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 fortuneteller and other stories

When I was walking through the streets of Ooty, I met this guy. He works a fortuneteller. I saw many of them  the streets but this guy was quite popular.  His age and experience provided him with the necessary confidence and skills to win the trust of his clients.

It was a fascinating thing to watch. First there was a talk. Then the woman  mixed the deck of cards and the parrot was locked out of its golden cage with some seeds. Then the bird picked up a card. The images in it would reveal the future of the woman.  The guy would explain to her in a kind manner the meaning of the card, asking constantly questions and watching carefully her expressions. She would nod some times of approval. At some point the guy threw some shells probably to check one of her questions. the figure the shells made would be the answer.
The Fortune teller
Later on I walked to the station. I was looking for information about the bus to my next destination. I saw a Korean girl drawing some people at the fence. I though wow! another Sketcher. I wanted to talk to her so I approached her but she was very concentrated in her drawing. So I picked up my sketchbook and I started drawing too. Then we exchanged a few words while sketching. By the time a crowd had gathered around us to watch us drawing. At some point she left when I was in the middle of my drawing. You can see in the drawing that some people very discretely got into the picture, like the guy with suit on the right, or enthusiastically  asked me to draw them like the two friends on the left.
waiting for the bus
Like in  most of the places I visited in India, the people wanted to see my sketch books and took pictures. I was always treated  with kind and respect.

You can see more drawings of my travel in India in my blog Next: Kerala



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