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

A Shocking Orlando Magic Loss to the Pacers or A Tale of Two Cupcakes

My wife loves to watch the NBA Finals.  If I sit down to watch, I like to joke, saying, "I hope the Magic wins this time." Of course I know the Magic aren't in the finals, but one team always seems to be wearing blue jerseys. Well, maybe next year.

I met Sunshine Woodyard Baker at the opening to my show at Snap. I knew of Sunshine from Facebook, because after a solid week of clouds and rain, I wrote "Hello Sunshine!" to express my joy at finally seeing the sun. She responded back by simply saying "Hello." Somehow she and her husband scored tickets to a Magic game and she had an extra ticket so I could go and sketch. As she explained, "Lee St. John, the owner of Gigi's Cupcakes and I would like to invite you to Gigi's Cupcake's One Year Anniversary Partner Appreciation night. Lee has the Presidential Suite at the Orlando Magic vs. Pacers game on April 16 at 8:00 pm. We will enjoy food, drinks, and the game with a small group of people who have been most helpful in making Gigi's first year magical. We sure hope you can come! Please let me know if that day will work for you. It would be so cool to have you there. We will get to the game around 6pm. My friend, Food Network Chef Emily Ellyn will be there at the game. I think you'll love sketching her, and she's great at cross-promoting to get your name out even more."

Getting into the Amway Center involved the usual metal detectors and bag searches. I decided to streamline my art supplies so I could easily slip through security. I made a tiny palette using an old CD case. The circular CD holder is a perfect spot to arrange my daubs of paint into a color wheel. This Jerry rigged palette worked so well I've taken to using it all the time. I was one of the first people to arrive at the Presidential suite. Lee St. John was there to greet me. He explained that this wasn't a very important game since the Pacers were already high enough in the standings where they could loose if they wanted and still move forward.

Lee had a small box of his award winning cupcakes. He had asked if he could bring the cupcakes up to the Presidential Suite, but there is a firm rule that no outside food or beverages can be bought into the Amway Center. This guarantees that Amway vendors corner the market. Lee tried to explain that the cupcakes weren't for sale and wouldn't be eaten. They were for a photo opportunity. No one listened to reason, so the cupcakes had to be smuggled in with stealth and subterfuge. To repay Lee for inviting me to the game, I decided to sketch one of the cupcakes ant put it on the jumbo tron in the center of the arena. When the sketch was done, I couldn't help myself, I ate the mysterious black market cupcake. It was soooo good. No vendor in the Amway Center has anything half as good.

The suite filled up and I sketched through the whole game. There was a lackluster energy among the players. One Magic fan shouted out "We could win this if we wanted it bad enough." The Magic didn't want it enough. The game was a blowout with the Pacers winning 101 to 86. In the suite, people started posing with the cupcakes. Lee hadn't lied about them being for a photo shoot. I had sinfully consumed a models sweet tasty prop. Luckily there were a few more cupcakes to go around.

-Analog Artist Digital World




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