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

“The Where, the Why, and the How” at Powerhouse Arena

I've been meaning to go to events at powerHouse Arena for years now, and always forget to check the schedule. Tonight, I finally made it! The event was a release party for a book, The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science. I was pretty excited about the concept, because I really like art and science as ways for us humans to understand our world (unlike religion or philosophy, neither of which I can relate to at all). Rather than bring along a friend, I brought my sketchbook.

Waiting at Powerhouse Arena

I was uncharacteristically on time, so I had to wait around 15 or 20  minutes for the event to start. Meanwhile I had a glass of wine and was handed a balloon. I didn't tie my balloon to my bag well enough, so it got stuck up at the ceiling not long after. (Apologies to whoever has to get it down from there! I was worried that if I tied it on too well I'd have to bike home with it on there.)

I was seated pretty close up, so these sketches are of the presenters. One day it would be great to do a sketch that gets in super cool arena seating they have there.

I got the sense that more than a few of the 75+ contributors were in attendance, but only a lucky six got to present, three from the "art" side and three from the "science" side. None of them discussed their contributions to the book; instead they just gave a quick lightning-style talk about something interesting they'd worked on.

Josh Cochran was up first. He talked about the Nudes project he did with Mike Perry.

Josh Cochran at Powerhouse Arena

Then Meehan Crist talked about Traumatic Brain Injuries and how our understanding of them has changed and is still developing.

Meehan Crist at Powerhouse Arena

Then Matt Leines talked about how for years and years all of his drawings were versions of Hulk Hogan's mustache. He then gave us a slideshow of some of the more amusing pro wrestlers of the past 40 years.

Matt Leines at Powerhouse Arena

Then Tim Requarth explained why most of us can't tickle ourselves without the aid of a time-delayed robot, though some schizophrenics can do so. (At the beginning of his segment, Tim asked how many scientists were in attendance  Basically none were, unfortunately. I suspect he would have gotten a hearty response if he'd asked how many illustrators were there.)

Tim Requarth at Powerhouse Arena

Then Jennifer Daniel walked us through the process of developing charts and infographics for Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Jennifer Daniel at Powerhouse Arena

Finally, Jessica Rothman told us about her work in non-human primate nutrition.

Jessica Rothman at Powerhouse Arena

In conclusion, the artists dressed more interestingly, and the scientists dressed more sexily.

So, what's the book like? I don't know. I couldn't figure out where they were selling them or where the signing was happening. I think maybe you were supposed to wander around and find the contributors. Once you managed to find and buy a book. But I decided to skip all that and hurry home for the Biden/Ryan debate instead, and boy am I glad I did! That was some excellent television. I look forward to checking out the book another day.

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