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

Taking our time at Lough Corrib

by Róisín Curé in Galway

The art thing in my family goes back a few years. My great-grandmother painted watercolours of the house and grounds where she lived in the UK. My grandmother pained oils all her life. It continues with my mother, my sister, one or two of my brothers (although they under-use it) and my kids.

My mother and sister decided to spend a few days in Galway painting landscapes. We couldn't have more different styles. My mother paints very atmospheric watercolours. She goes through great big tubes of watercolour like sweeties. My sister paints semi-abstract oils, outdoors of late, and I don't know how she bears the smell of the paint in the car. We arranged to meet last week in deepest countryside near Headford, Co.Galway, stopping at a quay on the waterside at Lough Corrib. There were no signs to the pier where we were to meet - of course - and I became confused. I asked an elderly lady which of the many roads I had passed would take me to the pier.
"Sure take any of them," she said.
Despite my 24 years here, I still have to learn to relax more around these parts.

My sister and my mother spotted a tiny, twisted old tree, bent by the wind, growing at the very edge of the water, and soon the fumes of oil paint began to rise, and tubes of watercolour began to empty. Landscape is fine and dandy...but two people painting the tree were enough for its fragile ego. I turned around and saw a group of young men painting a boat bright red. I have envied the beautiful red in others' work - notably Adriana Gasparich's - and wanted to join the party, and I always love drawing people in action, so I got down to work.

One of the guys had managed to cover himself in paint (the others were spotless), and my splashes of red are my attempt to give this impression. Adriana had suggested that a good solution to making a shadowed part of an object is to use its complementary. I wanted to try this on the red, so I used a funny kind of cobalt green for the underside of the boat. I think I need to practice this method a bit. I also have to practice getting the scale of people right - the two boat painters in the foreground would look like boys except that one of them is bald.

One of the boat-painters, the man on the right in the red splashes, came over to see what we were doing. He was intrigued with my mother's work and asked pertinent questions. I showed my painting to the lads on the boat but I imagine they were heartily sick of painting the boat and couldn't fathom why anyone would want to take it further still, with an actual picture of the boat being painted - especially when I could be painting the lovely landscape. They didn't say as much but I sensed bafflement.

Anyway after a bit my mother pulled out a small camping bed and lay down. She broke her back last December and still needs to stretch out and rest during the day, so the portable bed was ideal. We ate an amazing picnic lunch and drank plastic cups of wine. A family of ducks quacked and dived for bits of weed, their little webbed feet paddling furiously to keep their bodies pointing downwards, white fluffy bottoms sticking up in the air. A very nice man came over.
"I just wanted to let you know that the gate to the quay will be closed in a few minutes," he said. "You can still come in and paint if you want, but if you wouldn't mind putting your car on the other side of the gate, that would be great. We have problems with campers sometimes."
"Like her, you mean?" I said, pointing to my mother, stretched out on her bed.
"Well, yes, but I didn't like to say," said the man. " I wasn't sure whether she was a joyrider or a camper."
Laughter ensued - my mother is a very elegant lady of 75.
"Do I have time to eat my cake?" I asked.
"Of course!" said the man. "Take your time!"
We took him at his word and soon forgot about the gate closing. I reminded my mother and my sister and we packed up.
On our way through the gate the boat-painter who was interested in the watercolour painting was leaning on a wall, looking out over the lake, and I realised he'd been standing there waiting for us to leave for at least twenty minutes.
"I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting," I said. "I didn't realise you were actually waiting to close the gate."
He gave a big smile. "No problem at all," he said.

Darkest Headford, Co. Galway - if you can find it, it's very peaceful.





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=