Yesterday the NYC Urban Sketchers joined USk Lebanon for a joint virtual sketching event in Lebanon. One of our members is/was an economist who worked quite a bit in Lebanon and has often sketched there with their Urban Sketchers group. Joy spoke to Judy Abi Roustom from the Lebanon group and a plan for sketching together was put into action. We all met on Zoom in the big group to start and Judy told us a little about Lebanon and her favorite areas. She had provided a number of links to photos and references for us to use. After the introduction we split up into "breakout rooms" of anywhere from 5-6 people. Each group had a member of USk Lebanon to provide additional ideas and information. Arin was in my group and spoke about the areas that were damaged from the recent explosions and some of the other areas in Lebanon that she would recommend.
I usually try to get a head start on the reference otherwise I would spend the morning just trying to decide where and what to sketch. On Friday I downloaded about a dozen references that were possibilities. I have to say that I knew nothing about Lebanon except what I've seen in news reports, and those usually focus on damage or problems. Lebanon is a beautiful country and I focused on some of the lovely references I found of Beirut. I also found out that right outside of Beirut there is an area that has an incredible amount of ancient Roman ruins and the oldest continually inhabited city. It was quite impressive.
Here is the first sketch that I did of Gemmayze in Beirut. This area had some damage from the last explosion, but not as much as the center of Beirut. There are a lot of areas with big, steep staircases and wonderful textured buildings.
One of the nice things about zooming is meeting people from all over the world. You can join in from anywhere as long as the time difference works for you. This was my breakout group in the morning.
We had (left to right in the top row) Terri (NY), me, Nimal (NY),
(second row) Ingrid (Germany), Marta (Spain), Arin (Lebanon)
(bottom row) Patricia (CA), and Karen (NY).