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

Acquaintance with Tanglin Halt...

I have been here with some of my sketcher friends on a couple of occasions, but have not really explored the location as much as I wanted to. Tanglin Halt is quite an old estate in Singapore, established in the 70s and is part of the Queenstown Planning Area, located in south of the island. Tanglin Halt consists of rows of ten storey flats that led to people calling the area "Cap Lau Cu"(十楼厝). When I was little I used to visit the Central Library branch at Queenstown. Afterwhich I have never been back. With the Urban sketchers (Singapore), I revisited the place and got re-aquainted with how quaint the estate is. I returned for food and for a couple of sketching expeditions. Then recently, through a friend's initiative, I accessed the green corridor via Tanglin Halt area and found a new whole new world untouched by urbanisation.

The view from the Food Center. Those man-made canopies on the right are sheltered walkways that joined the blocks together. Residents are sheltered from the sun as well as from the rain when they travel from block to block.

Grandpa was looking at me sketch and I beckoned him to sit with me so we could chat. He was having "Changs" beer for breakfast as he told me he only drink with an empty stomach to prevent getting a pot belly from drinking. I decided to do his portrait for remembrance. He warned me not to post his portrait on Facebook as he did not want his daughters to see him drinking.

Drawn from the green corridor - an open ground where a man was practicing putting. It is extremely rare to be able to enjoy open spaces like this in Singapore.

At the food centre - many have acquired the habit of looking at their smart phones while they eat or drink these days.

From the green corridor - a glimpse of a pre-war colonial building that housed military officers during that period. Now these buildings are rented to foreigners too.

Near the vicinity of the green corridor - a make-shift canopy under a huge Banyan tree. This has become a resting spot for wearied workers. The chairs and the tables were salvaged from the dump. Anyone is welcomed to chillax here but do beware of mosquitoes. 

I would come back for more sketching but more so to enjoy a place that is so unspoilt by cookie-cutter malls and shielded from the noise of traffic. 



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