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

UK Trip Part 2: USk Manchester!


[By Mike Daikubara in Manchester, UK] Continued from Part 1. We took the Virgin train from London to Manchester and this time around our 1st class seats were reserved unlike the Thames link Train! The ride was also quite pleasant too!

Walking from the train station and arriving at our destination, the INNSIDE hotel was a big bright red rectangular building that was booked for many of the symposium faculty members and I was delighted. The check in procedure was smooth and friendly and the room was contemporary and well designed. The bed headboard even had a nice architectural line drawing printed on it - perfect for our symposium attendees :)
Our room was the larger sized one on the floor with the sofa bed since we had 3 people in the room - an arrangement made possible by Simone - Thank you!

Symposium Day 1: The next morning was the official start for faculty members. We all gathered for a briefing of the details of the Symposium and then in the afternoon the 1st Sketch Crawl in Castlefield Canal basin kicked off. It was pretty surreal seeing literally hundreds of sketchers in this narrow canal all sketching away! I just felt pure joy when sketching this scene sitting along with everyone else.

I then walked around the canal looking around for the next subject to sketch. I could have stopped anywhere and sketched since the place was filled with so much visual interest. But what caught my interest was the strong sun hitting the Deansgate station right above the canal. I sat in the small pedestrian island surrounded by passing cars and people and just sketched away. I even got to chat with a drunk person who mentioned he owned all the building that was in this area and that I should be happy for being allow to sketch them - I thought it was pretty funny.

The large sculpture at the station was quite nice but had no signs of the artist or the name. I found out the name through my Pokemon App - another funny situation. This got me thinking in that it might be actually pretty interesting to do a sketch crawl based purely on Pokemon Pokestops found in the app!

That night was the opening reception at the city hall and it was jam packed with sketchers from all around the world. I chatted with a few people over a drink, but also joined the many sketchers who were sketching the musicians - another site you rarely see at a socializing event like this! I found it funny and delightful at the same time :)

My workshop:
The following days I taught my work shop titled "Sketch NOW think later" three separate times at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - a fabulous place filled with old planes, cars, trains and machinery.

On morning before the workshop I sketched this building to warmup/relax. I think the drawing captures my emotional state - nervous and excited at the same time.  This cool looking building was just across the street from All Saints garden.

Now for the actual workshop experience, it was just pure intensity for me and I had such a blast!
I originally wanted to capture my experiences here in this posting too but noticed it'll be way too long. Once I get settled down a little more, I'd like to write this experience more in details on my personal blog.

But I do want to share the photos of 43 class participants from 19 different countries.
Thank you for being such great students and I learned so much from each one of you!
(and a Special thanks to Suma and Swasky for helping me to get the class rolling smoothly on my first class)

USk Manchester Symposium Workshop - July 28th AM 
USk Manchester Symposium WorkshopUSk Manchester Symposium Workshop - July 28th PM

USk Manchester Symposium WorkshopUSk Manchester Symposium Workshop - July 30th AM 

Drink and Draw:
After teaching, it was nice to be able to join the Drink and Draw sessions at Peveril of the Peak - the most drawn pub in Manchester for sure! Such a lovely place.

The canal area across the street from the pub and in front of the rain bar.
I found this perfect view and for some reason, there were no sketchers there. Well, it turned out to be an area completely filled with duck poop and not even a small space for a stool to sit down.
I found a small space to be able to just stand and worked on this sketch. 75 minutes of standing sketching on an empty stomach but somehow managed to finish without fainting...

Portrait sketch time with a few of my workshop participants also at the Peveril of the Peak : Carina, Jeffrey Rohit and Danni. At this time we were all completely starved but couldn't resist drawing too. We managed to get a sketch over a beer and some pub snacks. I would have stayed longer if it wasn't for my stomach sticking together due to hunger..

After the workshop, I found some time to capture some subjects I wanted to sketch.

Ohka plane at MOSI.
I've heard of these planes before but it was the first time seeing it in real life. Everyone's heard of Kamikaze planes during WWII but this is what Japan started building near the end of the war - basically a glider with a bomb attached to it with no escape hatchet. It's intriguing and absolutely insane at the same time.

At the Manchester Museum, I saw another thing very fascinating - Aquaponics. Basically a closed recirculating system to grow fish and plants.

I actually went to go sketch dinosaurs at the museum but the section was closed due to a wedding. bummer... The next closest subject was this Asian elephant which was also really fun to draw too.

And here's the last one done at the last sketchcrawl at All Saints Garden - Sketching my favorite iPad artist Rob Sketcherman. He's just a fun inspiring guy!

And afterwards was the wrap up reception where I got to catch up with a many old friends and also made a bunch of new friends too. Such great times!

The USk Symposium was so intense while it's happening, but it sure does fly by quickly - almost dream like. This was my 3rd time attending the Symposium (Portland/Barcelona) and I'm so glad I extended my trip to wind down and to continue sketching!

Thank you so much USk and Manchester - I had an amazing time!

Story to be continued to Part 3 - Liverpool/Edinburgh/Glasgow

Go to:
Part 1: London
Part 3: Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow





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