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 - December 2014

Urban Sketchers News, Events and Workshops

The 6th International Urban Sketchers Symposium website is now live! Stay on top of news about the 2015 event in Singapore and subscribe to the mailing list. In addition, the call for Symposium programming is now open. Here’s your opportunity to propose a workshop, lecture or other activity at the Symposium. Proposals are due Dec. 22.

The Urban Sketchers Executive Board recently held its annual Officer elections. Current Vice President Elizabeth Alley will serve as President for a one-year term beginning Dec. 6, and Gabi Campanario will continue to serve as Treasurer. Jason Das has stepped aside as President. The Vice President position was eliminated. The remaining Officer position, Secretary, remains vacant. "Thanks for a wonderful (and exhausting) year!" Jason said. "Urban Sketchers is such an amazing organization and global community. I am honored to have served as Board President. Congratulations to Elizabeth — I can't think of a better person to lead the Board of Directors. As for myself, I look forward to continuing to volunteer for USk for many years, in other capacities."

Sunny San Diego (USA) will be the site of the third annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl Aug. 7 - 9, 2015! "We can almost guarantee bright blue skies and plenty of that southern California sunshine to illuminate your sketchbooks while you capture Seaport Village, Balboa Park and Old Town over three days of fun sketch crawling," said event organizer Jim Bumgarner. Lydia Velarde will be organizing locally. RSVP for this free event on Facebook or the blog, and watch for more details.

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

Urban Sketchers Chile in Santiago at their first sketching event.
Brand-new Urban Sketchers Chile celebrated the group's formation with a sketching event in downtown Santiago Nov. 8. More than 60 sketchers participated in workshops and received gifts from local sponsors during the all-day event. "We exposed our work in a public space so participants and passersby could watch the sketches," said Rosario Muñoz Gajardo. Work from the day will be exhibited during an event in the same neighborhood Dec. 13, and sketchers will take advantage of the opportunity to do more sketching. Welcome the group to USk by viewing sketches on Facebook and its new blog. A great video shows the participants in action.

Lynne Chapman reports that Urban Sketchers Yorkshire (UK), which has been meeting monthly for more than four years, just celebrated its 50th sketch meet.

Urban Sketchers Yorkshire celebrated their 50th sketch meet.
North Central Florida (USA) Urban Sketchers is becoming more active, says Lee Kline. The group sketches from Ocala in the north to and including Orlando to the south. Get in touch with Lee with your ideas and for more information, and check out the group's blog and Flickr group.

Urban Sketchers France was featured twice in the local news last month about the group's sketchout in Cahors, a small town of 20,000 residents, said Sylvie Bigoudene.

USk Kuching (Malaysia) and the Sarawak Heritage Society collaborated on an event Nov. 21 to promote heritage awareness. "Just like the Sarawak Heritage Society, USk documents the life and scenes around Kuching, preserving the stories with it," said Peggy Wong. Including about 20 sketches, the week-long exhibition also showcased urban sketchers' art tools and sketchbooks. The Borneo Post gave the event coverage twice.

Sketchers at ComicNostrum in Palma de Mallorca.
USk Spain members Catalina Rigo and Feliu Renom recently participated in ComicNostrum, a week devoted to Comic Art in Palma de Mallorca, to talk about Urban Sketchers and invite people to join. "Eighty people participated, and we had a wonderful time," Catalina said. Berlin urban sketcher Detlef Surrey and his wife happened to be visiting the island at the time, so they joined the fun. "It was nice meeting him and explaining to the audience how USk serves also to make new friends," she said. She hopes to see an USk group form in Palma de Mallorca.

USk Spain's online publication, SKETCHER, is looking for submissions by urban sketchers worldwide. Previous issues have featured only Spanish sketchers, Juan María Josa said, but editors are looking for wider participation in the next bilingual issue, which will focus on Madrid. To submit work, drop images in the Urban Sketchers Spain Flickr group discussion thread. Editors will contact selected artists. Distributed online free, the publication is produced by volunteers. Check out the most recent issue of SKETCHER featuring Galicia.

San Francisco Bay Area sketcher Susan M. Ford
found a comfortable place to sketch!
More news from Spain: Urban Sketchers Málaga had a group exhibition at Visual Málaga to celebrate its fifth anniversary, said Luis Ruiz. Four sketchers originally met to sketch together, and now the group has 50 members.

San Francisco Bay Area (USA) Urban Sketchers recently sketched at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach, which is a Museum of Fun with exhibits that celebrate the magic and history of America's bygone amusements. Sketches from the evening are on the group's blog.

Birmingham (UK) Urban Sketchers is just over one year old, says Tim Richardson. "We've taken part in the 42nd, 43rd, 44th and 45th World Wide Sketchcrawls as well as four Birmingham sketchcrawls (including one in Lichfield which I hereby grant honorary Greater Birmingham status) and two others - Sarehole Mill and Stirchley," Tim said. He invites everyone to check out their sketches on Flickr, Facebook and the blog.

A sketch in Simo Capecchi's exhibit
"Vertical Naples."
Oops! The November Drawing Attention incorrectly reported that sketchers in Hawthorn were showing work in "Urban Sketching in Boroondara." The exhibit is actually of sketches by Melbourne (Australia) sketchers. The editor regrets the error! See a brief video of the exhibit, ongoing through Dec. 6.

Sketchers in Action

Simo Capecchi just opened an exhibit of new work from her "Vertical Naples" series. On view through Jan. 29, the exhibit is at Trame Libreria bookshop in Simo's hometown of Bologna, Italy.

San Diego (USA) USk founder Lydia Velarde's sketches were recently featured in the publication 92064. The article mentions San Diego USk, now 280 members strong, and how the group is an opportunity for her to share her love of sketching.

Sketch journalist Richard Johnson gave a moving and inspiring TED talk, "No place for a civilian," about his experiences sketching in the trenches of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Luis Ruis's new book of Málaga sketches.
Luis Ruis has published a new book called Málaga, cuaderno de viaje - sketchbook, containing urban sketches of the city of Málaga.

Carnet de Voyage | Côte d'Ivoire by Portuguese urban sketchers Mário Linhares and Ketta Cabral Linhares won the Coup de Cœur prize in the International Sketchbook category at the Festival Il faut aller voir - rendez vous du carnet de voyage of Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Marc Taro Holmes will be teaching a sketching workshop in Cortona, Italy, June 6 -13, 2015. "We'll travel with our sketchbooks, re-invigorating our drawing skills, using pens, brushes, ink, and painting in watercolors!" Marc said. Enroll by Dec. 31 for a discount.

Galway (Ireland) urban sketcher Róisín Curé has an article in Discover Art's latest drawing-themed digital edition, edited by James Hobbs. The issue also includes coverage of the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Paraty.

Sketch by Róisín Curé in Discover Art, a digital publication.

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=