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

Drawing Attention – October 2014

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Paraty symposium staff and volunteers ham it up at the final sketchwalk.
(animated GIF by Greg Mullin)

The next International Urban Sketching Symposium could be in your hometown! Submit a proposal by Oct. 20!

Fort Worth-based urban sketcher, urban designer, writer and educator Jim Richards will teach a workshop in Savannah (USA) at the Telfair Museum in conjunction with its Port City exhibit Oct. 4. The workshop is sponsored by Canson.

Wonderful sketches and fun photos are still pouring into the Urban Sketchers Paraty 2014 Flickr group!

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Barcelona's Mostra & Comparteix

Urban Sketchers Barcelona (Spain) is organizing Mostra & Comparteix (Show & Share) Oct. 9. "It's a kind of party where people share their sketchbooks after summer and spring," Swasky said, when sketchers have had more opportunities to sketch outdoors. He hopes the idea will catch on with other USk communities. 

Urban Sketchers Oahu (USA) had a kick-off event Sept. 21 on Magic Island. "We started sketching at 8 a.m. to escape the heat of the day, and ended the morning by gathering together and sharing our sketches," said co-organizer Sebastian Sievert. "Looking ahead, we plan to sketch in a variety of locations around the island, covering both iconic and unconventional sights of our home state, from lush landscapes and beaches to industrial installations." Sebastian invites any sketchers visiting Hawaii to contact USk Oahu for a sketch outing. Find USk Oahu on their blog, on Flickr and on Facebook.

Urban Sketchers Oahu sketching on Magic Island.
The Great South East, a Brisbane (Australia) television station, aired a story about USk Brisbane Sept. 21. Organizer Judy-Joy Bell says that in the two years the group has been sketching together, membership has grown to nearly 190. "We like to document the historical aspects of our beautiful City of Brisbane mostly, but also haunt public gardens and parks as well," JJ said. USk Brisbane was also featured in a Brisbane Times article back in April in conjunction with Anzac Day.

Urban Sketchers Eskiltuna (Sweden) is having a group exhibition through Oct. 16. 

Urban sketchers are gathering in Ithaca, NY (USA), for a free sketching weekend Oct. 17 - 19The Trip Hotel Ithaca is the paintout's home base, according to organizer Marc Taro Holmes. Details are still being finalized, so check out the Google Maps Engine page for information.

Urban sketchers in Zurich.
Urban sketchers had a fantastic sketchcrawl in Zurich (Switzerland) Sept. 27, according to André Sandmann. In addition to an opportunity for great sketching, André said that one purpose of the gathering was "to collect impressions and results as a documentation of actual USk movement in Switzerland," which was initiated by Mario Leimbacher for the magazine HEFT of the Society of Swiss Art Teachers. The article will be published in the next edition. Some of the sketches will be exhibited at Kantonsschule Enge.

Urban Sketchers New Jersey (USA) has just launched its blog! Go see their sketches of "Awesomeness Behind NJ Turnpike Exits."

Sketchers in Action

A summit of urban sketchers in Liège (Belgium) received great coverage Sept. 11 in the Liège newspaper Le SoirGerard Michel, Antoine Michel and Fabien Denoël hosted the event, and sketchers Inma Serrano, Simonetta Capecchi, Corinne Raes, Lapin, Miguel Herranz, David Magli, Rolf Schröter, Rene Fijten, Luis Ruiz and Florian Afflerbach were invited to participate.

Gabi Campanario's latest book is based on his Seattle Sketcher column.
Urban Sketchers founder Gabi Campanario, better known in Washington State's Puget Sound region as Seattle Sketcher, has a new book hot off the press! Published by The Seattle Times, the book includes many of his most popular sketches from his weekly column in that newspaper. You can still pre-order the book at the special price of $29.95 (a 15 percent discount) through Oct. 5. The book starts shipping Oct. 10. The first book-signing event will be at the University Book Store in Seattle Oct. 11.

Elizabeth Alley, Urban Sketchers Executive Board Vice President and Events Director, published an article on Creative Bloq Sept. 5 about the fast-growing urban sketching movement. Creative Bloq is an online magazine of design and illustration.

An image from Adebanji Alade's prize-winning sketchbook.
Congratulations to London (UK) artist Adebanji Alade, who just won a £2,000 first place Buxton Spa Prize award for his sketchbook! 

USk Seattle (USA) co-organizer Jane Wingfield's sketch of Walla Walla caught the attention of a journalist for the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. The Sept. 23 article in that newspaper mentions Urban Sketchers and the Seattle and Tri-Cities USk groups.

Shout it Out in Drawing Attention

Not seeing anything about you or your Urban Sketchers group in Drawing Attention? Then we want to hear from you! Please send your urban sketching news items with links and images to: Or tag me, Tina Koyama, on news you post on the Urban Sketchers Facebook page. Subscribe by e-mailHappy sketching!





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