Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik


"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully



"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".
Blog
Flickr

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

Drawing Attention > Sketching News Around the World

Sketching Hits Hollywood & the Subway Location drawing in Africa (right) hit Hollywood when Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage/Madagascar, A Journey Diary was nominated for an Academy Award for animated short film this year. How cool is that?


Single Fare 2: Please Swipe Again is an exhibit in Brooklyn, NY from March 18 - 26. Inspired by the notion that the city’s subways and buses allow for a kind of creative interchange unmatched in human history, the one constraint placed on pieces in the exhibit was that all work had to be submitted on a used MetroCard.


New Blogs. New Groups


Urban Sketchers Sydney (Australia) just launched a blog in order to share sketches with the world. USK correspondent Liz Steel explains: “A Sydney Sketch Club was formed at a Meetup back in 2008 but has really got going in recent months. Now sketching events are organised at least once a fortnight. It is great timing with the current Garden Sketchabout in the Royal Botanic Gardens. because some of the sketchers at this event are there because they found out about it on the Urban Sketchers Sydney blog."


To celebrate the recent inauguration of Berlin’s chapter of the worldwide Urban Sketching movement and the Berlin USK blog, local sketchers Rolf Schroeter, Olga Prudnikova and Catalina Somolinos gave a guided 2-hour Urban Sketching Tour through the neighborhood of Rosenthaler Platz. Rolf and Olga are both USK correspondents.


Is this the next USK group? Pencil Jammers meets every Sunday in two India cities, Bangalore and Delhi, to sketch on location. At right the group is sketching at the Bangalore Museum.


Correspondents


Madrid USK correspondent Richard Câmara was featured in a recent TV interview showing some of his sketchbook work and location sketching in Madrid.


Sketches by Hong Kong USK correspondent Paul Wang were selected for the Cover Art Collection by the myMolekine Community. For each Cover Art, Moleskine makes a donation to a nonprofit organization chosen by the artist. Paul chose Urban Sketchers! Thanks Paul and congratulations.


Walt Taylor of Norfolk, VA USA is the latest USK correspondent highlighted in a feature called "From the Sketchbook of..." in The Artist's Magazine (at left).


Urban Sketchers was mentioned in a London Times article featuring USK correspondent Katherine Tyrrell and her location drawings.


The February issue of the Italian magazine, Animals, was dedicated to earthquakes and included an article about drawings in Barrow by designers all over Italy last October. Naples correspondent, Simo Capecchi’s work was featured in the issue.


In Closing: Thinking of Japan


All week, the international sketching community has been greatly concerned about our fellow sketchers in Japan. Tokyo USK correspondent Kumi Matsukawa has already begun to post sketches in the aftermath of the disaster and even as the earthquake was occurring. Across the world our thoughts are with Urban Sketchers and families in Japan.


Have urban sketching news to share in Drawing Attention? Send fully written items with links (and graphics, if possible) to drawing attention at urban sketchers.org.


Happy sketching,


Lisbeth Cort, member of the Whidbey Island Sketchers

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