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 - November 2014

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Urban Sketchers Singapore will host the 2015 International
Urban Sketchers Symposium!
The 2015 International Urban Sketchers Symposium will take place in Singapore! Singapore was selected unanimously by the Urban Sketchers Symposium Committee, whose recommendation was approved enthusiastically by the Urban Sketchers Executive Board. USk Vice President and Events Director Elizabeth Alley said, "We are excited to take the Urban Sketching Symposium to Asia for the first time and to work with the Urban Sketchers Singapore regional chapter." The winning proposal was presented by Tia Boon Sim, Patrick Ng, Paul Wang and Tony Chua. Several other promising proposals were submitted from around the world; those applicants have been encouraged to apply again to host a future symposium. The dates of the 2015 Symposium will be announced soon.

The Urban Sketchers Executive Board is pleased to announce that Brenda Murray (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) has joined the Executive Board as the Communications Director. Brenda is owner of Indelible Creative, a marketing/communications company that makes whiteboard animations and creates marketing packages for clients. Brenda is the organizer of Kitchener Waterloo Urban Sketchers, the mother of three, the wife of one, and a beagle owner. She has a BA and an MA from the University of Waterloo in English and Fine Arts. “I’m excited about urban sketching and its potential to build a community for practicing and closet artists," Brenda said. "I’m looking forward to working with the Executive Board to develop integrated communication strategies, systems and tools that will help us articulate our message."

Jim Richards and Elizabeth Alley give out sketchbooks in Savannah.
Urban Sketchers and the Telfair Museum in Savannah (USA) sponsored an all-day event Oct. 4 featuring a morning workshop taught by James Richards and an afternoon “family day” open house during which Jim and USk Vice President and Events Director Elizabeth Alley gave away sketchbooks, discussed Urban Sketchers and produced well over a hundred drawings for children. Sketcher Kip Bradley rounded off the successful event by leading an early-evening sketchcrawl.

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Sketchers from Canada and the U.S. weren't daunted by a little rain in Ithaca!
(photo by Lynn Pashleigh)
Urban sketchers from Kitchener/Waterloo, Montreal, New York and Toronto organized a sketchcrawl at the "halfway" point in Ithaca, NY (USA) Oct. 17 - 19. Local sketchers who do not have a USK group were thrilled that "Urban Sketchers came to us!" said Brenda Murray. About 22 sketchers participated in the event, and organizers hope to do it again next year.

Urban Sketchers Eskiltuna (Sweden) recently held its first exhibition. "We had about 250 visitors, which is really good, according to Konstfrämjandet, which organized the exhibition," said Björn Fundberg.

Urban sketchers in New York  . . .
On Oct. 25 Urban Sketchers groups in New York (USA) (at left) and Caracas (Venezuela) (below) held a simultaneous sketch walk. "We sketched, tweeted, Facebooked and walked from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.," said Richard Alomar. "We were over 2,000 miles away, but it seemed, on the superimposed map, that we were on criss-crossed paths." On the New York side, it was a multi-layered event with folks from NYC Urban Sketchers and Landscape Architects from the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. eL Paper Magazine helped to organize the event.

The magazine Aviso, Kunst und Wissenschaft aus Bayern (art and science from Bavaria) has published an article about Urban Sketchers. Gabi Campanario, Miriam Ben Moussa and Omar Jaramillo contributed sketches and were quoted in the article, which is in German.

. . . and in Caracas sketch together at a simultaneous event.

Urban sketchers in Munich just received great coverage on Isarblog. Since May the group has been gathering on the first Sunday of each month. "We sketch for a few hours and then go to a café to share our work and talk and continue sketching," said Miriam Benmoussa. Sketchers are active on Facebook, and the group has just been approved to start a regional blog.

Urban Sketchers Chile will offer an Urban Sketchers workshop in the heritage district of Concha y Toro in downtown Santiago Nov. 8. "It will be a free event, open to all lovers of urban sketching, and will last the whole day," said Erika Brandner. Event sponsors include the Municipality of Santiago, Heritage institutes and major art suppliers and brands in Chile.

Urban Sketchers Munich, gathering since May,
share their work on a cafe table.
Urban Sketchers was mentioned in an article about the growing drawing scene in Singapore in the online publication AsiaOne.

Urban sketchers in Hawthorn (Australia) are getting ready for their exhibit, "Urban Sketching in Boroondara," Nov. 4 - Dec. 6 at the Hawthorn Arts Centre's Town Hall Gallery.

Hong Kong's Occupy Central continues to gain sketching coverage in the Sketching Umbrella Movement community Facebook group page.

Urban Sketchers Philippines had a table at BGC Art Mart Sept. 27 to share their enthusiasm for sketching and Urban Sketchers with the larger community.

Urban Sketchers Hawthorn is excited about its exhibit in November.
Sketchers in Action

Euromaxx produced a video program about the "Comeback of the Notebook" in the digital age with a focus on the popular notebook Moleskine, and Munich urban sketcher Florian Afflerbach is featured prominently sketching in his Moleskine. The English video appears on Deutsche Welle.

Jim Richards' book, Freehand Drawing and Discovery: Urban Sketching and Concept Drawing for Designers, has received a national Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The awards honor top landscape architectural projects from across the U.S. and around the world. ASLA will present 34 professional awards selected from more than 600 entries.

And more news from Jim Richards: A solo exhibition of 16 watercolor sketches from a trip to Cuba in May is on display at the Arkansas State University’s Dean B. Ellis Library in Jonesboro, Arkansas (USA). Sponsored by the university's Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, the exhibition is titled “Hemingway’s Cuba,” capturing contemporary views of sites important in the Nobel Prize-winning writer’s life and work.

The work of Samantha Zaza, PeF, Maya Andersson, Frédéric Rudant, Christophe Pons and the Atelier multimédia Bellegarde is on exhibit through Dec. 30 at Carnets de Voyages in Toulouse (France). With the theme "The Orient," the exhibit features sketches of Istanbul and the Occupy Gezi protests.

Gabi Campanario's latest book
Two eagerly awaited books have just begun shipping on Gabi Campanario's The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes (the first in a series) and Marc Taro Holmes' The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location.

Public Radio International produced a radio program and published an article about urban sketcher Richard Johnson, who is documenting the war in Afghanistan with sketches. Richard is on assignment for the Washington Post.

USk Germany correspondents Gisela Knuth and Miriam Benmoussa are exhibiting some of their Munich urban sketches at Café Weyerer in Munich through the end of the year.

Lydia Valarde's article in Art Journaling.
San Diego (USA) urban sketcher Lydia Velarde wrote an article in Art Journaling magazine's autumn 2014 edition. Lydia said that all of the sketches in the six-page article were done while on outings with the San Diego Urban Sketchers meetup group. Lydia talks about how she uses her sketchbook almost like a daily journal and how the USk group has enriched her sketching life.

The New Straits Times just published an article Oct. 31 about Penang (Malaysia) artist and urban sketcher Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, who will be opening his ninth solo exhibition this month. Called Sketching Penang," the exhibit will be at The Art Gallery at Belissa Row through Nov. 20.

The Quebec (Canada) Chronicle-Telegraph featured urban sketcher, artist and photojournalist Bethann Merkle in an article about her recent evening at the Morrin Centre introducing sketching to 20 enthusiasts and giving them a brief history of drawing. Bethann has been writing the "Drawn to Quebec" illustrated column in that newspaper since July.
Ch’ng Kiah Kiean will have his 9th solo exhibition in Penang.

USk President Jason Das has been invited to attend and sketch the Creative Time Summit in Stockholm, Sweden Nov. 14 - 15. The Creative Time Summit is an annual event exploring "the many ways in which artists are tackling the world’s most challenging social and political issues." Previously, Jason sketched all of the presenters on stage at the 2013 Summit in New York City. He is excited abouthis first trip to Sweden and hopes to connect with urban sketchers in Stockholm.

Ken Avidor sketches the paranormal!
Just in time for Halloween, Ken and Roberta Avidor of Minneapolis (USA) have been sketching the paranormal!

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-mail. Happy sketching!




USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=