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 Sea of Pink in California

[By members of San Francisco Bay Area Urban Sketchers at the Women’s Marches]
 I started collecting sketches from the Women's Marches in the San Francisco Bay Area into a blogpost. Very quickly I was overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by the sheer number of sketchers who had documented these historic marches in big cities like San Francisco, as well as at smaller marches that may never show up in the final counted tally. So here, with very little or no comment, are only a few of those inspiring sketches from a historic day. 
- Suhita Shirodkar

(Sketch at the top of the page by Cathy McAuliffe in San Francisco)


Laurie Wigham in San Francisco
I went to a sign-making party the day before the march, but had no good ideas for signs so I ended up sketching the sign-makers.

At the rally before the march the crowds were so tightly packed that the only way I could sketch was by backing up against the wall of Brooks Hall.

Judith Heller in Oakland
Margo Rivera-Weiss in Oakland

Ceinwen Carney in Albany, Oakland and San Francisco (yes, three marches in one day!)

What a thrill to be part of this glorious day! No violence, no arrests--all joyful and energetic.

First in Albany, a small town just north of Berkeley (pop. c. 19,500)--On the various lists in the news that are using photos, subway totals, crowd-counting algorithms to calculate march size, Albany doesn't show up. That tells me there are probably many such towns all across the world that are not in the day's totals.

Next, Oakland, where numbers were so great that we were re-directed several times to an alternate route through town because the streets were already so full.
And, finally, San Francisco, where throngs were gathering in U.N. Plaza for speakers before a candlelight march down Market Street.

Vivian Aldridge in Oakland

It's hard to sketch and drum at the same time but I felt so elated to have been part of Sistah Boom in Oakland.

Oliver Hoeller in San Francisco

What a turnout! There were people everywhere in San Francisco's Civic Center in support of women and in protest against...I made this sketch from the library looking down onto the sprawling crowds.

Richard Sheppard in Santa Rosa
Although this was a protest march, this was not a somber crowd. Quite the contrary, people were laughing, smiling, and filled with joy and hope.

Ryan Chen in San Francisco
Demonstrators at Pioneer monument, Civic Center, during the Women's March.
Micaela Marsden in Oakland
I rode my bike all up and down the march route to document the numbers and sketched while listening to speeches.

Uma Kelkar in San Francisco
Post-march long lines at bus stops. For all those who came out, thank you! I needed to feel I belong, I needed to feel your urge to be kind and compassionate. I needed to see that you were shaken to the core when science is rebuffed, when lies are main stream. I am in awe. 7 continents. Let that sink in.

Guinnevere Courvoisier in San Francisco

Marianne McCraney in San Francisco

Diane Olivier in San Francisco

Catherine Mackey in San Francisco

 Cathy McAuliffe in Oakland and San Francisco
Saturday was the Women's March. A double header for me starting with the Oakland March and then the San Francisco March. Both were filled with a sense of purpose and common goal. Even the packed BART trains that day were wonderfully filled with pink hats, signs, kids, families and marchers of all ages. Very inspiring! 

 Suhita Shirodkar in San Jose
This slogan said it best. "I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept."





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