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

Saying goodbye to summer at Killeenaran, Co. Galway...but it has its compensations

A wonderful summer at Killeenaran is over. All Irish people will tell you that although the weather is often lousy in Ireland, when it's fine, it's paradise. I have been lucky enough to sketch this paradise all summer, but now it's autumn, the hedgerows are heavy with blackberries and the roads are quieter as children are back at school.

This is the view from the road at the top of Brandy Bay looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean. I have been asked to paint this many times but this sketch was just a little indulgence when I was supposed to be going for a long cycle yesterday to get fit (there's always tomorrow). The reflection of the house caught my eye and I stopped to sketch, but of course the tide went about its other business and soon all I had was damp sand and what I had seen in my mind before the water ebbed away.

The bay is very busy at low tide. The seaweed-covered rocks and grey, soggy sand are populated by seabirds of many types: sandpipers, oystercatchers, seagulls in many guises, egrets, herons, swans...and they like to make their presence felt in their sweet little cries. It's where you'll see flocks of birds on their way south - perhaps they think it will be quicker from the coast.

Turn your head just a little to the right and you'll see this house and the edge of the bay:

All this might look very bucolic and not very urban, but this is my urban environment, where I and many others work and live. This road is like something out of a Thomas Hardy novel: you will meet wayfarers along it all day long, from the top of Brandy Bay to the very end where the road meets the sea at Killeenaran pier. There are a lot of people taking the air, to be sure, but many are working hard, like the oyster farmers in trucks and tractors who collect oysters, mussels and clams at low tide to be sent all over the world, the fishermen who sell (and often give) their catch to locals and restaurants, the artist and naturalist who publishes writings on the flora and fauna of the area, and other artists like myself and the young woman who records underwater sounds at high tide for an installation. In the summer, a lot of the people you'll pass are on bicycles, in swimsuits, off for a swim at high tide.

Next Sunday is a special day, when villagers will swim the mile of sea from Eddy Island back to the pier. I was thinking of joining in, but the husband pointed out that I haven't been training (should have cycled more I guess). There'll be a barbecue and live musicians playing traditional Irish music on the pier, followed by a raffle, and I'll be sketching the day live, with the resulting watercolour sketch a prize in the raffle. No pressure. 

Then the following week I will be covering the Clarinbridge Oyster Festival, when the native oysters may once again be harvested after their summer rest. It will be a few days of intense activity, with lots of music and glamour, and a beautiful young thing will be crowned the Oyster this space.

Between these and other projects I have planned I'll be busy until it's once again too cold to sketch outdoors.

More of my work here.





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