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

Float your boat in Auckland


It's the season of the boat in Auckland. With the weather so good Aucklanders have hit the water big time. It seems especially so this year with so many cruise liners in town every day. 

The girls (the happy sketchers on the right) and I met our group of sketchers on Auckland Anniversary Day, a big day out for boaties with an annual regatta. We spotted one of the strangest looking liners I've personally ever seen. The Celebrity Solstice with it's large 'X' imprinted on the side, is one of the longest liners to visit this year at 314 metres. It's so big it has to back in. USk Australia member Alissa Duke put me on to the Queen Mary 2 though which is coming through Sydney and Auckland in March, it's longer at 345 metres so we'll definitely bet back down to check it out too.




This is the view from Cheltenham beach on Waitangi Day (our national holiday celebrating the signing of our founding document the Treaty of Waitangi), swarming with swimmers, paddlers on boogy boards, skis, paddle boards, sailors in yachts of all sizes (including Torro Rosso, Italy's 72 foot wing-sailed catamaran that is contesting the Americas Cup this year in San Francisco). I had just started sketching the scene when this cruise liner appeared and made it's way past Rangitoto island.














At the bottom a slightly smaller vessel, the kids in their inflatable kayak at Sentinel Beach with it's old boat sheds looking toward the harbour bridge. Sketched flat on my back while lying on the sand.


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