Welcome to Moment Sketchers

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!

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It’s a sunny Tuesday morning in Montevideo, the sky is cloudless and crystalline outside my window, and I’m sitting here at my desk, trying to find the right words to sum up our final Moment Sketchers challenge of 2017.

In so many ways, it feels like just yesterday that the idea for our Moment Sketchers challenges first came to me last December. In so many ways, this year has felt like an endless stream — life flowing past me so much more swiftly than I’m able to take hold of it; each day giving way imperceptibly to the next. What exactly happened in 2017?

And yet, not every day gave way imperceptibly to the next — imperceptibly meaning to occur “in a way that is so slight, gradual, or subtle as not to be perceived.” Because at least once a month this year, as we pulled out our sketchbooks and watercolors for each Moment Sketchers challenge, we committed to perceiving our lives.

To noticing.

To seeing the world around us more deeply — and then sharing it with each other.

I like to think that every time we sketched this year, that was our way of standing in the endless stream of life, staking our claim, and saying to that particular day:

“This is one moment that will not pass me by.”

And this is the beautiful thing about moments that have been caught and captured through art — they stay with us.

Research has even proven this. Last year, a study published by psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Canada found that by drawing a list of words we want to remember, we’re able to later recall twice as many words than if we’d simply written them out. I like to think the same indelible results occur through drawing a place. Sure, we could write about a favorite moment or take photos of it — but the most surefire way to ensure we can remember tiny details and sensations in the future?

Sketch it.

I’ve come to call this process the alchemy of moments — because just like alchemy turns ordinary metal into gold, sketching can transform life’s ephemeral moments into extraordinary, eternal memories.

I love how sketching helps us transform fleeting moments of wonder…

Sketch Uruguay chapel

…into lasting, detailed memories we can always return to in the future.

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So, yes — right now, I’m definitely asking myself: What happened in 2017? But, thanks to our monthly sketching challenges, I can also very easily recall some moments and events that happened during the year — and I don’t even need to open my sketchbook.

All I need to do is imagine my sketch from each challenge, and it’s like an automatic time machine to that moment.

I can picture the historic, cobblestoned streets of Colonia, Uruguay, where José and I sketched together on a cloudy February afternoon; I can feel the same sense of wonder I felt when we discovered a hidden chapel in the countryside in May and were dazzled by its triangular, stained-glass windows; and I can feel the ocean breezes blowing in August, when I sketched a striking white lighthouse on the coast of the Pacific with my dear friends Cara and Jerimiah, who lived just south of San Francisco.

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I now encourage you to do the same — to picture where you were for each of our sketching challenges in 2017.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can recall the moments? The scents and sounds? Even the emotions you were feeling? This gives me some comfort — knowing that not every day of the year slipped past without me realizing it — and it gives me confidence and courage, too: To keep pulling out my sketchbook. To keep noticing and perceiving. To keep committing to seeing the world around me with a keen eye and open heart, and to keep sharing it with our community. 

Friends, there are tears in my eyes as I think about having journeyed through an entire year with you all. And though my head is already dancing with new ideas and plans for 2018, I want to take this moment and celebrate exactly what we have evolved into today: We are a family of more than 100 artists from all across the globe, who love to seize the moment, share our world, and — most importantly — support each other, as we each continue honing and growing our own unique voices as artists.

Moment Sketchers, thank you for being part of our challenges all year,
and for making 2017 one of the most creative and connected years of my life!

Moment Sketchers December

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Australia

1. Aggie

2. Amanda

3. Colleen

4. Debbie

#momentsketchers #australia merry Christmas

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5. Jan

6. Kar

7. Liane

Fremantle markets #momentsketchers

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8. Lily

9. Serena

10. Victoria

Bangladesh

11. Tamanna

Belgium

12. Vanessa

This month's moment sketch #momentsketchers #momentcatchers

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Brazil

13. Fernanda

Canada

14. Beth

Pumpkin study 2, December challenge #momentsketchers #winnipeg #canada

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Pumpkin study 1 #momentsketchers #winnipeg #urbansketchers

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#Winnipeg #momentsketchers #urbansketchers #riverview Hockey fan

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15. Genevieve

16. Jill

17. Judy

Moment Sketchers December

18. Lynn

19. Melanie

20. Nicki

21. Tracey

22. Treava

England

23. Angela

#momentsketchers

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#momentsketchers

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24. Belinda

25. Linda

Moment Sketchers December

26. Theo

27. Zenobia

France

28. Sarah

A winter landscape with some grey and brown… Saturday was a typical gloomy day and I have to admit that I painted from home, looking by the window to find inspiration in the trees. I just went outside to snap a picture and get my fingers frozen… ❄️ For the last #momentsketchers weekend of the year! 😊 . Un paysage d’hiver avec du gris et du marron…. La journée d’hier était typique de cette saison morose, et je dois avouer que j’ai peint à l’intérieur, en regardant à travers la fenêtre pour trouver l’inspiration dans les arbres. Je suis juste sortie le temps de faire une photo et de me geler les doigts… ❄️ . . #art_spotlight #emergingartist #travelsketch #inspiring_watercolors #createcultivate #campagne #watercolorlandscape #craftsposure #sheexplores #waterblog #aquarelle #landscapeart #embracingtheseasons #liveauthentic #creativityfound #watercolorart #womenartists #watercolorpainting #pleinairpainting #momentslikethese #carveouttimeforart #calledtobecreative #morningslikethese #simpleandstill #seekinspirecreate #watercolorist #thatauthenticfeeling #autumnmood

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Georgia

29. Tami

Travelling is like reading a book & those who stay at one spot – read only one chapter 🌍 . Having joined and enjoyed hyper-supportive and creative community of #momentsketchers for almost a year now, I couldn't be more grateful to dear @candacerardon for this amazing journey and inspiration! Words can't describe my gratitude, hope at least sketches speaks for themselves 😇🤗❤.. On our last session of sketching I've decided to share with you genuinely exciting and marvelous chapter I've explored this year… It's been veritably blessed & roller-coster-mode year, with some 10 countries I've rambled around so far (still another 27 days left till new year, who know what can happen😜😉), but this piece is what uterly took my breath away – Africa, on my mind, always… ❤ . #momentsketchers #sketchbook #sketches #sketch_collector #watercolorpainting #watercolorart #watercolor #watercolorsketch #artist #artistsofinstagram #artistoninstagram #vibes #beautiful #ff #painting #artsandcrafts #arts #quoteoftheday #dailyfluff #doodleandsketch #paints #happiness #africa #wild #magic #quoteoftheday #sundayvibes #travelgoals #inspiring_watercolors #inspire #paint

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Germany

30. Alenka

31. Elaine

32. Jens

Hong Kong

33. Alan

India

34. Dolo

Hi! WORLD SCKETCHERS TRIBE! #momentsketchers Hi @candacerardon Thanks for all the beautiful sketches, I´m loving this last session of the year!!! 🎨💜💛❤💚💙 My last sketch of 2017 is about a corner of the world that caught me and enchanted me with it´s stories, colors and crafts. Between the white desert and the sea, almost an island on the west of India, almost border with Pakistan is Kutch a territory full of art, textiles, embroidery. Another of those places that called me to go. Sometimes without knowing where I'm going and there´s always a reason, I end up finding more of what I'm looking for. I stayed only a couple of weeks, and it was so hard to leave. For textile lovers like me, it is paradise and its friendly people did it more. Here is a bit of this corner of the world that stole another part of my heart. —————————————– 👉👉👉Mi último boceto de 2017 es sobre un rincón del mundo que me atrapó y me cautivó con sus historias, colores y artesanías. Entre el desierto blanco y el mar, casi una isla en el oeste de la India, en la frontera con Pakistán es Kutch un territorio lleno de arte, textiles, bordados. Otro de esos lugares que me llamaron a ir. A veces, sin saber a dónde voy y siempre hay una razón, termino encontrando más de lo que estoy buscando. Me quedé solo un par de semanas, y fue tan difícil irme. Para amantes de los textiles como yo, es el paraíso y lo amigable de su gente lo hizo más. Aquí hay un poco de este rincón del mundo que robó otra parte de mi corazón 👉❤🇨🇮💛👈🌏🌎🌍🎨 Thanks so much @kutch_adventures_india for sharing your home and the passion for it! 👉Follow my textile journey 👉 @disfrutadeltrayecto 👈👈👈🌏🌎🌍😊 #disfrutadeltrayecto #amarlatrama #vivirviajando #delotroladodelmundo #unirlospuntos #trayecto #contarhistorias #buscarse #crearse #viajar #viajeras #amoviajar #travelgirl #aventura #aventurera #inspiracion #sketchbook #travelsketch #dibujo #art #drawing #sketch #watercolor #aquarela #croquis #kutch #bhuj

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35. Dorothy

36. Shub

37. Smita

38. Vidya

Indonesia

39. Marianne

Malaysia

40. Joanne

Moment Sketchers December

Mexico

41. Fran

Moment Sketchers December

Moment Sketchers December

42. Lori

Moment Sketchers December

43. Maria

#momentcatchers 💚 #momentsketchers

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Myanmar

44. Daniel

The Netherlands

45. Jobien

46. Linda

47. Yvonne

New Zealand

48. Melanie

Singapore

49. Elisa

Spain

50. Dorothee

51. Sol

Turkey

52. Elif

United Arab Emirates

53. Lisa

United States

54. Amber

55. Barbara

Bidwell Park, One Mile Recreation Area #momentsketchers Chico, CA USA

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56. Bob

Moment Sketchers December

57. Callie

Sketching/watercolor attempt for December 🤶🏻☺️#momentsketchers #texas

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Another try for December #momentsketchers (prayer garden, St. Helena's in Texas)

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58. Cara

59. Cele

Moment Sketchers December

60. Christopher

61. Deanna

Moment Sketchers December

62. Erica

63. Fay

Moment Sketchers December

64. Francois

65. Frank

Moment Sketchers December

66. Grace

67. Ingrid

Moment Sketchers December

68. Jan

Moment Sketchers December

69. Jenni

Moment Sketchers December

70. Jennie

71. Joan

72. Jolene

73. Joyce

74. Karen C.

75. Karen E.

Moment Sketchers December

Moment Sketchers December

76. Karla

@candacerardon #momentsketchers #christmastree #christmas #sketch #sketchbook #watercolor

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77. Kate

Jammie movie marathon now Birdcage while sketching Best Time with My Hunny

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78. Kay

79. LaCount

Quick sketch of a wreath at church. #momentsketchers

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80. Linda

81. Mark

82. Mary

Moment Sketchers December

83. Mike

Moment Sketchers December

84. Rebecca

Sketched with colored pencils after hiking down the Canyon to the Colorado River on Saturday for #MomentSketchers (@candacerardon) I had just begun sketching an outline of a plant's stem in pen when a friend came over and wanted to draw with my colored pencils too. I told her to sit close so we could share. Suddenly she yanked the plant out of the sand while jokingly exclaiming "Stupid plant!" and sat right where it had been. I shouted "Nooo, that's what I was drawing!" but could only laugh at the coincidence. I immediately drew a gravestone on my paper to mark the death of my sketch subject, and the whole page morphed from there. The second image is a sketch from my friend @charliemcpherson. I especially love the sun!

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85. Rosie

86. Ruthie

87. Sarah

The last time I was in Williamsburg, VA, was in 2009 right after a big December blizzard had hit the state. My husband and I drove out through the snow for our honeymoon which fell over Christmas. This is a magical place to be for the Christmas season. Today, I’ve made it here after retrieving my sister and my baby nephew who have flown out from India. The little American/Indian boy spending his first day in the US at Colonial Williamsburg watching the grand illumination of the place to kick off his first Christmas season 😊❤️🎄 #momentsketchers #sketchbook #travelsketch #christmas #momentcatchers #sketch #colonialwilliamsburg #williamandmary #winter #artistlife #travelingartist #artistofinstagram #artistoninstagram #drawing #draw

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88. Sunny

Moment Sketchers December

89. Tai

90. Torey

Moment Sketchers December

91. Vijay

92. Wendi

Uruguay

93. Elisa

94. Gabriela

Moment Sketchers December

95. José

Moment Sketchers December

96. Candace

For this final Moment Sketchers challenge of 2017, I knew I wanted to sketch from somewhere special — somewhere new and full of fresh inspiration. Perfectly enough, José and I have a friend’s wedding to attend tonight in a beautiful, beachside neighborhood called El Pinar, which is around 40 minutes from Montevideo, and I just so happened to find a rustic little cabin for us to rent for the weekend here 🏠 • Already, the weekend has been full of simple beauty — waking up to birdsong; being surrounded by towering pine trees; looking out of windows filled with forest views; moving to a slower, more natural rhythm; and finally, this afternoon, pulling out my sketchbook and capturing this moment of rest and relaxation 🙏🏼🌲☕️ • Moment Sketchers, I’ve loved seeing the gorgeous sketches you all have shared so far, and I can’t wait to discover what inspiration the rest of the weekend holds for us! 💛

A post shared by Candace Rose Rardon (@candacerardon) on

✨ Be happy ✨ Those two words were painted on a wooden sign that sat just outside the door of our cabin in El Pinar all weekend — and as soon as José pointed it out to me yesterday, I knew it would make the perfect subject for my last Moment Sketchers capture of 2017! 💚 • This weekend, happiness has been a long-overdue return to the natural world; reading sessions in the hammock, always with a cup of tea in hand; blustery walks to the beach across pine-forested dunes; and converting a tree stump seat into my sketching studio for the afternoon 🌲 • I also have to thank Angela from @raspberrythief for the beautiful inspiration of painting our community hashtag on found objects from nature…I finally had the chance to do the same today 😊🍃🎨 I hope this weekend of moment-catching has been full of connection and inspiration for you, friends!

A post shared by Candace Rose Rardon (@candacerardon) on

Wales

97. Barti

  • Sunny Christian

    aw, this is so sweet. good job, everyone! I love being part of this community!! thank you again dear Candace, for you bring out the best in all of us. looking forward to what the new year will bring. blessings to you all

    • You are so very welcome, Sunny! And please know we love having you part of the Moment Sketchers family 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed taking part in the challenges this year, and I can’t wait to see what new creative adventures 2018 holds for us all!! <3

  • Amanda Thompson

    Just gorgeous – what an awesome first year for us all. So glad to have been part of it all. I think I look forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones and hearing the stories almost as much as seeing all these gorgeous pieces. Once again Candace thanks for the mammoth organisation. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the holiday and happy end of 2017 to all. See you again in 2018.

    • Amanda, you been more than just a part of it all — you have been so very instrumental in developing and fostering the incredible encouraging spirit that is at the heart of Moment Sketchers! I have been continually amazed at how consistently and generously you encourage and support other artists in the community, and I only hope that you’ve felt that support reciprocated to you hundredfold 🙂 Thank you for helping to grow Moment Sketchers to what it is today, and I can’t wait to continue growing and sketching with you in 2018. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and please enjoy the Christmas spirit in NYC for me!! <3

      • Amanda Thompson

        Absolutely! There are some other lovely art groups around but ours is so inclusive and so varied in style and ability that I don’t feel too useless. We are all very lucky to have found each other.

        We finally arrived in the US after a few plane issues (as there always seems to be and zoomed through NYC last night around midnight so sadly no photos and are now relaxing in the Pennsylvanian countryside.

    • Oh I agree Amanda. I absolutely love seeing everyone’s sketches every month, the new sketchers who have joined to enhance our community but also our year long friends, it is the best. Enjoy New York and have a wonderful Festive Season.

    • I’m so happy to have met you here Amanda. Thank you so much for your encouragement and lovely words since my first sketch. I look forward to getting to know you even better in 2018 and for now, I hope the holiday continues to be fabulous! xx

      • Amanda Thompson

        Absolutely! Bring on 2018.

  • Dorothee Lang

    A wonderful collection of moments and places! Thanks so much for hosting and for putting this page together. I already look forward to the next momentsketcher-weekend. Cheers from Germany, Dorothee (aka lifeasjourney, #50 in the collection 🙂

    • I’m so happy to have connected with you this month, Dorothee, and it’s especially wonderful to hear that you enjoyed being part of our final sketching challenge of the year so much 🙂 Here’s to catching even more moments and inspiration in 2018! <3

  • As you know this year has been pretty momentous for me (no pun intended 😊). From making the connection at the beginning of the year that combining my art with our outdoor adventures seemed like a plan. Then finding the Moment Sketchers community in February, and being made to feel welcome, encouraged and valued has been an absolute joy. The Moment Sketchers community has helped me in so many ways, I will be forever grateful. Thank you to each and every one of you, and I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings. To see little snippets of the world and the stories that they hold has been magical.

    • Sooooo true Angela. The support within our community is truly uplifting and life changing. All the best to you and your family for Christmas and 2018.

    • “To see little snippets of the world and the stories that they hold has been magical.” That is such a poignant and perfect phrase, Angela — so much so, I think it might even have to go in our manifesto 🙂 Even more, though, I am so heartened to hear that it has been such a momentous year for you (puns always welcome, ha!) — as you’ve found more and more courage sketching outdoors and especially as you’ve opened up your Etsy shop, I feel like you’re really setting yourself up for an incredible and inspiring year in 2018. And I for one can’t wait to see what the new year holds for you! Sending big hugs and much gratitude from Montevideo <3

  • Well my year has seen such a dramatic change of pace and energy thanks completely to this amazing group you started Candace. This time last year I was desperately unhappy, dissatisfied and disillusioned with the fashion industry here in Sydney and I knew I had to get out, I couldn’t keep working in this environment plus I was starting to get sick.
    The verbal, visual and emotional support of this beautiful group of artists has been truly, truly uplifting. I am quite emotional writing this because it has just hit me how incredibly important my art and our community is in my life, I am sure we all think this.
    I PRAYED so hard at the beginning of the year for ‘someone’ to help me get out of this side of fashion and become a better artist and writer. (Also prayed I would have money in the bank!!) Well, be careful what you ask for…as of last week I have lost my main contract due to the company going into administration and now I have to change, part of me is extremely nervous but a bigger part of me is so incredibly, incredibly happy and overflowing with excitement that I have found my soul in my art again.
    Candace thank you from the bottom of man heart for the generous amount of time you put into this community and amazing support. Loads of love to you, José and your Families for Christmas and the new 2018.🦄❤️💕🌸🌼

    • Amanda Thompson

      I hope good things come your way and an even better door opens in front of you Victoria. Thinking of you xxx

    • I love that you’ve found your soul in your art again, Victoria. Wishing you all the best things for 2018 xx

      • Oh the very same back to you Colleen and your family and friends. New Year 2018, new energy. A huge hug to you. 🦄💕🐬🍀

    • Victoria, what an incredible journey you have been on throughout 2017 — it sounds like this year has been a total transformation for you, and I’m honored to have gotten to play even in a small part in that 🙂 It’s been amazing to have you be part of Moment Sketchers since the very first challenge, and I love how you described the “verbal, visual and emotional support” of our community — I couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m just so sorry to hear that your main contract has fallen through for you, but please know I’m sending you all of my best thoughts and vibes that this new year is a chance for you to journey even further with your art, both personally and professionally! Wishing you a restful and inspiring holiday season, Victoria, and an absolutely wonderful start to 2018!! <3

      • Thank you so much for your support, Candace. Love and hugs to you and ALL our talented beautiful community for 2018. xxxxxxx❤️❤️🌸🐬😻🦄🍀

  • Jan Harman

    What a journey I’ve been on! I’ve been amazed and gob-smacked and amused. It’s wonderful to have been part of this creative and generous project; I feel like I’ve been on a magic carpet. Thank you all so much!

    • “I’ve been amazed and gob-smacked and amused.” I couldn’t imagine a better way to sum up our first year of Moment Sketchers, Jan 🙂 I love the idea of it having been a magic carpet ride, too — what a perfect way to put it! I’m so glad you’ve helped make our community so full of color and amazement, and I can’t wait to see what you create and share with us in 2018 🙂

  • WOW! Amazing work, everyone! What a great finish for 2017!

    Candace, this is such a beautiful post! Yes, I love looking back over my sketchbooks because they truly are like instant time portals…they help my memories to be more vivid. My sketchbooks have been a great resource for filling in patchy memories of a particular experience…what day/date it was that I went somewhere? What happened on the day? Who else was there? My sketches record it and make it so easy to look back to the day and answer questions…the memory is instantly refreshed.

    Thank you so much for creating this amazing challenge, Candace! It has been a pleasure participating and seeing the works of my fellow Moment Sketchers. Roll on, 2018!

    • “..the memory is instantly refreshed.” I love how you put this, Serena — and also how you described your sketchbooks like instant time portals 🙂 I’m so glad we share a love for sketching as memory-making! It has been such a joy connecting with you over our love for art throughout 2017, and please know how much I’m looking forward to sketching together (even if virtually!) in the new year. Wishing you and your family a joyful holiday season and start to 2018! <3

  • This year has certainly been a rough and tumble of change and emotions for me so I agree with you about the alchemy of moments, Candace. I’ve just had a look at my sketches and been transported back to those moments (hours!) of my sketching practice – season, where I was, what was happening at that time. Some lovely memories as well as reminders of how far I’ve come in such a short time. I’ve enjoyed being part of the Moment Sketchers tribe since my first sketch in August (where has the year gone?). Warm welcomes, encouragement and positive feedback have been wonderful gifts for a humble beginner. It’s also been a joy to see the creative endeavours of this group each month. Thank you Candace for your fabulous support and encouragement, your generosity and the time you give to our community. Wishing you and José a safe and happy festive season with your families and I look forward to 2018 and more sketching!

    • “Warm welcomes, encouragement and positive feedback have been wonderful gifts for a humble beginner.” It is so encouraging and affirming for me to hear how much you’ve enjoyed being part of Moment Sketchers this year, Colleen — and I love that you can also see how far you’ve come in such a short time! For me, the hardest part of getting back into art is simply picking up a pencil or paintbrush and giving ourselves the permission to be on a learning journey — and it’s amazing to see those hard first steps are now behind you 🙂 I so look forward to seeing what 2018 holds for you — and I’ll be especially hoping it brings you deep peace and fulfillment in your new home! <3

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