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

Bangkok Shutdown, Day 1

Dec 9, 2013 was my last post of the political rally in Bangkok after the dissolution of Parliament House. The cabinet held on to their caretaker government role against the strong public (at least those in Bangkok and some other part of the country) rejection. A new election was set at an earliest date of Feb 2, 2014, obviously, amidst all kind of possible troubles due to the unsettled differing political views.
The up coming election adds that much more to the dividing populace: to set up a public reform council for an agreeable, uncorrupted election v/s an immediate election for a new government for a national reform!!!!

Sounds very much like a child play of a silly game to me:-) Except, except that it was not, instead it was a serious issue indeed, in the face of the already fragmented, deeply damaged society of the past decade from political divide. Believe it or not, all this unbelievable condition to the land of SMILES, caused by a single person who was accused of running the previous puppet government from afar via Skype!

As the result of our unique, and the un-understandable-to-the-non-local, problem, the protest went on... to the latest development, the Bangkok Shutdown!!!!

Bangkok Shutdown started yesterday when the demonstrators of very large crowd spread around Bangkok at 7 main commercial locations, aiming to literally paralyse the whole
city as a way to force the ousting of the caretaker government. The shutdown caused the closure of hundreds of schools in the city, created huge fears, worries and concerns. But as many things Thais, went on peacefully and, in fact, with many elements of a national holidays. The shutdown has to plan to end, until the aim is achieved.
I travelled to Siam Square and entered the rally site at front of Siam Centre. The 8 lanes Rama1 Road was blog off limits to traffic at a point not far from the main rally stage at the nearby junction. Metal barriers mark the check-point manned by group of the rally guards flying the national flags.

The entire section of the city was pack with all kind of activities. People in attire fit for a world carnival were everywhere whipping up a friendly, cheery moods. All kind of cute, friendly and fashionable, patriotic items were on sales. I immediately justified my effort for getting there with the record of this old street musician. I gladly spent my first Bahts of political support with him!

Amongst the large crowd of the familiar city folks with fashionable and expensive outfit and protest gears, I noticed tons of other perhaps up country folks both males and females. Many of them in traditional Muslim outfits taking rest along the foot path front of the shops, on a bare single sheet of cloth or floor mat!
How much one have to sacrifice for democracy, or was it for the dear sweet sister clone caretaker PM?

And everywhere else, the whole street were lined with more people with camping gears. As stated by the protest leaders, this people seem to prepare for a long nights to victory indeed. Lots and lots of people, sit or lie down on mats and tents along the entire length of Rama 1!!!
Did I ever think of spending a night here? No, indeed and I couldn't yet find a good answer as to why not?

I finally reached the main stage at the junction under the big great spaghetti lines of the mass transit system. Around me was a big mix of stuff that required a clear head to comprehend. It was indeed an overload of strange sight and sounds. Very loud propaganda from the nearby stage through several sound system vans engulfed by loud cheers and whistle blowing all around me.
All kind of vehicles forming line of barriers meant as protective layer against the crack down. Long thick lines of protesters resting by the line of the park vehicles was really an unusual sight. Criss-crossing mass transit line overhead set the strange uncanny sense of the transitional situation.
Yes indeed, we are right at the crossroad of the nation!! Are we turning left or right, are we moving forward, or is it backward? I hope my next post may provide some clue:-)
asnee. Tue Jan 14, 2014





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