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 3 - Finale! : Liverpool, Edinburgh & Glasgow

[By Mike Daikubara in UK] The day after the USk Symposium, my family and I headed to Liverpool to spend a day touring around the renowned birth place of the Beatles.  I haven't listened to the Beatles in a while but listening to albums such as Abby Road on the train ride to Liverpool quickly brought back great memories.

First stop was 'The Beatles Story' - a massive exhibition that showed pretty much everything about the band and their lives. It was a self guiding tour where you rented out headsets to hear stories about the exhibition. I came here to sketch so I didn't rent a head set - probably the only one inside without a headset.

This sketch is the recreated stage of the old Cavern club where the Beatles performed over 300 times.

The Beatles Story 

Next was this huge yellow shape inside the Yellow Submarine section.
The Beatles Story 

Later on at a gift shop I found this really cool sculpture called the Super Lambanana and fell in love with it right away. Learning that it was an actual sculpture installed in the city, I had to go check it out!  2 in a row I ended up drawing a really big orange/yellow object!
Super Lambanana 

My last sketch before it got dark - a really nice looking building which actually housed a modern hotel.

Our hotel was a hotel inspired by the Beatles. They didn't have a room for 3 people so we ended up getting 2 rooms and my room was really nice - recently renovated and even had a balcony. I loved the whole Beatles theme in the room.
Hard Days Night Hotel 

Next morning: a quick sketch of a building across the train station before our train to Edinburgh. 

On the train my wife & mother in law played cards. During the trip we were handed drinks and food and this pork pie was just amazing! The yellow mustard made it taste real good too.

In Edinburgh, our first stop was to go see the Edinburgh Castle. It's on top of a cliff overlooking the city and was massive.
Edinburgh Castle 

 The city view out of the cannon holes were impressive.Edinburgh Castle

Walking around, there were so many wonderful subjects to sketch so with my limited time I had to be real selective. This room with the fireplace, red walls and armory really caught my attention. Since there were a lot of people I stood to the corner out of the way of people and worked on this sketch.
As I was beginning to color, one of the employees began chatting with me about my sketch and my tools and then asked me if I wanted to come inside the blocked off area to sit! wow, I was really happy with this since I'm mostly used to people telling me I can't sketch inside especially inside these historic sites.
Edinburgh Castle

Here's the friendly employee that let me sit at a bench inside the blocked off area so I could finish my sketch!
Edinburgh Castle 

Here's a view overlooking the city. I was fascinated with this cemetery created just for dogs!
Edinburgh Castle

Here's a scene from the gun that gets fired everyday at 1pm.
My wife/mother in law had reserved a nice spot 30 minutes before and I was able to slip in the very last minute!
Edinburgh Castle 

So much much to see on the 'Royal Mile' - real fun!
At the end of the Royal mile was the Palace of HolyRoodhouse - the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

Panoramic sketch to wrap up the day. The Edinburgh International Festival was starting next week - I wish I could have checked it out.

Next day: Early morning sketch out of my hotel window before leaving to go to Glasgow.

The trip to Glasgow was smooth and easy. After checking in, I asked for a recommendation to a nice lunch place that served Scottish food and was recommended here.
Food was good and the atmosphere real nice - but I was hoping for something a little more different...

Down the street was the Gallery of Modern Art - I've seen this cone sculpture before and didn't know it was real!

In the city center was this beautiful park with tons of sculptures.  I found it entertaining in that every single sculpture had a bird sitting on the head!

Below is the last sketch with a flight back to Boston: the first time attempting this progress view out of the plane window- I've seen many USkers do this and wanted to give it a try :)

Well that is it - wrapping up my 16 day UK trip.

Hope you enjoyed these as much as I enjoyed sketching these and thanks for looking.
What a wonderful country - Definitely would like to be back again!


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Part 1: London
Part 2: Manchester




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