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

Meet the Correspondent: Galway, Ireland > Róisín Curé

I'm Róisín, I live in Galway in the west of Ireland, a corner of the world that's renowned for its rugged, natural beauty, but also for its wild weather, courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean, which is a five-minute cycle ride from my house. It's beautiful in all seasons but it's pretty hard to draw outdoors in winter, and if I had my way it would always be May or June. The city of Galway, founded in the year 800, is about twenty minutes north of me by car. It's a very picturesque and colourful town cut by a network of rushing rivers and quiet canals. It's full of music all year round but in the summer it's hopping with life, with festivals, horse racing and tourists everywhere you look. I'm not a native — I come from the mountains near Enniskerry in County Wicklow, but I've lived here for 23 years.

I run a small business illustrating invitations for brides, and I also illustrate childrens' books and take on a wide variety of freelance commissions, from landscapes to cityscapes, and what you might call storyscapes.

Even though I had drawn since the proverbial forever, I only discovered urban sketching in 2012, after my mother sent me Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters while on sabbatical in Mauritius. I took to the streets, beaches and countryside of Mauritius, and discovered the joy and peace of quiet sketching, and the fun of meeting the public. After my return to Ireland, I was given Gabi Campanario's book, The Art Of Urban Sketching (my mother again!) and my fate was sealed. I joined up online: the passion for sketching had hit me like a thunderbolt, and I was eager to find fellow enthusiasts. In that way I have met so many jolly and good-natured fellow sketchers, I've seen the world through their wonderful sketches in a way that I would never have been able to otherwise, and now I don't leave the house without my sketch kit. I draw everywhere; waiting for a bus, on a bumpy plane (great for the nerves), in the clinic, during a concert.

My life has changed immeasurably since I became an avid sketcher. Not only do I experience the joy on a personal level, but I now share it with others, via classes, workshops and presentations, to children and adults. I also co-founded Urban Sketchers Galway with fellow sketchers Donal Fallon and Jay Penn, and although we're brand new, we're all very excited about our new group, and have heated discussions about the nicest places to draw, and the best ways to go about it. Now that I've been privileged to be invited to become a Correspondent, it will be my honour to tell you more about our lovely town, and the places to which I travel, in words and pictures.

"Art makes us feel closer," said the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiaorostami. In my opinion, there is something very special about a hand-drawn sketch from life: as you look at the unique style of the artist's line you can sense their humanity, and who they are, on a profound level. I hold this philosophy very dear to my heart, as I've seen first-hand what drawing what we witness and sharing it can do, both for artist and onlooker. It is a way of reclaiming art for everyone in the most real sense, with pure honesty and humility. To add the story behind the sketch gives it context, but also enriches the experience of the image and makes it whole.

If you happen to be in the west of Ireland and would like to do some sketching, do come and visit us. We we would be proud to welcome you and find a nice spot for a bit of drawing ... even if it's raining!

Róisín's website.
Róisín's sketches on flickr.





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=