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

Street art brings birdsong to Auckland

By Murray Dewhurst in Auckland, New Zealand


The streets around Karangahape Road, central Auckland, were taken over this weekend by the All Fresco street art festival.

I spent a sunny hour and a half on Poynton Street (by the fire station) drawing Charles Williams, aka Phat 1, working on this piece on the facade of an old art deco apartment. If you've ever seen Charles' work you'll recognise his signature style of enormous luxuriously painted (i.e. sprayed) native birds like this Tieke/Stitchbird. The bird's song is represented by a colourful floral design by LadyDiva that wafts up the street towards Pitt Street bringing the whole street to life.

The tiny figures seen on a cherry picker off to the left are Misery and Tomtom flat-out on an enormous work growing up the wall of a lift shaft. The Monday morning commute will be that bit more colourful for some Aucklanders.

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