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 – June 2015

Urban Sketchers News, Events and Workshops

Hurry - time is running out to register for the 2015 Symposium in Singapore! Late registration is June 1 - 15. A limited number of Workshops passes is available for US $475. Sketching passes are still available for US $40. Whether or not you have registered, visit and participate in our Discussion Forum. (It will make you want to attend!) Hope to see you there!

The Executive Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Suma CM to the Executive Board as the new Secretary. Suma, a dedicated urban sketcher who has attended four symposia, will be leading an activity at the Singapore Symposium. Suma has taught various art courses and has served on a board of directors previously. Welcome, Suma!

Four Urban Sketchers workshops are coming up in June through October! Register now for exciting classes with your favorite sketchers:

Journey into Matter with Ink and Watercolor, June 24 - 28, Tuscany, Italy, with Simo Capecchi and Caroline Peyron

Pushing your Sketching Boundaries, July 8 - 11, Oxford, UK, with Isabel Carmona, Miguel Herranz and Swasky

Sketching the Wild Atlantic Way, Sept. 2 - 6, Galway, Ireland, with Róisín Curé

Painting in Ischia Island around Aragonese Castle, Oct. 8 - 11, Naples, Italy, with Simo Capecchi, Caroline Peyron and Kelly Medford

In need of a little sunshine this summer? Grab your sketchbook and head for San Diego, California, for the Third Annual West Coast Urban Sketchers Sketch Crawl Aug. 7 - 9. This free event is a marathon of sketching, socializing and fun in this beautiful west coast city.

Instructor Frank Ching reported that the Line to Color Urban Sketchers Workshop he co-taught with Gail Wong in Laguna Beach and San Juan Capistrano last month had workshop participants who exhibited "enthusiasm, hard work and high spirits." Gail and Frank are now gearing up for their next workshop in Portland, Oregon (USA), Sept. 25 - 27. For information, contact Gail at

The Executive Board would like to thank Jessie Chapman for her dedicated service as Membership Director. “All the hard work Jessie has done will help as we move forward with membership!” said President Elizabeth Alley. Jessie will be stepping down and redirecting her attention to serving USk in other areas. “I’ve certainly learned a lot,” Jessie said. “We have an incredible community out there!” We agree! Best wishes, Jessie!

News from Urban Sketchers Communities

London Urban Sketchers are sketching Silvertown.
Left to right: Sue Pownall, Evelyn Rowland, Lis Watkins,
James Hobbs, Julie Bolus, Isabelle Laliberté,
Olha Pryymak and Nathan Brenville.
Urban sketchers in London are participating in an exciting project by special invitation: Following the £3.5 billion regeneration of Silvertown, a derelict 62-acre area in London's former docklands, according to James Hobbs. The project "will eventually have 3,000 new homes and 21,000 jobs, but it is now a dusty, windswept site that houses the monumental Millennium Mills and other former industrial buildings. Because of security and ongoing construction work, numbers are strictly limited, but as we will be returning over time, other regular urban sketchers in London will get a chance to visit and draw," James said. Sketches from the first group to participate are posted on USk London's blog.

In other USk London news, the group had enthusiastic participation at recent gatherings at St. Paul's Cathedral and Kew Gardens. See the sketches on USk London's new Facebook page.

Last month Urban Sketchers Sao Paulo celebrated its 50th sketch meeting. Participation "jumped from the average 15 to 20 participants to 50 people," reports Ronaldo Kurita.

USk Sao Paolo is also excited about its exhibition of sketches from Sao Paulo, Mogi das Cruzes and Paris. The show is on through July 26 at Casarão do Chá.

USk Albania sketcher Klaudia Sorra's sketch at the seashore.
USk Albania went back to nature for a recent event at the seashore. "We went there with our sketchbooks and sketched the nature and mostly birds which are typical of that area," said Mario Shllaku. He pointed out the difficulty of capturing birds in sketches: "We needed binoculars to see them, and we had to be really quiet because they got scared and fly away immediately." Endrit Haxhijaj commemorated the seashore event with a drawing in the sand of the Urban Sketchers Albania logo.

The USk Albania logo depicted in sand.
Urban Sketchers Paris has two events coming up in June. After two private sketching sessions at the Centre Pompidou arranged by Marion Rivolier and Nicolas Beudon, Mr. Beudon invited the Parisian sketchers to exhibit their sketchbooks at the BPI Centre through June 30.

USk Paris was invited to draw the famous La Hune bookstore on May 12, which will sadly close its doors forever on June 15, said Marion Rivolier. To celebrate the bookstore one last time, sketchers will exhibit their sketchbooks and drawings in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés bookstore June 2-12. A party for sketchers and bookstore customers will be held June 10.

Sketchers in Action

Juliette Plisson has a joint exhibition with Sophie Leplatre-Lesieur June 9 - 27 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Juliette's work in the show focuses exclusively on urban sketches of this city. Sophie's work will include paintings of Nepal.

James Hobbs has a new book, Dream, Draw, Design My Garden (published by Rockport), "a guided journal for artists, gardeners or anyone wanting to draw and design her or his garden, yard, roof terrace or window ledge," said James.

Erika Brandner's new book.
Erika Brandner has illustrated a book that was just released at the International Book Day in Literary Cafe Bustamante Park. Illustrated Heritage of Providencia was edited and published by the Department of Neighborhoods, Heritage and Tourism of the Municipality of Providencia, Santiago, Chile. The book contains more than 50 illustrations of heritage and typical sites and buildings of this commune, said Erika. The books were given to the Library of Providencia, where they will be available for community and cultural organizations.

San Diego (USA) USk correspondent Lydia Velarde gave a presentation in April about the "Art of Urban Sketching" to Cindy Zimmerman’s drawing class at Mesa College in San Diego. Lydia spoke about the worldwide Urban Sketchers organization and the San Diego chapter, showed some urban sketching tools and shared techniques. The presentation prepared students for an urban sketching event they attended later that week.

Suhita Shirodkar was one of several artists and writers who reported on nationwide US rallies April 15 calling for raising the minimum wage for service workers. Her sketch of a New York City union leader surrounded by a crowd leads the reportage on the Eater website.

Teoh Yi Chie (better known as Parka) of Singapore filled a 48-page sketchbook with his sketches of Bandung, Indonesia, while participating in an international sketchwalk organized by Bandung sketchers.

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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