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".

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 > A World of Sketching News

Urban Sketchers Gains U.S. Nonprofit Status

Last month Urban Sketchers became a United States 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. One of the things this means is that all U.S. donations are now tax-deductible. Consider making a donation today to help us continue to “Show the World, One Drawing at a Time.”

USk Lisbon Symposium – It’s Not Too Late to Register

Just 60 days left til the II Urban Sketching Symposium starts on July 21. Thanks to the great response to the symposium, registration is now more than two thirds full with people coming from 20 different countries spanning the globe—from Brazil to Canada to Australia to China—as well as many countries in Europe. There is still time to register to secure your spot in the more than 45 workshops available, but register early before the workshops and symposium fill up.

Read participants’ introductions and learn more about the event on the symposium blog.

And thanks to our great sponsors providing materials for participants! Moleskine will provide a choice of customized Japanese Fold or Large Watercolor sketchbook. Stillman & Birn will provide a customized Gamma Series Heavy Weight Paper 5.5" x 8.5" hardbound sketchbook and Canson will provide a 5.5"x 8.5" hardbound sketchbook and an Assorted Drawing pad. For sponsorship opportunities, contact us at symposium at urbansketchers dot org.

Other Sketching Events Around the World

“Traveling with a Sketchbook” workshops in Tuscany

USk correspondent Simonetta Capecchi, along with her friends Wolfgang Storch and Klaudia Ruschkowski, german dramaturgs and curators of cultural events, will conduct the workshops over 2 long weekends (June 1-5 and September 7-11) at the villa Le Guadalupe space for the arts in Volterra, Italy.

Dalvero/USk Seattle Workshop — Date Change

The Dalvero/USk Seattle Workshop dates have been changed. The new workshop dates will be Friday, June 24 through Sunday, June 26. Organizers apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please email Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst at dalveroinfo(at) for more information and to register.

New USk blogs

Urban Sketchers Portugal is growing! They just started a second blog specifically for the region of Beiras. A local TV station covered their meet-up in Castelo Branco where they decided to create the second blog (video link).

Urban Sketchers Basel is born. According to USk correspondent Rob Carey, “Our intention is to showcase the beautiful city of Basel, Switzerland through on-location sketches and to perpetuate an interest in urban sketching amongst professional and amateur artists in the region. In the future we would like to schedule Basel sketchcrawls where sketchers could meet together and share their love of outdoor sketching. Basel is a city rich in history and known for its museums and art."

Sketchers in the News & Galleries

English artist and USk correspondent Caroline Johnson has a solo exhibition starting May 28 at the See Gallery, Crawshawbooth, Lancashire, England. She’ll be showing her urban paintings and drawings, as well as interiors and portraits, along with her sketchbooks (the earliest of which dates from 1952)! A private view will be held on Friday, May 27, 4pm to 7pm and any sketchers in the area are invited to attend.

USk correspondent Omar Jaramillo may live in Abu Dhabi but he became a minor celebrity recently when the press caught up with him sketching around Newfoundland. First in The Telegram in St. John’s, next an interview in The online newspaper, and finally a radio interview on CBC Radio —all focused on his location drawing and Urban Sketchers!

Spanish USk correspondent Álvaro Carnicero’s drawings of Holy Week were the subject of an article in the Sunday edition of the newspaper, El Día de Córdoba. The article emphasized the urban character which is part of Córdoba’s Holy Week.

Two articles with a portrait of USk member Manfred Schloesser and the Urban Sketchers were published recently in the Weser Kurier in Bremen, Germany ,

And to wrap up, we loved this story that Suhita Shirodkar (Goa, India) shared with us. It sums up what we all like about Urban Sketchers. “I found and joined Urban Sketchers about a year ago, and what a difference it's made to my outlook about the opportunities to draw! I used to feel like I had to go someplace to draw— a class or a faraway location. Now I draw everywhere!"

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

Happy sketching,
Lisbeth Cort, member of the Whidbey Island Sketchers





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