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

#USkManchester2016: Day 4: A sense of place: Thank you Manchester!

[By Liz Ackerley, Symposium Correspondent in Manchester, UK]  It is with a tear in my eye (and a slight sigh of relief that I made it to day 4!) on this the last day of The Manchester Symposium, but my goodness, haven't we had a ball!
I started off Day 4 with one of my favourite Subjects as a landscape architect: Capturing a sense of place.  I caught up with Richard Briggs workshop at the Oxford Road Station approach, a great venue for a workshop entitled:  Capturing a sense of place: what to leave out, what to leave in. After giving an introduction to the history of the location, including the closure of Cornerhouse Arts venue and the plans to revamp Oxford Road Station, Richard quickly got the participants thinking by getting them to get a real sense of the place by walking around it and investigating, no sketching, just observing and looking.  What was their take on the space and what had they observed?  This then fed into some initial thumbnail sketches but not before Richard had given a demo, whilst explaining his thought process: what is the focus and main purpose of the sketch, what is absolutely needed in the drawing and what is not?  all of this helps to produce a more focused drawing that highlights the important features.   Its a challenging but revealing process and one which I for one need to think more about!

I then headed back to the School of Art (and the 6th Floor with fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding city) where Pat Southern-Pearce was giving her Activity session entitled Lettering, Line and Balance.   I have been admiring Pat's stunning combined lettering and drawing work for a while and know that she is a very experienced teacher so I was excited about the opportunity to sit in on her session.  This image is a combination of my take on the class incorporating some of the ideas that she talks about, including lettering.  Pat's session packed so much in and the participants clearly loved the quality 'I am learning so much' said one.  Pat broke her session down into 3 key elements and then colour and lettering were incorporated into these 3 main pieces:  Drawing through the window, using different line weights to convey the depth of the view and to produce a long drawing; only drawing on a part of the page, to one side, perhaps when you don't have much time and finally, a panorama across the centre to one side.  There were lots of tips along the way too, like the use of different pens to create depth, the confident use of selective colour (using watercolour pencils dry, because they are more creamy than others and pressing hard) and the approach to a quality of line using a continuous line.    I wish I could have taken the class!

With workshops finished by lunchtime, in the afternoon I attended two lectures:  Drawing A Sense of Place, by Richard Briggs which connected nicely with the morning workshop I mentioned above.  The lecture focused upon the capture of a sense of place through drawing and how this can be used as a design tool to improve places.  Richard shared examples of his work as a way of illustrating his thinking and wants to encourage sketchers to think about the What (the subject) and the why to help with wider discussions about how we can use our observational skills to improve places and develop better cities.

The other workshop was a very useful summary about How to create a successful workshop proposal by Gail Wong, for those considering running a symposium workshop next year.  The lecture included tips and hints as well as examples of good proposals.  All of this information is going to be on the main Urban Sketchers site.
And last but certainly not least, we ended the day (well, the day before the party started!) with a final sketch crawl at All Saints Gardens.  How wonderful to be stood amongst so many others, all sketching and taking in the view and the ambience of the place and its people. So wonderful to have so many talented sketchers capturing the city that I call home!

I have met so many fantastic sketchers and friends that I have only previously met and seen on-line, including my correspondent friends: Tina, Kumi and Javier-its been a fantastic journey.  I am very proud to have been asked to be the local correspondent and even prouder to be part of the Manchester Team.  All of us, Manchester and around the world have Simone Ridyard, Founder of Manchester Urban Sketchers to thank for the most amazing event here in Manchester.  Thank you Simone and thank you Manchester!





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


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