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

A Week of Blissful Sketching in Galway Sunshine

[by Róisín Curé] Everyone moans about the weather in Ireland. We have good reason to, especially here in the west: I live in Galway on the coast and it can be trying at times. I think part of the reason we feel so hard done by is that our glorious, totally undeveloped coastline is tantalisingly close, as unspoilt and as pristine as if we've stepped onto the set of Ryan's Daughter or something. But when it's blowing a gale, and the rain is horizontal, we have to dress to beat the elements and just get on with it.

Then the sun comes out, and we remember how incredible Ireland can be in good weather. The beaches near me are nearly deserted, and full of interest: rock pools, tiny, hand-built quays, wildlife and the occasional friendly fisherman happy to share his catch. It sounds like a cliché but it's true (although I avoid Salthill and Barna, nearer to Galway City, in hot weather, as you will get very stressed with the crowds). I can be at Mulroog, a rocky shoreline, in about fifteen minutes by bike, and at Killeenaran Pier in ten, so either offers the perfect opportunity for a cycle and a sketch.

These last few weeks have been warm and sunny in Ireland, with the best weather favouring us here in Galway. Here's my week in sketches.

On Tuesday I cycled down to Mulroog shore. I liked the chain and made it the focus of the sketch. A very nice young woman arrived at the beach, we started chatting and she told me about her mother, who is a well-known and very accomplished artist.

On Wednesday, I dropped my daughter to her drama class and zipped off to Mulroog again in the hope of getting in a quick sketch. I ignored the inky line from the previous day's false start, little thinking that in 45 minutes the sketch would turn into something I was rather pleased with. Now it has an ink line across it forever. This is just to the left of the rock with the chain.

On Thursday I took my son Paddy to the barbers in Oranmore...would I, could I bring myself to sketch the same view from the same chair yet again? But the beauty of urban sketching is that you can do exaclty that, but just play with the colours or line a bit differently. Makes you more adventurous. In fact, I must do it more often!

Friday I paid a trip to Galway Bay Sailing Club and squeezed another very quick sketch in before a friend took me out on her yacht. It was very pleasant to watch the sun go down over Galway Bay, and it was followed by a barbecue in the club. Didn't I say that Galway is particularly nice in good weather?

Sunday afternoon saw me at Moran's of the Weir, across the estuary from me. This is its setting, drawn from the end of a field a hundred yards upriver from my house. I made this sketch of the estuary nearly three years ago. Moran's is four buildings in from the left. As you can deduce, its setting couldn't be more tranquil...

The staff looked after me beautifully all day while I sketched, and my daughter read her Kindle with ne'er a complaint. Fabulous way to spend a sunny afternoon.

On Monday I was back at Mulroog -

My husband thought I should draw the view across to the hills of Clare, from the same position as in the previous sketches, but turning through a few degrees to the left. I think he would have preferred something less sketchy. Oh well - the fact that I fit in all this sketching between teaching or pick-ups is pretty good, in my view! But maybe he's right. I don't do much in the way of formal watercolours these days - I'm addicted to the spontaneity and freshness of a very rapid sketch.

The next day, Tuesday, I cycled to Killeenaran (late of this website) and was very happy to see this camper van parked on the quay, its occupants stretched out in front of it to take the sun. It tuned out that the gentleman was a retired fine art teacher and had a sketchbook full of beautiful pencil sketches that were as Urban Sketchy as it's possible to be!

I don't have any German and the gentleman had very poor English so all we could manage was "beautiful" (me) and "very fine, ja" (him).

Next day was Wednesday, and my mate Lorraine invited me to the beach at Trácht, Kinvara. How could I not draw her beautiful daughter looking like such a picture on the sand? Here she is:

Lorraine and I enjoyed our first dip of the year, in the wild Atlantic ocean. It was heaven.

Thursday was a special friend Ger invited me to go surfing with her in Lahinch, Co. Clare  (I don't normally get cool invitations like this, by the way). I hadn't been on a board in twenty years but I figured I had nothing to risk but a dislocated knee, and I decided not to dwell on that, but just to go for it. Well, it was magic. I managed to get two feet on the board and stand up a few times, but spent far longer being thrown into the surf with little to show for it.

My week in the sun!





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