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: PUNE, INDIA > Milind Mulick



Banganga, Mumbai.

"In India if you see so many steps you can be sure either they are leading up towards a temple or leading down towards a pond.

A sacred tank surrounded by four hundred-year-old temples and modern skyscrapers. Nowhere are Mumbai's paradoxes more evident than at Banganga. Part of an ancient temple complex, the water in this tank is believed to come from the Holy Ganges. It sprung forth when Rama, the exiled hero of the epic Ramayana stopped at the spot five thousand years ago, in search of his kidnapped wife Sita. Overcome with fatigue and thirst, he asked his brother Laxman to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water gushed forth from the Ganga, over a thousand miles away. Although the story is the stuff of legend, the tank has always been sacred. On pious occasions, thousands turn up to take a ritual dip in its mossy waters, and offer flowers at the ancient Banganga Temples.

While I am sketching or painting outdoors, a sensation arises as if I am watching a movie or dreaming. I am fully involved with the scene, but somewhere inside, I am different. It is like being relaxed in my armchair. The beauty of the world becomes enhanced. This is a very pleasing sensation, euphoria and, I think it is one of the best gifts of being an artist."

• Milind's website.

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