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

The Memorial in front of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando.

By Thor in Orlando

I went to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to witness the ever growing memorial for the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Terrorist Attack. On this evening, I was going to do an event sketch at the Grand Bohemian which is right across the street.  An American Flag held up by a white PVC frame had the names of all 49 of the Orlando Citizens who lost their lives embroidered into the red stripes. A large candle said, "Hate will never win". A rainbow colored paper chain surrounded the whole altar. There were small American flags and lots of rainbow colored pin wheels.

It was a scorching hot day and when I was offered a bottle of water, I took it. The cut flowers that were everywhere wouldn't last long in this heat. Heart shaped helium balloons waved in the breeze. Two young high school girls approach me with a pink card. I accepted it and thanked them. A packet of Smarties was taped to the card which read, "You are Loved, Pass it on." #Love Wins, # Orlando Strong. The O in Loved was shaped like heart. It was such a sweet gesture.  Struggling with my sketch, I is at the "This is Shit" and "I am Shit" phase of the creative process. I was certainly not feeling much love. At least the candy was sweet. I had a relative who used to work in a smarties factory in South Carolina. He used to breath in that sweetness every day. He died.

Mack became curious about my sketch and sat beside me. Evey few minutes his cell phone would whistle. He explained that the noise indicated that he got a text. Mack liked to talk. He told me that he had been to the 9/11 memorial in NYC. He was once a firefighter so he had special access. He told me that one woman at the memorial had purchased a plane ticket on one of the doomed flights. She had decided against going and traded the ticket with a friend. Her friend died on 9/11. She left the unused ticket beside her friend's name on the memorial. 

Four volunteers huddled together in prayer under an umbrella. A break dancer performed to a song titled, "Where is the love?" I was offered several dozen bottles of water and drank two during the marking of this sketch. I even accepted a bag of Fritos. Everyone wants to do something to help. It seems rude to ignore the gestures. A grief counselor talked to anyone who would listen. It seems people often respond to grief by excessive eating and drinking. That might have something to do with constantly being offered comfort food and water.

As I got ready to go to the Grand Bohemian a Washington Post reporter pulled me a side for an interview. I explained that I was a Illustrative Reporter, but seemed intent on asking questions. Anything I told him, I've probably already written here. I don't know if my answers helped. Orlando is still in pain. I am still in pain. This coming wee there will be 49 funerals. A Baptist Church group is planning to protest at some of these funerals spouting their bigotry and hate. Others will surround the funeral homes with love.  My hope is to sketch the love and turn my back on hate. As I crossed over to the Grand Bohemian, two protesters shouted to passing cars, "What do we want?" "A ban on Assault riffles!" "When do we want it?" "Yesterday!!!" I admired them.

I live on Gay Road. My upstairs neighbors have hung a rainbow flag from their balcony. The bright colors light up my view. The neighbors across the way followed. I've heard that my upstairs neighbors have been harassed by older tenants in the complex. That has to stop. We all need to help one another. Lets stop the devisiveness and hate.





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


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