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

Thatcher's funeral, St Paul's Cathedral, London

It's the former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday, and the barricades and makeshift TV studios are up and ready. My cycle route to work, which passes close to the cathedral, will be diverted tomorrow because of road and bridge closures. As I stopped to draw these coming home today (astride the bike, helmet still on) there was already a sense of anticipation in the air.

I was absolutely and totally no fan of Thatcher, for reasons that I don't have time to include here. I happened to be with a handful of people by the gates of Downing Street late one night in November 1990 when she was driven home to her growing leadership crisis: I still like to think my shout of "resign!" as she passed by played some small part in her decision to stand down the next morning. 
But there's no sense of celebration at her death: she died a rather sad figure, shallow without power. My own parents are too elderly for me to consider anyone's death something to be cheered by. The streets around the cathedral will certainly contain protesters, not least against the expense of the ceremony, but I hope that the funeral and procession will pass peacefully, however much she was disliked by many.



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