Urban sketchers meet up in St Neots

The Urban Sketchers group met up in S Neots for the first time last week.

The Urban Sketchers group met up in S Neots for the first time last week. - Credit: RICHARD SLADE

A group of like-minded creatives got together on St Neots Market Square last week for their first Urban Sketchers meet-up.

The event was co-organised by Richard Slade from the St Neots creative collective Neotists, alongside illustrator and art teacher at Makings & Musings, Irene Ruby.

The aim of the group is to make this a regular monthly event that is open to anyone, regardless of their skill level.

Richard explains: "Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional artist, everyone is welcome. We meet at a set location, give you a brief and set you off with your chosen materials.

"We then aim to meet back after an hour or so to get a group photo. We don't judge the quality or quantity of work, it's all about having fun and learning a new skill, or in my case, re-learning a lost skill."

The idea of urban sketching was made official in 2007 when Seattle-based illustrator Gabriel Campanario decided to formalise what artists have been doing instinctively on their own for centuries.

The biggest difference between Gabriel's group though was the scale. Since that first meet-up over a decade ago 120,000 artists in 336 cities worldwide meet to draw and share their experiences and skills.

Richard says the St Neots group has started small but the hope is that they will grow in number and become an official Urban Sketchers city chapter this year.

Anyone is welcome to join the group and if you are interested in joining in, the next event is on Saturday, July 23 and the subject is the St Neots Regatta.

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Co-organiser Irene Ruby said: "The Regatta is the ideal place to set yourself up in a corner and draw spectators, rowers or just the river bustling with activity. It looks to be a great morning of sketching."

You can find more information and sign up for the event at the Neotist website at:  www.neotists.co.uk.