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

portland and its bridges

pdx hawthorne bridge

A couple of weeks ago I spent a lovely weekend away in Portland, Oregon, my first trip back there since the Urban Sketching Symposium in 2010. Portland is a sketcher's paradise, and it's also a beer-food-comics-books-and-bridges-lover's paradise. Also, if you love walking around in the rain, the rain is sweeter than other rain. I like spending time by the river, and gravitated there as much as possible, so here are some of the bridges and river-y things that I drew. Above: the Hawthorne Bridge, sketched on a particularly wet Sunday, from just outside the rain zone (I was beneath a flyover), while boat crews paraded about the water. Below, a boat moored by the banks of the Willamette, with the Burnside Bridge in the background.

portland ship

Steel Bridge is a beautiful structure, in my opinion, and I drew it alongside the Urban Sketchers back in 2010 (I may be wrong but after she met and sketched the mayor I'm pretty sure it was renamed after Liz...). I sketched it in the rain. I didn't have much cover and was holding my book up; the rain wasn't heavy but I still had to be quick. The drizzle did stop for long enough for me to finish up.

pdx steel bridge

Finally, below is the Broadway Bridge, sketched in Monday morning sunshine. While I like rain, the bluer skies were welcome, and it was calm and pleasant on the riverbank. Well apart from the sheriff's boat that was searching for something in the river to my right, but otherwise it was very soothing. Getting away for the weekend can be very relaxing. I should go more often...

pdx broadway bridge

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