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: Exhibits, Books and More

Urban Sketching Books

Many of you may be familiar with Mike Daikubara’s very unique hotel room sketches from his travels for work and pleasure. Now his sketches have been collected in a new book called Hotel Sketch Mike Sketch: Hotel Rooms + Travel Sketches.  Writing about the book, USK Chairman and Seattle Correspondent, Gabi Campanario said: "Get ready to check-in into Mike Daikubara's delightful world of sketched hotel rooms. With his meticulous pen and ink renditions of every hotel room he's stayed in, Daikubara makes even the most non-descriptive quarters feel interesting. His diagrams aren't mere blue-prints or schematics. He goes as far as depicting the rooms in striking bird's-eye perspective, carefully including details such as bathroom tiles, wall decorations and even the refreshments inside the fridge. This is a book that any traveler will enjoy and of added value for sketchers, architects or interior designers."

Great news!  The Art of Urban Sketching is back in stock at Quarry, Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Find links to retailers on the book's website.

Exhibitions

Don't miss this if you are in London this month for the Olympics.   London Urban Sketchers will exhibit their work at the legendary Foyles bookstore, July 16-22. The show is part of Foyles "Sketching the City, a Summer of London Sketch Exhibitions" going on June 6 - August 14.

Recent urban sketches (left) by Andre Sandmann are featured in an exhibit through the end of September in Design Hotel Plattenhof’s Restaurant Sento. The Zurich restaurant is a platform for young artists and photographers.

Upcoming Sketching Workshops

There is still some space open in our Location Sketching in Watercolor workshop, August 3 - 5 in Portland, OR, USA.  Urban Sketchers Montreal founding members Marc Taro Holmes and Shari Blaukopf are the workshop instructors. Workshop participants will draw and paint in the streets of Portland. The workshop will focus on capturing the environment in watercolor sketches, emphasizing working quickly and making well designed compositions that tell a story.

And speaking of Urban Sketchers’ workshops, we couldn’t resist sharing this great family photo (left) from our recent workshop in Naples, Italy. Naples USK Correspondent and workshop leader Simo Capecchi says "I'm already sure we'll organize another edition next year." To learn more about all our workshops, visit our workshops site.

Spotlight on Members' Work

One of Marcia Milner-Brage’s Cedar Falls, Iowa urban sketches--"White Crabapple 11th & Clay" --was one of three winners of the Canson Artist Rendezvous Plein Air Spring Season Contest. Marcia is a member of Urban Sketchers Midwest and says: “I found out about this contest through Canson’s sponsorship of the upcoming Santo Domingo USK Symposium. (Yeah, Canson!) Coincidentally, my winning drawing was done in a Canson wicker-colored, archival scrapbook that I use regularly with Neocolor II wax pastels.” Congrats Marcia!

The new library cards (right) at Berkeley Public Library feature a sketch by Cathy McAuliffe, a member of Urban Sketchers SF Bay Area. The subject is a fountain in Berkeley that she drew during one of the group’s weekly sketch outings.  How cool is that?


Have urban sketching news to share in Drawing Attention? P lease send fully written items with links (and graphics, if possible) to: drawingattention at urbansketchers dot org

Until next month... happy sketching.

Lisbeth Cort, member of Whidbey Island Sketchers
drawingattention at urbansketchers dot org

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