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

Jerry Waese's expressionistic Toronto neighborhood

bathurst at dundas

Jerry Waese is a painter and software programmer based in Toronto. His art has a distinctive expressionistic style. He uses intense colors and bold strokes to capture buzzing urban scenes in the Canadian metropolis, the largest of the country. He shared some of his sketches of Dundas Street on our Flickr pool and fellow painter Isabel Fiadeiro asked him some questions.



From looking at your work we can see that your subject matter is the human being, specially their faces. Why did you start drawing Dundas Street and how long have you been doing it?

Our two girls grew up, so we thought we might sell our house and try something else. My wife wanted to design clothing and run a store, so we chose Dundas Street as a developing neighborhood to get into.

We bought a terribly dilapidated semidetached two-story shack-type store —one that had burned several times— and purchased it, got an architect, and two years of fighting with the city later we had a permit.

I had built houses in my youth, so I figured I could manage the construction myself and did that while holding down my job writing and supporting software, which I still do, so multitasking did not destroy all my relationships.

We moved in in December of 2007, which was scary as the heat was not connected up yet, but it was terrific for us.

We are active members of the business association and totally love the neighborhood. I have been drawing Dundas Street views since we moved in, and actually have quite a few from the construction period as well.

feb08-01b

All your sketches are very strong. Bold lines and color are used achieving great images with very simple strokes. Have you always drawn this way? What or who inspires you?

I was initially inspired by Hokusai and the Group of Seven (Canadian Painters), and by M. C. Escher, but my doodles were mostly just ink until the early 90's.

That is when I got into oil pastel and acrylic, and became a painter. I learned composition from an abstract expressionist, Sam Feinstein, and how not to fear the paint, and how to experience the rectangular field as my body.

This is like synaesthesia, extending the mind into the canvas (or paper) and being that body.

After moving to Dundas I started sketching as my painting area was not (still is not) set up. I sketch as if I am painting, and I keep trying to simplify what I do more and more.

• Jerry's art on Flickr.
• Jerry's Dundas Street.

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