Community Artist in the Parks Katrina Lund, right, shares her artwork with a park visitor. Lund and the National Park Service are hosting monthly “sketch crawls” in the Southeast Utah Group of Parks, including Arches and Canyonlands. [Photo courtesy of Sharon Brussell / National Park Service]

For Katrina Lund, the National Park Service’s local 2015 Community Artist in the Parks, the red rock desert is a special place and art is a tool she uses to deepen her experience.

Lund loves to sketch plein air (outside), connecting with the landscape in front of her. She works in many different mediums, but loves combining pen and ink drawings with watercolors, capturing the raw energy and emotion of the desert. During her park visits and special events between April and October, Lund hopes to engage and inspire visitors and locals alike with a different way to “see” these wild and beautiful places.

Lund said she believes that talent has very little to do with enjoying sketching and drawing, and that it’s more about slowing down, keenly observing, and being present in the moment. She said she hopes to show that you don’t have to consider yourself an “artist” to experience the joy and magic of sketching and truly connecting on a different level. In fact, Lund happened upon sketching over 20 years ago when she accidentally forgot her camera, but found some paper and a pen in her car. She’s been hooked ever since.

In addition to being at Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments during the 2015 season, Lund is hoping you will help her put the “community” into the Community Artist in the Parks program. As a way to celebrate the beautiful national parks that surround Moab and your unique expression in the world, Lund and the National Park Service are hosting monthly sketch crawls in the Southeast Utah Group of Parks.

Similar to the age-old tradition of a pub crawl, where people go from pub to pub, a sketch crawl is where people go from location to location and sketch. All ages and levels are welcome, from people who are professional artists to those who have always wanted to try drawing or sketching. The first one is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, at Arches National Park.

For each sketch crawl, multiple locations have been chosen per day with a couple of hours at each site. You can join for the whole day, or just check the schedule and show up for what works for you. Lund will be there to offer drawing tips and demos. Art supplies will be provided, but if you have art supplies of your own, bring them along with your sense of adventure and humor. Also remember to bring water, sunscreen and a hat.

“I love being around a group of people with the creative juices flowing. I get really inspired by seeing other people’s sketches and seeing how the world looks through their eyes,” Lund said.

She said she hopes that as adults, we can remember how much fun it is to make something and that we don’t have to consider ourselves to be “good” to enjoy the process of drawing, sketching or painting.

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Monthly “sketch crawls” begin on April 18 at Arches