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

Holiday on Auckland's Harbour

We haven't ventured far out of town at all so far this summer, sticking to the inner harbour and over the bridge to the North Shore. Most people escape the city at this time leaving a blissfully peaceful Auckland to those staying behind. This above is Takapuna beach yesterday, a gloriously sunny day.

We tried some fishing with the kids at Northcote point. Our youngest got his first fishing rod for Christmas and he was determined to catch a big fat Snapper for dinner. He almost did a couple of times, but sadly they got away, taking most of his brand new soft bait with them! This jetty is almost under the harbour bridge with the city visible behind. I decided to leave the bridge out completely in the picture but couldn't help adding in the mad bungy jumper at the top right, looking like he's just missed the Skytower in the distance.

It's definitely cruise liner season again with one or two in town every day, a pity the weather hasn't been a bit better up until now. This is the Sun Princess at the aptly named Princes Wharf below.

And on the other side of the wharf at the Maritimem Museum, the brigantine 'Breeze'.

We've also visited the Otara Market in South Auckland and surf beach Piha on the wild west coast of Auckland, visit my blog for more sketches. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing more amazing work from everyone!



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