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 – March 2015

Urban Sketchers Events and Workshops

Don’t miss the live chat with the Urban Sketchers Executive Board this Monday, March 2! At 15:00 – 16:00 (3 – 4 p.m.) GMT and again at 22:00 – 23:00 (10 – 11 p.m.) GMT, visit the Urban Sketchers Facebook page. The board is ready to take your questions!

Opportunities for Urban Sketchers workshops abound all over the world! See the Workshops tab on the Urban Sketchers blog or specific links below for more details on these exciting classes:
San José, Costa Rica, March 30 – 31, “The Market Adventure”
Coventry, England, April 8 – 10, "Space Oddities - Pushing Your Sketching Boundaries in Coventry"
Lisbon, Portugal, April 25, “Freedom Revolution Workshop!”
Miami, Florida (USA), March 27 – April 12 (3 modules), “Sketch-it-On: Miami”
Orange County, California (USA), May 1 – 3, “Line to Color”
Volterra, Tuscany (Italy), June 24 – 28, “Journey into Matter with Ink and Watercolor”

The third annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl will be in San Diego (USA) Aug. 7 - 9, 2015.

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

USk Southampton just celebrated its first birthday!
Urban Sketchers Southampton (UK), now 159 members strong, will celebrate its first birthday with a group exhibition opening March 28 at Southampton City Art Gallery. The exhibition is part of Southampton’s “50th anniversary as a city” festivities, said Heather Butler. Organized by founding members Kay Brown and Darren Shorter, and Peter Jarvis of Southampton Solent University, the show will include sketches in four themes.

In February, Urban Sketchers Málaga sketched immigrant children who are supported by the nonprofit organization Málaga Acoge to help raise awareness. “This was our first time that we went specifically to sketch children, and we really had a great time with them!” Patrizia Torres said. See sketches and photos on USk Málaga’s Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Málaga sketchers are getting ready for Malagráfica May 1 – 3. The event will include conferences and sketch gatherings at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo and at some urban locations in the city center, the port and the botanic gardens. Among the lecturers are Emily Nudd-Mitchell, Gérard Michel, Luis Ruiz, José Antonio Sencianes and Alfredo Ugarte aka Urumo, said Luis Ruiz.

USk Málaga gears up for a three-day sketching event.
What is Urban Sketchers Costa Rica up to lately? Plenty! In January, Teletica, a major local television company, produced and showed a documentary on urban sketching featuring sketchers Erick Víquez and Fernando Villar.

Then on Feb. 18, Julia Stephan and Isabel Niehaus were interviewed by Tico Times, an English-language online newspaper, about Urban Sketchers and the sketching activities in San José.

Finally, only three days later, a reporter and photographer from La Nacion surprised Urban Sketchers Costa Rica by showing up at the group’s sketchcrawl. An article about them appeared in that major newspaper Feb. 22.

Another Urban Sketchers group that recently attracted media attention is Albania. A major TV program, Top Channel, featured Urban Sketchers Albania and talked about the Urban Sketchers movement. Beginning with only four sketchers, the growing community is “young and with a great desire to explore our country through sketching,” said Mario Shllaku.

Professional and amateur artists are invited to submit work highlighting the beauty of Mount Royal for a group exhibition presented on Mount Royal, Les amis de la montagne, in association with Urban Sketchers Montréal.

Many urban sketchers groups took part Jan. 31 in the 46th World Wide SketchCrawl, including Korea, France, Japan, Birmingham (UK), Los Angeles (USA) and Seattle (USA).

Sketchers in Action

Sketch by Juliette Plisson, who will have an exhibition of her
urban sketches in Paris.

Juliette Plisson (France) will have an exhibit of her urban sketches March 26 - April 25 at the Paris boutique Dis bonjour à la dame.

Lapin (Spain) reports that the travel sketches of 30 urban sketchers have been published in a new book, Diários de Viagem 2, edited by Eduardo Salavisa.

Swasky’s (Spain) blog includes photos from a current group exhibition by nine urban sketchers at Mitte Barcelona Gallery.

Veronica Lawlor (USA) is one of three artists whose work will be shown at the Artists for Art Gallery in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The exhibit, which will include Veronica’s reportage sketches, runs March 5 – 28.

Lynne Chapman (UK) was featured in The Leverhulme Trust’s glossy newsletter in January about the residency she was awarded with the Morgan Centre at Manchester University. The year-long residency will involve “shadowing their research projects with my sketchbook in hand,” according to Lynne’s blog.

“Urban sketcher returns to share tricks of trade” reads the headline of the article about Liz Steel (Australia) in the Launceston, Tasmania, newspaper, The Examiner. Liz will be offering a travel sketching workshop there in October.

Yum-yum. . . Richard Sheppard's sketch now appears on
Ghirardelli Chocolate's packaging.
Richard Sheppard (USA) recently completed a sweet commission: sketching Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. The final drawing now appears on the 5-pound chocolate bar packaging and on Ghirardelli’s point-of-purchase craft bags.

Katherine Tyrrell (UK) just published a new book about drawing and sketching. Published in the UK (Apple Press), USA (North Lights Books) and Asia (English edition, Page One), the book has “Three different titles, three different covers and three different publishers - but it's the same book underneath!” Katherine said. Called Sketching 365: Build Your Confidence and Skills with a Tip a Day in the US, the book is available on

The Seattle Greenlaker, a neighborhood blog, featured Seattle (USA) artist and urban sketcher Steve Reddy and his sketches of local coffee shops and houses.

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!




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