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".
Blog
Flickr

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

Buddy Holly comes alive in Winter Garden Florida


Magically, Buddy Holly seems to return to the stage in Winter Haven Florida every year. He has performed live in 2012 and 2013. This year Andy Matchett is playing Buddy. I've seen him perform as Buddy Holly before and it seems a roll he was destined to perform. The drive down to Winter Haven turned out to be more of an adventure than I had bargained for. My GPS showed multiple accidents on I-4 so I took back roads all the way south through Kissimmee. It poured on the whole trip south. lightning flashed brilliantly etching shadowed scars in my retinas. It seemed like everyone knew this back route because the traffic on the country road slowed to a crawl. A trip that the GPS predicted would be an hour became two and a half hours.

I was actually quite impressed by Theatre Winter Haven (210 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, Fl) when I arrived. Although the facade was a sterile cinder block wall, the interior was spacious and there was room in the wings for some impressive set changes. I also liked that an art gallery was part of the theater complex. Art on display in the lobby showed that there were some skilled draftsmen in the town.

The show is Co-Produced by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Cassell and Marilyn Riggs. Over 50 years ago, the man who changed the face of popular music tragically died in a plane crash at age 22. The Buddy Holly Story tells the story of the three years in which he became the world's top recording artist with a show that features over 20 of Buddy Holly's greatest hits including 'Peggy Sue', 'That'll Be The Day', 'Oh Boy',‘Everyday’, 'Not Fade Away', 'Rave On' and 'Raining In My Heart'.

Buddy Holly was someone who passionately knew what he wanted in his music and life. He met Maria Elena (Hannah Corlew) because she worked as a secretary at his recording label. From the moment he met her, he knew he would marry her. Five days later, he did. He truly lived like every day might be his last. Rehearsals and recording sessions were at times playful and exhausting as he strived for the perfect sound. His band, The Crickets (Marcus Brixa, Kemp Brinson and Josh McNair) grew disgruntled with the endless retakes.

The end of the show featured a high energy concert with Buddy, Richie Valens (Alex La Torre) who had some amazing hip moves, and The Big Bopper (Tom Mesrobian).  The entire ensemble was onstage for this high energy concert. It was a winter concert and there was a blizzard outside. After the concert these three performers would board a plane which was destined to crash. The music came to an abrupt end and a lone microphone stood in a spotlight. After the show, the director had notes for the cast. He said, "We have a good show, it was a good rehearsal, some things need to be gelled, touched and massaged."

Driving home, the music was still echoing in my head. I drove past ancient MacDonald's arches and then  neon restaurant signs that hearkened back to the 50s. There was nothing to remind me of the present. I was driving through the twilight year of 1959. Then the black country road erased all visual clues. The road curved and grass blurred past my windows in the headlight's gleam. I had to trust that I could navigate each unknown curve at 50 miles per hour. It would be so easy to slip of this thin thread into the void.

The Buddy Holly Story runs from July 18 through August 3rd. Tickets: $24 Adults, $21 Students.

-Analog Artist Digital World

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