Wednesday, July 5, 2017

GeoloSketchers: drawing geology

by Isaac Camps Gamundi
Isaac Camps Gamundi

Geologist and scientific editor. 
Author of, blog dedicated to the geological heritage of Catalonia (Spain)

Geolosketchers is a network of people joined by the interest in geology and for drawing.
The first GeoloSketchers meeting took place in February 2017. 
GeoloSketchers' meetings involve the collective practice of the open-air drawing in places where geology has a particular relevance and possesses visual-appealing elements.

GeoloSketchers is inspired by the Urban Sketchers movement and is mainly focused on drawing scenes of the natural environment, a widely used tool in geology and other related sciences. 
The procedure of a GeoloSketchers meeting is very simple:

  1. A public call to attend on a given date and place is launched through a social network. The location is an accessible space with relevant and visual-appealing geological features. Attendance is free of charge and no registration is required. 
  2. Attendants must cover their own expenses and join each meeting under their own responsibility.
  3. During the meetings participants are briefly introduced to what can be observed as well as to any interesting points of the area. This initial explanation excludes guided walks and/or drawing demonstrations. 
  4. Participants explore the surroundings of the area of interest, look for the most attractive spots, and start to draw. 
  5. A few hours later, GeoloSketchers meet again at the starting point and show their drawings to the group. Participants take group photos at the meetings and share them online.
The objectives of these meetings are:
  • Boosting the playful and artistic aspects of geology (It is not an academic activity).
  • Facilitating that people who like geology, to draw, and to practice their hobby as a group while meeting other people.
  • Awakening the interest of citizens for the geological heritage.
A group in Catalonia has been set up (, but Geolosketchers is an open initiative seeking to engage all the people interested in geology and who also like to draw; and it is envisioned that it will be spread as a global movement, in other regions of the world (either administrative or geological boundaries), by forming groups sharing the same idea. These groups would be autonomously organized following the same operating model and the same code of conduct exposed in an eight points manifesto:
  1. We like geology and we like to draw.
  2. We meet in areas where the geology is an important and attractive aspect of landscape and motivates us to draw any of its aspects, no matter of the scale.
  3. We draw what we can observe in situ or what we can interpret from what we are observing.
  4. Any drawing technique and supporting tool can be used.
  5. Our meetings are voluntary, open, free of charge, non-competitive and unpaid.
  6. We share our drawings online.
  7. We help each other.
  8. We respect the natural environment, people who live there, their property as well as the public property.
From these points it is necessary to emphasize three ethical implications in this initiative:

  • Creative freedom. Any technique, style or skill is valid.
  • Altruism. This activity does not seek any economic benefit, and must be supported by volunteering.
  • Respect for the environment. This activity cannot cause any kind of negative impact on the environment and the people.
If one or more people (leaders) decide to promote a local chapter by themselves, they should let it know to so that a list can be established, so that to facilitate the future creation of a website acting as a global directory, calendar and benchmark. 

More information related to this article are available in the journal of the College of Geologists of Spain (in Spanish): 

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics