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

Goya and his admirers in Boston

[By Marcia Milner-Brage, in Boston, Massachussetts, USA]

Get thee to Boston to the Museum of Fine Arts’ fabulous exhibit Goya Order and Disorder! I had the good fortune to immerse myself for an afternoon in November in the 170 works shown. There are paintings, prints and drawings gathered from other major museums around the world and the Museum of Fine Arts’ own extensive collection of works on paper.

Hutiles trabajos by Francisco Goya
To be with Goya’s work is to be surrounded by his people: from aristocrats in formal paintings to common people in everyday moments of domesticity......

Los Desatres de la Guerra No. 33 - Que hai que hacer mas? by Francisco Goya
..... to people caught in the atrocities of war.....

The Famous American, Mariano Ceballos by Francisco Goya people participating in the visceral, blood sport of bullfighting.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco Goya

There are works from direct observation and from Goya’s prodigious imagination—interpretation of myth and social commentary.

The Duchess of Alba by Francisco Goya

Goya painted the Thirteenth Duchess of Alba in 1797. It hangs in a gallery of large oil paintings of aristocrats. This gallery was about halfway through my four hours with Goya. And this painting holds for me the heart of the exhibit: the regal and commanding Duchess of Alba points to the words “Solo Goya” —Only Goya—written in the sand by her satin-slippered feet. Only Goya? What does this mean? What does this imply? Only Goya could possibly paint such a splendid portrait? Would she only allow Goya to paint her? Perhaps a bit of self-promotion on Goya’s part? Only Goya could possibly give us such a breadth of human experience, with such passion? 

For me, all of the above. And then my own personal realization that only Goya could bring me together with the other rapt museum goers that I moved through the galleries with. Obviously, the Spanish aristocrats in Goya’s day were his dedicated admirers and supporters. And so too, we in the 21st century, join Goya’s admirers.

One of my sketches from the Goya Exhibit in my pocket-size Moleskin
Another one of my sketches done at the exhibit

My sketch in the Shapiro Family Courtyard of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston where a huge poster of Goya Order and Disorder hangs. Dale Chihuly's glass sculpture Lime Green Icicle Tower was specially created for this space. For me, it had distinct Christmas tree associations.
Self Portrait While Painting by Francisco Goya

Goya Order and Disorder is on view until January 15, 2015 and will not be traveling anywhere else. I wish I could spend more time at the exhibit before it closes. Unlikely, I live over 1200 miles away in Iowa.

To see more drawings from my trip to the Boston Area, go to Urban Sketchers Midwest post Trying to be a BIG City Urban Sketcher HERE.





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