Good Life

This new event gives people a chance to connect and create. All you need is a sketchpad

Drink and Draw connects beer and sketchpads in State College

Drink and Draw is held the last Wednesday of every month at the Champs Bar and Grill on North Atherton Street.
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Drink and Draw is held the last Wednesday of every month at the Champs Bar and Grill on North Atherton Street.

Susan Marie Brundage and Chris Ivory spent the last Wednesday of July in a back room at Champs Sports Grill on North Atherton Street, drawing robots alongside at least a dozen other people operating at varying degrees of skill.

Between the two of them they managed to capture the full range of experience on display at the third in a new series of “Drink and Draw” events in State College. She’s a teacher of painting and printmaking at Penn State Altoona. He’s not. Both appeared to be relatively content nonetheless.

“It’s still kind of fun to draw but I’ve never set aside a time to do it,” Ivory said.

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Susan Marie Brundage uses a photo on her phone as a reference to sketch a robot during Drink and Draw at the Champs on North Atherton Street on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Brundage, who had already sketched out the beginnings of a very pleasant-looking robot head, doesn’t buy into the image of solitary artist working in a lonely studio somewhere.

“We do do that, but we don’t like to do that all the time. We like to be with our own kind,” Brundage said.

Brian Allen is a freelance artist working in Bellefonte. He kick-started Drink and Draw with the help of another artist, Jeremy Bratton.

Both were interested in creating an outlet for artists who wanted to get out and draw in public together.

“Before this I didn’t really get out of the house very much. Most of my friends are not artists,” Allen said.

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Brian Allen works on a sketch of a robot during Drink and Draw at Champs Sports Grill on North Atherton Street on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Allen created the monthly event as a way for artists to connect and create. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

The group meets from 7- 9 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month. Artists can come and go as they please and the overall structure of the proceedings is kept very loose. July was their first attempt at a theme — robots — but you could spot Godzilla peeking out from one of the sketchpads.

Right now everyone seems to be having a good time just hanging out, but Allen is already thinking about how Drink and Draw can continue to grow.

“We’d love to do murals and bigger, more organized projects,” he said.

Each meeting, participants are invited to add something to a collective drawing taking shape on a piece of canvas near the back of the room. Nobody is sure exactly what will become of it once finished, which appeals to Bratton.

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Melissa Hombosky works on adding something to the collective canvas during Drink and Draw at the Champs on North Atherton Street on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Each week attendees are invited to add to the canvas. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

“The thing I like about it is I have no idea where it’s going to end up,” Bratton said.

The next Drink and Draw meeting will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Champs. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/drinkanddrawsc.

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