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

This is how I fell in love with Seattle


At 10 Am I went to Gas Works Park to meet some Seattle sketchers who were meeting for a sketch crawl. The rusty buildings in the park were used to manufacture gas from coal in the 1940s. I arrived a bit early since I gave myself extra time to get lost but I found the park with no problem. While sitting on a bench near the water, I noticed a woman on a distant hill who was holding a hula hoop. I looked out over the bay at the Seattle skyline but my attention was always drawn to the woman on the hill. I wondered if the hula hoop was being used in some sort of morning meditation or perhaps a new form of Yoga. I finally couldn't take it anymore so I walked up the hill to ask her is she was a performance artist. She was just waiting for a friend and his son and the hula hoop was her way to attract their attention. She also had juggling balls and bowling pins. It turns out that the friend she was meeting is a rather renowned juggler who had been making a living as a juggler for the last 20 years. He has been on Johnnie Carson and all the late night talk shows.
When I noticed some other artists showing up in the designated meeting area, I walked back down the hill and said hello to the artists as they arrived. When it came time to draw, I knew I had to go to the hill top and sketch the woman and her friend.The woman had some really cool tattoos on her arms one was of an killer whale and another of a penguin. These tattoos were pitch black which meant that she had endured quite a few passes in order to get the ink solid black. She explained that she had been fine with the pain until the tattoo artist hit two very delicate spots on the undersides of her arms. She then had to call it quits and returned another day to finish the tattooing.
The couple juggled together for some time. First he would juggle the 3 balls and then she would take over. When he moved up to the bowling pins she just watched and like me enjoyed the spectacle. As I worked on the sketch more and more people hiked up to the top of the hill. Some tried to figure out the sundial and others used the spot to launch kites. At least 10 kites were in the air at one point. Gabi wandered up the hill and got a sketch of me at work. At the designated hour all the artists gathered and compared sketchbooks. I learned so much from flipping through so many amazing sketchbooks. On this day, I fell in love with Seattle. So many people were out enjoying the day. Young couples rested and snuggled on the grass as they overlooked the Bay and Seattle skyline. People were biking and jogging everywhere there was activity and excitement, it was any sketch artists dream.

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