Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meet the Sketcher: Vivian Aldridge

My underlying goal as an urban sketcher is to allow viewers to rest and reflect for a moment in my drawn vignettes. The world is filled with many wonders and dilemmas that are too often drowned out by an over demanding, multi-tasking lifestyle. Does anyone stop to really look anymore? How can one find that one simple gift amongst chaos? I think we as urban sketchers can help them do that.

My life in art began at the age of five when I started splashing around with poster paints. I can still remember the experience as if it was yesterday. Unfortunately, since I could not find a way to make a living from paint splashing, I found myself in the engineering field and abandoned my art for a couple of decades. These days however, I work in the educational arena as an instructional designer at Golden Gate University in downtown San Francisco and truly enjoy it.

I live in the southern part of Oakland below Lake Chabot since 2014. The rich cultural environment in the east bay has awakened my artistic sensibilities. And as a bonus, I now get to live near my sister, Eve, who works in her own studio as an illustrator.

During my off hours, over the last three years I have been developing my eye, defining a color palette that speaks to my spirit, and sharing stories and thoughts through imagery. I also enjoy encouraging those people who think that they can't draw by telling them "Whatever you draw is wonderful; it means you paid attention."

You can see more of my sketches here: General Sketches On Flickr and Scenes from San Francisco On Flickr.

Below is a sketch I drew of the empty lot next door to where I work on Mission and 2nd street of San Francisco. I was rather horrified to learn a 1000 foot tower was going to built here. I will miss this view because I could imagine what it was like in the past to work here. Also, these brick buildings have real windows. The kind you can open and close with your hands! A true novelty these days.

Next to Golden Gate University, Mission Street



  1. Love your first paragraph--an eloquent expression of what urban sketches can do!

    1. Thank you so much. This bio gave me an opportunity to think about why it is I like to sketch and why it is important : -)

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  2. Wonderful bio from my favorite sketcher.


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