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

Nice weather for work at Killeenaran, Co. Galway

I'm working on a large piece about my area of Ballinderreen and Killeenaran, Co. Galway, for a visitor who has come here many times and wants a memory for his home abroad. The part I'm starting with, Killeenaran, is just a short cycle ride from my house. I've been making colour sketches of components of the finished piece over the last week or so. The weather has been on my side.

This is the second house I did - there will be at least twelve in total. It was very slapdash - I didn't even use the normal textured paper in my sketchbook, but the inside leaf of the cover, which is pretty lightweight and toothless. I wasn't going to bother with the shadows, but in the end I thought I'd give it a go - I may work the shadows into the finished piece (which will be most un-Urban Sketchy, primarily being done from notes, memory and even the odd photo, if the weather starts to get bad. To my astonishment, the entire thing is on Google Street View...very weird). But I'm enjoying - as always - the super-fast, purely functional on-location sketches.

I'm interested in showing sound in an urban sketch. The starlings are getting excited at the moment, meeting up on wires and discussing whatever they need to discuss about their flight south. They make a huge noise - a bit like the noise they make when they arrive in our garden every spring, but multiplied by a factor of ten. So here's my noisy sketch :

and here's the rest of it. The starlings are not quite the right size, and probably a good bit higher. I love the colour combinations here.

Nearby is another imaginative house. I am not a fan of drawing every stone in a wall so I just threw them down as fast as possible, then used a mix of yellow ochre and indigo for the stonework.

I painted another one yesterday which is too boring to put up but as I finished I looked to my left and saw this guy thatching the house next to me. I had to draw the house anyway so I toddled off and asked the thatcher if he'd mind me drawing him at work. The thatcher, Davie, was really accommodating and was happy to get on with work while I drew.
We chatted a bit about sketching and thatching.
"Do you enjoy it?" I asked.
"I appreciate it," he said. "There was a time a while back when there was nothing at all. So I'm very happy to have the work."
It was windy, and bits of reed were flying about. I thought how much windier it would be on the top of the roof, and I wondered if Davie had ever come off a ladder. Gives me shivers, being very scared of heights. But it's great to see beautifully thatched roofs all over our county.

Davie liked that I put his van in. I was briefly tempted to leave it out and then I remembered that I was only making a sketch of "now" and the van was there now. Besides, this isn't some kind of bucolic 19th-century scene of a guy with a horse and's a modern thatcher, fixing a roof.
You can see rainspots on the sky and on the barge to the right. That's a thing I want to do more of - just keep going when it's raining, bleeding ink or not.

More to come: it's another beautiful day.





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