air Artist Mark Brown and his Master class as we all paint together at Kekaulike Market in Chinatown. This is an amazing opportunity for us Urban Sketchers to learn techniques from a master and meet other talented artists that paint outdoors all over Oahu. Mark has chosen a perfect place for our collaboration that’s colorful and bursting with urban life.

This event will be unlike our previous outings. We will meet 8-9am as a group while Mark will teach invaluable skills to capture lighting, colors, and movement on canvas. From 9 to 11:30, you will have 2 1/2 to draw and paint the marketplace. Then at 11:30, we will gather for critique and sharing.

There is municipal parking at the Kekaulike Courtyard at 1016 Maunakea Street $3.00 for the entire day.

If attending, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, June 18th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, as per State of Hawaii’s COVID-19 guidelines, you will not be required to wear a face covering as we will be outdoors. But please be consider of others around you and stay home if you feel sick.

About Mark Brown

Named as one of the few Plein Air Artists in Hawaii, Mark has been painted for nearly 40 years. He teaches Plein Air at University of Hawaii and is featured in Hawaii Art Galleries across the state. You may have seen his paintings at the Hilton Hawaiian Village or his 60×300’ mural at South Shore Marketplace. He is an accomplished award-winning artist and art instructor. To learn more about Mark, visit his website.

Here are photos I took of Mark’s class on May 29th at He’eia State Park. It was such a fun day and everyone was so friendly and incredibly talented.


Happy Rain Blesses Our Artwork

Thank you everyone who braved the rain to join us at the Punchbowl scenic lookout for a morning of urban sketching. I know most of us didn’t get to finish our sketches due to weather. I still hope you found the view of Honolulu from Diamond Head to the airport inspiring. 

As the rain drifted in and out, we still found time to do quick sketches of the view.

Some of us chose the iconic Diamond Head as our focal point.

Even in the rain, we all enjoyed a nice morning of urban sketching.

I’m working on our next exciting sketching event for June. Check back here for updates.


A Quiet View of Honolulu

I’ve been wanting to sketch an aerial view of Honolulu for awhile now. Thanks to Christine who did some reconnaissance over the weekend to locate a spot.

We’re back to Saturday sketching. Sorry for the confusion last month. Hope everyone can make it.

If you haven’t been to Punchbowl, there is a great view of Honolulu from the scenic lookout with lots of free parking. It’s a short walk to the lookout from the parking stalls near the public restroom. Sorry, there’s no shade from the lookout.

Other sketching options are the Lady Columbia statue and the memorial itself. There’s a nice view of the crater from the entrance with lots of shady trees. Because Memorial Day falls on the last weekend of May, we are moving up our sketching day to the middle of the month, when it may be less busy.

If attending, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, May 14th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, please read this previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings.

About the National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl Cemetery)

The cemetery opened to the public on July 19, 1949 and now is the final resting place for 53,000 World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans and their dependents. At the top of the staircase in the Court of Honor is a statue of Lady Columbia, also known as Lady Liberty, or Justice. She is reported to represent all grieving mothers. 


Celebrating Architecture Month

We are celebrating Architecture month in downtown Honolulu!

Join us on Sunday, April 25th at the historic YWCA for a fun morning of sketching. We will sketch individually from 10 to 11:30am. Then gather at 11:30 for group sharing with COVID-19 restrictions, of course.

If attending, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Saturday, April 24th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, please read this previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings.

Looking forward to see you on the 25th!

About YWCA on Richards Street

The site for the YWCA on Richards Street was purchased in 1924 for $238,566. One of America’s first and foremost female architects, Julia Morgan from San Francisco was selected to design the building, which opened in 1927. It was later added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


Sweet Sketching at Sweet Land Farm

Got a little worried driving to Waialua this morning with all the rain we’ve been having. But when we got there…

Abolutely gorgeous. Green grass. A little drizzle. Beautiful red barns. And the most adorable goats! 

For all the new sketchers, you picked a good one. Sweet Land Farm is a picturesque best kept secret in Waialua. I hope everyone had a nice time sketching in the country and immersed themselves into this adorable family farm.

If you missed it, please enjoy browsing our photos. 

Don’t miss our next event!

In partnership with AIA, our next event is April 24th at the historic YWCA in downtown Honolulu. AIA will be celebrating architecture month with events throughout April and we are honored to be invited to celebrate with them on the 24th. We’ll post more details in a few weeks.


Ready, Set, GOAT!

OMG. I’m so excited about our next sketching event. I hope you will make the drive to Central Oahu because I assure you, this is a GOAT one!

I recently visited Sweet Land Farm and I fell in love. First of all, the property is beautiful. Open pasture with red barns. Adorable plantation-style housing which are recycled from Schofield Barracks. And best of all, hundreds of the most adorable goats!

Please note, that we are moving our sketching time to 9am, with group sharing at 11:00 so that you’ll have extra time to walk around. Please bring your own chair. As we will be on private property, please be respectful to the farm and people around you. Wear a mask and remember to social distance.

About Sweet Land Farm

Sweet Land Farm is a certified goat dairy in beautiful Waialua. The property is 86 acres of old pineapple fields in Waialua on O’ahu. They currently have 160 lactating goats that are milked twice daily. The goats will give on average 3/4 to 1 gallon of milk per day.

Currently, Sweet Land Farm is opened to the public every Saturday 9am to noon. They have a little farm store that sells farmstead goat cheese, homemade caramel, soaps, lotions, goat-loving t-shirts, and other goat-inspired products. I encourage to check out their products. Support local!

Directions from Honolulu

Best way to locate Sweet Land Farm is to use google maps on your cellphone. Address is 65-1031 Kaukonahua Rd, Waialua, HI 96791. https://goo.gl/maps/86LUqgrmS8RkxawV9

Travel north on H-1. Take H-2 to Wahiawa. Stay on Wilikina Drive, until it turns into 803. Travel on 803. After you pass Hawaiian Earth Products on your left, take the next left. There should be a sign that says “Goat Cheese for Sale.” Travel until the fork in the road. Turn left. There is plenty of grassy parking near the structures.

If you plan to attend, please email us at uskoahu@gmail.com by Friday, March 19th with your name and phone number. We will retain the list for contact tracing purposes. Also, please read this previous post regarding Guidelines for Urban Sketchers Chapter Gatherings.

I hope you will join us for a fun day of sketching on the farm. This is going to be a good one!