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

An Artist's Garden

Our sketching group was privileged to be invited to sketch in William Kentridge's garden last week. The artist himself was away, but the place was abuzz with gardeners, house and studio staff, personal assistants and visiting builders and workmen - really a full-on business in motion. We were allowed a peek into the huge studio where some exciting work-in-progress was displayed on shelves and walls. After an exhausting climb to the top of the ridge to see the stunning views, I settled for a section of the garden in which a smaller version of William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx's 11 metre high FireWalker sculpture strides under an old fig tree. (I was struck by the holes in the fig leaves echoeing the holes in the sculpture and spent too long trying to draw that!) From various angles, the sculpture looks like scattered shapes of black and white metal plate, but when you see it directly from the front, they join together to form the figure of a woman - often seen around the streets of Joburg city, who cook and sell mielies (corn) and meat over their fire braziers, which they carry to and from work balanced on their heads.

Ah, me and Wm.Kentridge, working and drawing in the same inspiring surroundings...who would have thought!!



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