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SKETCHBOOK: a creative tool and a way of life that celebrates design and drawing as vital ways to see and value culture, to discover ideas, and to envision a better world.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Jim to Teach at 2017 USk Symposium in Chicago!

The faculty roster for the 8th International Urban Sketching Symposium in Chicago has been released, and I'm honored to be among this elite group.  The Symposium will be held July 26-29, 2017.  The annual event is the largest gathering of sketchers in the world; last year's symposium in Manchester, England drew 500 attendees from 44 countries.  Workshop faculty are chosen each year by a panel of educators in a juried proposal process.

My workshop will be offered three times during the symposium.  It's called The Grand Illusion:  Achieving a Dramatic Sense of Depth, where we'll focus on creating a convincing illusion of 3-dimensions on the 2-dimensional paper surface.  Creating this illusion is the essence of location drawing, yet it's one of the most consistent sources of questions in my workshops and online classes.  Abstract concepts will become clear with examples from the worlds of stage and film, followed by demonstrations of how those concepts can be translated to location sketching.  Participants will learn a range of classic, foundational techniques that demystify creating a sense of depth, as well as a number of cool tricks I’ve learned over decades of creating believable worlds on paper.  By workshop’s end, you will see city scenes in a different way, and will bring a new sense of believability to your urban sketches.

See more details on the 8th International Urban Sketching Symposium HERE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sketching Workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!

    "Sketching the Energy of Places" with James Richards
    San Miguel de Allende
    ​Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:00am-1:00pm

    I'm delighted to be doing a sketching workshop with Meagan Burns' travel company, Art Leap Adventures, in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico--Tuesday, March 14! Working with Meagan and teaching location sketching skills in such a stunning setting is as good as it gets! 

    See the workshop details here:  http://www.artleapadventures.com/sketchenergy.html
    Learn about Art Leap Adventures here:  http://www.artleapadventures.com/
    Follow Meagan Burns here:  https://www.facebook.com/meagan.burns

Friday, February 3, 2017

Workshops for Washington State University!

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to give a public lecture, a gallery exhibition and a series of design sketching workshops March 31-April 3 at the invitation of Washington State University's Landscape Architecture Program. These aren't public workshops, but rather a chance to interact with young design students in small groups, teaching techniques for rapid visualization of ideas.

As we often do, Patti and I will extend our time in the area with a road trip, this time through the Mountain West to explore the region's towns, majestic landscapes and national parks.  Ketchum, Idaho, another key setting in my continuing journey tracing Ernest Hemingway's footsteps around the globe, will also be on the itinerary.  High adventure indeed!

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Conversation for the Ages: JR Interviews Two Design Icons

On October 22, 2016, it was my distinct privilege to moderate a very rare conversation between William "Bill" Johnson and Peter Walker, two legendary designers whose ideas and work had a profound influence on the field of landscape architecture over six decades.  From their early days as Harvard classmates to the present, their work pushed the boundaries of the profession outward to embrace broad contextual concerns and inward to new artistic heights.  As collaborators, they have sought to explore the potentially rich interface between these areas.  They expanded our vision, and continue to challenge and inspire us.

The interview was the Opening General Session of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), held in New Orleans, before an audience of over three thousand.  ASLA had the foresight to record the session as a high quality video, which can now be made available to design professionals, students and scholars now and it perpetuity.  I'm very grateful to ASLA for the opportunity, and excited to share this remarkable conversation with all of you.

HERE'S THE LINK:  Shared Wisdom: Legacy, Practice and Partnership

James Richards, Bill Johnson and Peter Walker in New Orleans for "Shared Wisdom" interview.

Awesome Sketching Workshops in Canada!

Patti and I have just completed three days of our concept sketching, location sketching and rapid visualization workshops for the Northern Alberta School of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.  Sub-zero temperatures didn't slow things down in the least! The majority of attendees were landscape architecture students, but we also had graphic design, interior design, architecture, languages and journalism students.  Some faculty and a local Urban Sketcher attended as well.  This was our third year at NAIT; it's an honor to have been invited and to leave students who are inspired and excited about sketching as a path to discovery! Thanks to all who attended, and to the leadership team who planned the event--it was a blast!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Sir, What's That You're Drawing?

This is a nice story from our Urban Sketchers Dallas/Fort Worth outing on Saturday, posted on Facebook by the mother of the young man in the photo with me. When we're sketching, people are watching--we usually never know who or why.  But that's almost always a good thing.  (Story and photo by Tasha Emmons Young):
    "Yesterday, while strolling around downtown Plano, Reichen saw a man sketching on the street. We stopped. We chatted. He told Reichen he was once a boy who loved to draw and when he grew up, he discovered how to make a living drawing as an urban planner. The man drew with ink and told us later he would add watercolor to his work. This artist was so kind and so patient. He let Reichen watch, observe, and ask questions. Reichen was so inspired, he sketched as soon as he got home and tried a medium he never used before - watercolor. Reichen told me he hopes to be as kind and thoughtful to younger artists one day just as the man on the street was to him. Thank you, James Richards. It was very, very nice to meet you. You inspired my 10-year-old artist and we are grateful."

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DestinAsia Magazine Publishes "Hemingway's Cuba" Sketches

I am very happy  to see that DestinAsia, the "award-winning luxury travel and lifestyle magazine for those who love to travel in style in the Asia- Pacific region and beyond," published a feature on my "Hemingway's Cuba" travel and sketches in their most recent issue.  I had provided the materials by invitation a few months ago and wasn't sure of the publishing timetable, so I was happily surprised when it popped up on Patti's Google Alerts.

DestinAsia has published others from our Urban Sketchers family in the past for travel profiles, as well as for article illustrations.  It's great to see a high quality magazine with wide circulation show an interest in our work.

HERE'S THE LINK:  Sketchbook: On Hemingway's Trail in Cuba