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

Calcata's Second Act

Calcata (40 miles north of Rome) is a town of rebirth. Old yet young. It was last summer that I visited with my family and walked its narrow, winding medieval streets of stone. The town was abandoned in the 1930's for fear that it would tumble from it's high, rocky perch. Residents moved up the street and away from cliff, building a new town: Calcata Nuovo. Until the 1960's only cats lived in the small cluster of buildings, but things changed when artists and craftsman moved in and established a kind of hippie town. Eventually, they bought the houses they were occupying and convinced the government to rescind their abandonment orders. Today, it's still a funky town, complete with galleries, shops, cafes and restaurants. All the ponytails that I saw while creating this drawing, were grey.

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