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

St Patrick, patron saint of frozen artists

I went out yesterday, meaning to sketch from an indoor vantage point I’d seen a few months ago. Only to be stymied by routine security. Long story, perhaps I’ll get the shot another time, when the public is actually allowed in. Since I couldn’t get my chosen view, I hit the nearby streets.

I can tell you, April 05, 2012, here in Montreal – it is NOT WARM ENOUGH TO DRAW OUTSIDE!!!

In my giddy anticipation of drawing from a seventh floor window I wasn’t properly dressed for standing around for two hours on the street. I managed to do the sketch and put down a huge mottled Vandyke/Cerulean wash – then I had to hightail it for a nearby cafe.

I finished this up huddled over some bacon pizza. It was an accident. I was delirious from cold and ordered the first thing that caught my eye. Perhaps my shivering frame was demanding calories to burn. When they make bacon pizza here, they use the whole hog. I mean, there were five layers of laminated bacon in some places. Duly resurrected, I finished my sketch.

This is St. Patrick’s Basilica on 460 René-Lévesque. Built some 150 years ago, it would have been high above the city, on the outer edges of the Irish immigrant neighborhood.  Today it’s right in the center of downtown. One day I’ll make it inside to see the pillars made of massive oak trees, and the combined fleur-de-lis and shamrock heraldry.



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