Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

Meet the correspondents: CHAPEL HILL, NC > Laura Frankstone

"I left my birthplace, a tiny island in the middle of the Bering Sea, when I was a baby, and I've been traveling ever since. I've been drawing almost ever since, too. One of my earliest happy memories is of finishing a portrait of my big brother and thinking, "it looks just like him!" I was three; he was seven. Sketching in city settings, I use a close- to mid-range focus, emphasizing more intimate, less panoramic subject matter: wine glasses, plates, cutlery — the remnants of a bistro meal; people caught in ordinary, oblique moments; figural sculpture and fountains that animate public spaces and remind us of the human presence behind the scenes.

Drawing in public the way I do gives me a connection to other people and to places I could get in no other way. Strangers stop to talk, to ask questions, to take photos of the artist at work, sometimes simply to observe in silence. In one way, it's a participatory thing we do — looking together, reacting together. And for me, the sketches remain as permanent evidence of those observations and those connections."

• Laura's blog: Laurelines.



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