Welcome to Moment Catchers
Hello! My name is Candace, and I'm a sketch artist with a passion for helping you connect with the world through art. Pull out your sketchbook and watercolors and find your favorite view — I'm glad you're here!

Orange daisy

“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot.”

— Alice Walker

Hello, friends! Yesterday, I received an exciting bit of news that I can’t wait to share with you — but first, a bit of backstory…

A little while after I started pursuing travel writing in 2010 and 2011, I learned about something called the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, which was founded in 1984 and is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. I also learned they are considered some of the most prestigious awards given in the fields of travel writing and travel photography, and cover quite a range of categories — from travel journalist of the year, to best travel book and guidebook, to best travel blog.

In the past, I’d entered a few of my own travel stories into the competition, but as I’ve come to focus more and more on sketching and illustration, I hadn’t entered for a couple of years. But earlier this year, right around the deadline to enter the 2017 Lowell Thomas Awards on April 1st, I decided it just might be time again — but not for the categories on travel articles…

I had just decided to change the name of this blog to Moment Sketchers, which reflected an even deeper change going on in my professional focus — watching our incredible global community of artists grow and committing to help everyone on their creative journeys any way I could, be it through how-to posts or eBooks. I could feel a sea change happening as I slowly shifted courses and changed the focus of this site, and it felt right to take a chance and finally enter the Lowell Thomas competition again.

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Lowell Thomas Awards

Nearly six months later, I am delighted to share some news with you that I just found out yesterday: Moment Sketchers received bronze in the category for best travel blog! I truly couldn’t believe the email when it arrived in my inbox — and I was just as moved to read the judges’ comments, explaining their decision:

“If part of travel is to stop and see the world, Candace Rose Rardon is doing that with her blog, Moment Sketchers. The sketches of the people and places encountered during her travels are as stunning as — if not more so than — the photos that accompany each post. And, if that’s not enough? She offers suggestions to other travelers on how they can start sketching in seconds so they, too, can really see the world through fresh eyes.”

As honored and excited as I was to receive the news yesterday, the reason I feel most compelled to share it with you here is because I have all of you to thank for the path Moment Sketchers has taken this year!

I have felt such a sense of synergy with you all, as your questions, suggestions, and ideas have continually influenced and inspired me. I’ve thought harder than ever about what I share here and how it can serve you better on your own journeys as sketch artists, and yesterday’s news was a humbling moment of affirmation for me — as though the universe was assuring me that the path Moment Sketchers is on right now is indeed a good one 🙂

And so, with a heart full of gratitude and joy, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate with you all — and even more importantly, to say thank you for being part of our community…we got bronze!

Salto del Penitente, Uruguay

A shot José took of me recently in the hill region of Salto del Penitente — which very much captures the gratitude and elation I felt yesterday 🙂

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Thank you again to the Society of American Travel Writers for this honor,
and for sponsoring the Lowell Thomas Awards each year.

And huge congratulations to the amazing array of winners this year, especially to my dear friend
Lola Akinmade Åkerström, who was awarded Travel Photographer of the Year!

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  • Amanda Thompson

    Congratulations!!! How awesome is this??? Well deserved Candace. You are such an inspiration. Looking forward to the weekend.

    • Thank you so much, Amanda!! And I truly meant every word in this post–you have been such an instrumental part of Moment Sketchers’ journey this year, so I can’t thank you enough 🙂 Hope your sketchbook and watercolors are all set for the weekend! <3

  • That’s awesome congrats Candace and thanks for sharing!

  • mary lou surgi

    Awesome and inspiring. I hope someday to have something to contribute.

    • That would be wonderful, Mary Lou! Please feel free to take part in one of our sketching challenges anytime–I know myself and all the other Moment Sketchers would love to have you join us 🙂

  • Linda Binder

    Congratulations Candace! Well earned!

  • You embody author Charlotte Bronte’s words, “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” It is as if you have had a fabulous meal and offered a bite to everyone else at the table. What I love most about you is this selfless capacity for sharing your light and love for the world and LIFE with your community, family and friends. Being honored is THRILLING and we are all so proud of you, but I believe I speak for all of us, are most proud because you HONOR the stories of others. In a world of “lone wolves” and “harassment” and “slurs,” you COLOR THE WORLD with beauty and inspiration. THANK YOU, Candace, and THANK YOU, Moment Sketchers!

    • Way to make me tear up over here, Mom! What a surprising and wonderful message of encouragement this was 🙂 And I especially love that quote from Charlotte Bronte–how have I never come across that one before?? I am endlessly grateful for your support and am cheering you on your own creative journey this week!! <3

  • Rosie

    Congratulations Candace! You are inspiring to me and others.

    • Thank you, Rosie! That really means so much to me to hear, thank you for sharing that 🙂

  • Belinda Noda

    What a fabulous recognition for all your wonder – filled words and pictures you share with us. Your Mum has put it so well. She is a very insightful woman – you have inherited her gifts and multiplied them. It’s the ripple effect thing – you are creating ripples that gain in strength and colour as they spread out across the oceans from Montevideo. Congratulations!!

    • Good morning, dear Belinda! Thank you so much for your incredible words of encouragement here…they mean the world to me 🙂 And I couldn’t agree more with you–my lovely mum has always been a force of insight and wisdom in my life, and I will forever be grateful for her! It’s such an honor to share this milestone with you, and I can’t wait to get sketching again together this weekend 🙂 Hugs from Montevideo!! <3

  • Congratulations Candace!!! So so proud of you and so excited! You are talented beyond measure!

    • Please know the pride and joy and excitement is completely mutual, Lola!!! I couldn’t be more thrilled for you, and I can’t wait to see what doors open for you as a result of this latest amazing milestone in your journey 🙂 Sending the biggest hugs from Montevideo! <3

  • Judy Tomlin

    Woo hoo! This is awesome Candace, congratulations! I’m very thankful for your vision in Moment Sketchers, and for the ongoing inspiration and support you share with the group, and on your blog. Thanks Candace, this is well-deserved recognition. 🙂

    • Ahh, thank you so much, Judy!! I’ve loved getting to know you (and the Yukon!) better this year, through your beautiful sketches and the stories you share with them, and I’m so grateful to hear that being part of Moment Sketchers has been inspiring for you. Thank you so much for your kind words here, and I can’t wait to sketch together again this weekend! <3

  • Of course you are who you are Candace, especially after reading your Mum’s beautiful words to you. So I have to say a huge thank you to Janell for her insightful words and passing on those same values to you.
    As I have said a few times, and will keep saying it, you have been a huge inspiration to kick start me to move sideways out of a well paid fashion career where I was stagnating and becoming excessively dispirited, into my art and happiness, which I never realised I missed so desperately until I nervously started sketching again and OUTSIDE of all things!!
    I am absolutely positive some of our fab and talented Moment Sketchers community feels the same in some small way.
    An absolutely HUGE HUG to you Candace and massive congratulations.
    Well done indeed Girl!!!

    • Victoria, I don’t quite know where to start with your wonderful note here–but please know how amazing it has been for me to follow your creative journey this year!! Especially to hear that you felt stagnate and dispirited in your fashion career, I couldn’t be more thrilled for you that you have begun taking so many huge, important steps in bringing fresh inspiration and creativity back into your life–both professionally and personally! It has been an honor to journey alongside you this year, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for you, too 🙂 Sending the biggest love and hugs from Montevideo!! <3

  • karen c

    So well deserved!! Yahoo for you, Candace 🎉

  • Treava

    Congratulations Candace!!! So well deserved! I teared up reading your Moms’ comment – she is so , so right. Victoria nailed it too. You are a great inspiration and guide. Thank you for your vision and inspiration Candace. Beautiful photo too!!! Big hugs,

    • Thank you so much for your kind and heartfelt words, dear Treava!! And please know the inspiration has been entirely mutual throughout 2017–I’ve been so inspired by your creative journey and that of so many others in Moment Sketchers, and I can’t wait to see how this year finishes for all of us 🙂 Sending the biggest hugs and love from Montevideo! <3

  • Genevieve

    Such beautiful news! It warms my heart to see your efforts acknowledged and rewarded, singled out from the crowd.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Genevieve!! And knowing your own journey as a writer and freelancer, I’ll share with you that it now seems quite serendipitous and perfect that my first Lowell Thomas wasn’t for one of my own personal travel articles, but for our wonderful community of Moment Sketchers. I have definitely felt a shift in my focus this year, as I’ve watched our beautiful tribe of artists grow and evolve, and I couldn’t be more grateful that you are a part of it–now I’m just waiting for our paths to cross in person! 🙂 <3

  • Kar

    Congratulations Candace!!!
    Your gift you shared in the arts and the writings have etched into my daily life, that I have learnt so much, see so sharply and feel so deeply since I encountered your blog and through being part of your Moment Sketchers community.
    Your greatest gift of all is the way you reach out to the community to connect the common thread in human hearts, with your inspiration, positive energy and compassion. Thank you Janell for being an amazing mum, and Thank you Candace for being you!!! A biggest congratulations!!! Mil besitossss

    • Thank you so much, dear Kar–I was so touched to read your beautiful words here, especially the idea of connecting common threads around the world. I have definitely felt that at the heart of Moment Sketchers this year–that as different and diverse as we all might be, there are still some wonderful themes and threads we all have in common, from a passion for art and creativity to a deep curiosity about the world and the many cultures it comprises. It has been a complete honor and joy for me to watch Moment Sketchers come to life this year, and I couldn’t be more grateful that you’re a part of it–what an amazing journey you’ve been on this year!! And I’m already looking forward to seeing how your art grows in 2018 🙂 Sending big love and blessings from Montevideo! <3

  • Sunny Christian

    you know Candace, we are all better because of our awesome leader, you. this is so cool! for you, and secondarily for us. we love you!! you rock!!

    • Sunny, you continue to amaze me with your joy and encouragement! I can’t thank you enough for your kind words here, and I’m so looking forward to seeing what you capture this weekend 🙂 <3

  • Angela Hennessy

    So lovely to hear this Candace. Recognition for starting such a wonderful, inclusive, supportive community. I’m incredibly grateful for your support, I wouldn’t be on the journey I’m on with my art without your inspiration. Well deserved. The exciting thing is this is just the beginning. Kismet.