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

Whose Studio Door is Never Shut


"These are some of the joys of the painter whose north light is the sky, whose studio door is never shut, and who often works surrounded by envious throngs, that treat him with such marked reverence that they whisper one to another for fear of disturbing him."

One hundred years ago, in 1914, an American artist named Francis Hopkinson Smith gave a series of lectures which were published in a book entitled Outdoor Sketching/ Four Talks Given before the Art Institute of Chicago. I found it recently, online, for free, and it was an interesting read. I've highlighted lots of passages for future consideration and perhaps publication on the Urban Sketchers blog.

Sitting last July in the charming central Italian town of Amelia, I too, took great pleasure that this sun-filled empty lot was my studio for the afternoon. As I sat and drew, I heard Italian soap operas from the windows above. Time passed slowly, measured by a sort of sundial formed by the shadow of open shutters.

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