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

Meet the correspondents: Dominican Republic > Chris Buchholz

"My name is Chris Buchholz, and I currently live in the Dominican Republic with my beautiful wife Heydi. Several years ago I was working as an Illustrator and graphic designer for a design company in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, where I had also received my design education in a small community college.

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a child and I’ve always loved it. But while working for that design company something happened to me that would forever change my life and the way I thought about art. I went to a design conference in Atlanta where I attended a presentation by one Danny Gregory. 

His presentation opened up my mind to, what was for me, a new and interesting art form; the sketchbook. As he showed page after page of beautiful drawings, drawings  of normal everyday objects,  of food, of pants, of public urinals, quick drawings of landmarks and buildings on journey’s taken, I began to wonder what I had been doing for the last 20 years of my life. I had seen some of the world, I’d been all over the United States, seen the Canadian Rockies, I went backpacking through Italy, bought my first house, met new friends and spent time with family; I had experienced life in all its triumphs and trials, but where were the drawings?  I hadn’t drawn anything! I suppose I was doing “art”, which more often than not meant that I was waiting for a big idea or concept to come along, which rarely did.  But I had missed out on the good stuff. I too wanted to draw my food, and my pants, and possibly draw a public urinal.

I decided to jump in to my first sketchbook. I decided it would be based on my first house, which I had just recently put up for sale. It was actually slated to be sold in about a month’s time. I decided to use this last month to document everything about the house that I loved, each room, each wall color, each magnet on the fridge, the contents of the drawers, furniture, lighting fixtures, and yes, even the toilet. Although it meant putting off the packing and moving to the last weekend  before  settlement, I can now say that that month spent drawing and painting was one of the most satisfying and enjoyable times that I have ever had.
Anyhow, It’s been about 5 or 6 years since I’ve filled that first sketchbook, and ever since I’ve been drawing in sketchbooks. Drawing has helped me to re-analyze my life at times. I decided at one point to cut back the time I spent working  as a graphic designer to just three days a week so I could spend more time on the more important things in life. Three years ago I decided to quit my job completely, move to the Dominican Republic and volunteer my time as a missionary.

Drawing is wonderful here in the DR, there’s never a lack of interesting things to draw. I like working mostly in moleskines, mainly the pocket sized ones. I use faber castell pitt pens, and recently I’ve been using a lamy safari fine-point, which I love so far. I use prismacolor colored pencils, and winsor and newton watercolors. I hope you enjoy my drawings!"

Chris now resides in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, USA



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