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

Exporting Winter

14Feb09_Snow Angels_Sketch Swap_Pines

A few weeks back I was part of an Urban Sketchers art exchange. I had partners in Girona and in Sao Paulo. There were other swaps with NYC. All told, about 40 artists participated.

We each did sketches of our towns and sent them off to our partners. The drawings were meant to arrive as a surprise, so I've been waiting til is was safe to show these.

14Feb09_Snow Angels_Sketch Swap_Bronze

I'd been fed up with the cold and wet of winter, and was feeling envious of these guys in sunny countries. Somehow that meant I really had to paint some snow. They had to see something that could only be found in Montreal. Perhaps there's a little northern pride going on.

We were lucky enough to get the last snow of the year that very weekend. I got up early and headed straight to Mount Royal Cemetery to get these scenes.  It was a perfect day for it - cold but clear skies, the way it can be the morning after a snowfall.

I have to admit I'm playing a little trick on them. Making winter look a lot more attractive than it really is. Much better to have a picture of snow, than the real thing.

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