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

Two hundred years of legacy and heritage

Kalimat di atas merupakan headline untuk pameran sketsa Indonesia's Sketchers (IS), hasil kerjasama IS dengan Kedutaan Besar Belanda dan Erasmus Huis dalam rangka memperingati 200 tahun berdirinya Kerajaan Belanda. Pameran yang menggelar 30 karya sketsa ukuran A# dan 7 accordeon sketchbook ini melibatkan 30 artist dari 6 kota di Indonesia; Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Jogyakarta, Semarang, dan Surabaya ditambah beberapa sketchers dari masing-masing kota sebagai cabang IS di daerah. Obyek sketsa merupakan bangunan peninggalan masa lampau pasca VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) yang banyak tersebar di kota-kota di Indonesia.
Satu kesempatan yang baik bagi IS untuk dapat tampil diri dalam upaya menguatkan eksistensinya sebagai komunitas sketsa, disamping juga sebagai upaya untuk lebih mendekatkan seni sketsa (live sketching) kepada masyarakat luas terutama generasi mudanya.
Pameran yang sedang berlangsung hingga 30 April 2015 ini merupakan pameran nasional pertama IS karena melibatkan seluruh komunitas IS daerah. Tak mudah mewujudkan satu kegiatan pameran yang cukup representatif seperti kali ini, perlu kerja keras serta dedikasi yang cukup mengingat sebagian sketchers yang terlibat aktif dalam kesibukan mereka sehari-hari, baik sebagai pekerja kantor atau profesional.
Disamping pameran, IS juga menggelar workshop, sketchwalk dan sketchtalk. Ketiga kegiatan ini lebih diutamakan untuk kaum muda; pelajar dan mahasiswa.
Semoga pameran kali ini mampu menjadi pemicu bagi IS untuk lebih banyak menjalin kerjasama dengan berbagai pihak agar bisa menyelenggarakan kegiatan budaya serupa dalam rangka lebih mendekatkan seni sketsa kepada masyarakat luas.

Berikut hasil liputan singkatnya. Enjoy it!
Acara pembukaan dibuka oleh Duta Besar Belanda untuk Indonesia; Mr Rob Swartbol.
Pose sejenak...
Dari kiri ke kanan: Mr Ton van Zeeland (direktur Teater dan Galeri Erasmus Huis), Atit Indarty (IS founder),
Yanuar Ikhsan (Ketua IS), Mr Rob Swartbol (Duta Besar Belanda), saya dan Donald Saluling (Ketua Pameran)
Sebelas dari 30 peserta pameran.
Dari kiri ke kanan: Yoso Bayudono, Seto parama Artho, Donald saluling, Wahyu SP, saya, Artyan Trihandono,
Nino Puriando, Iqbal Amirdha, Soleh Hadiyana, Yanuar Ikhsan dan Hani Handayani.

Suasana ceria penuh keakraban...
Acara workshop dan sketchwalk selama 2 hari di 4 lokasi di Jakarta.
Sketchtalk; presentasi hasil karya dari peserta workshop dengan dipandu oleh Kris Wardhana, Nashir setiawan,
Donald Saluling, Benny Zhuang, Toni Malakian dan saya sendiri.

Clockwise: Senoaji Wijanarko, Aryo Sunaryo, Iqbal Amirdha, Yulianto Qin, Kris Wardhana, Hani Handayani.

Clockwise: Yandi Prayudhi, Wahyu SP, Yuventus Win, Toni Malakian, Dhar Cedhar, Darman Angir.

Clockwise: Harry Suryo, Nashir Setiawan, Gunawan Wibisono, Adji setiawan, Artyan Trihandono, Jatmika Jati.

Clockwise: Yanuar Ikhsan, Andry Daud, Erick Eko Pramono, Donald Saluling, Nino Puriando, Yoso Bayudono.

Clockwise: Soleh Hadiyana, Muhammad Thamrin, Yoes Wibowo, Seto Parama Artho, Benny Zhuang, Rudi Hartanto.

The Making.
Bagi kami yang biasa membuat sketsa dengan sketchbook dengan ukuran yang relatif kecil (A6, A5 atao A4), tidaklah mudah ketika dituntut untuk membuat dalam format A3. Ukuran pena terpaksa menentukan sesuai dengan format kertas agar garis yang dihasilkan proporsional.
Saat membuat Menara Syahbandar saya harus membuat beberapa thumbnail, dimana saya tidak pernah melakukannya saat bersketsa di sketchbook.
Hampir sebagian besar sketcher di setiap kota mengalami masalah yang sama, yaitu cuaca. Hujan dan panas yang ekstrim cukup mengganggu kami saat kegiatan menggambar berlangsung. Saya sendiri sempat mengulanginya sampai 2 kali. Kali ke dua baru saya mendapatkan hasil yang sesuai dengan kehendak...

Menara Syahbandar dibangun tahun 1839. Dahulu menara ini berfungsi sebagai menara pengawas untuk kapal-kapal yang keluar-masuk Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa. Kini kondisi menara ini sudah miring. Kemungkinan akibat pengaruh dari pembangunan sekitar dan getaran yang diakibatkan oleh kendaraan berat yang lalu lalang tepat dibelakangnya.
Panas terik dan bau yang tidak sedap membuat konsentrasi menurun drastis!
Hampir 4 jam saya bergelut dengan situasi seperti ini sebelum gerimis menghentikan tangan saya, kemudian berkemas kembali ke menara untuk berteduh dan meneruskannya sambil menunggu hujan reda. Finishing touch saya lakukan di rumah karena hari mulai gelap...
Foto-foto doc. Indonesia's Sketchers





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