Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik

"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully

"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".

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 II

This is a follow-up post to one I did back in February. It seems that Team New Zealand's bizarre result in the America's Cup recently doesn't seem to have dampened my city's love of all things nautical in the slightlest! Here are a few water oriented sketches from my sketchbook over the last month or so...

Tall Ships Festival 2013

This scene was sketched at Queen's Wharf on Labour Day morning. That's the Sydney to Russell race winning Europa in the foreground. The masts were crawling with crew making last minute adjustments to rigging and sails before they departed at midday.

There were 2 others docked on Queen's Wharf, to the left is the Picton Castle (Canada) with the Lord Nelson (UK) behind. Over on Prince's Wharf to the right are two more Dutch vessels (Europa is from the Netherlands as well) Oosterschelde and Tecla. I like the contrast the old ships made against the sleek curves of The Cloud building on the left.

It's a bit difficult to tell where one boat starts and the other stops - I got a bit lost in the detail of all those ropes. I wonder if the sailors get lost in all those ropes too or if it's one of those things you pick up after a few days - I doubt it somehow! Maybe I'll crew on one sometime and find out, it would be a fun way to get up close with the sketchbook anyway.

Here I go and get carried away with some scrolling windows. Thanks for the code Lapin! 

Tall Ships at Queen's Wharf


What do retro modern vacuum cleaners and King Edward the VIIIth have in common? Nahlin of course! The 91.4 metre long steamer has been dubbed 'The Royal love boat' because King Edward and Mrs Simpson enjoyed an Adriatic cruise aboard the Nahlin in the 30's whilst planning his famous abdication.

Nahlin was sold to King Caroll II of Romania before his abdication, and then used as a museum and eventually a restaurant on the Danube. Some time later Nahlin was refitted by Blohm + Vos, (the same company responsible for the futuristic "A" featured a bit further down this post), and purchased by Sir James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame.

Royalty & Vacuum Cleaners

'A' by Mr DewhurstThe biggest super yacht to have ever berthed in Auckland arrived recently. It's a mad looking thing and at 119 meters long it's longer than New Zealand's largest navy vessels. It's designed by Philippe Starck apparently, so think sleek, like a submarine. Almost devoid of embellishments, port holes, rails and the like. An invisible panel slid away revealing a couple of smaller boats inside. I half expected James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine to launch itself.

She was built in Germany by Blohm + Voss, they've been building floating things since 1877 so they know a thing or two about boats having pumped out some of the world's maritime heavy hitters. A couple you might have heard of such as the Bismark and the Scharnhorst.

Auckland on Water Boat Show
Sealegs at the 'Auckland on Water Boat Show' by Mr DewhurstI didn't actually go to the boat show in Viaduct Harbour, but there was a pretty neat display of Sealegs boats outside.

I've seen them in action before and they're pretty clever machines. I liked their floating logo too - each letter bobbing around individually. The one in the sketch was decked out in a funky camouflage paint job - ideal for the duck shooter who doesn't like to get his feet wet. I reckon a maimai strapped to the top would carry the look off perfectly though.

So plenty of boat action already and summer hasn't really started yet. I'm looking forward to seeing what else floats in over the next few months!





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