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

We Marched for Hope

[By members of Urban Sketchers Seattle at the Women’s Marches in Seattle and Olympia]

Tina Koyama:

I am generally not politically vocal. I prefer one-on-one conversations to public expression. Whenever possible, I avoid large crowds. But I have deep concern about the U.S. being led by a man whose values support so many things I abhor. Despite every cell in my body telling me to stay home, I decided to participate in Seattle’s Women’s March with the hope that the event would help me turn my anger and fear into a more productive energy.

Joining 130,000 Seattleites at what turned out to be the largest gathering in the city’s history, I felt an immense bond with all the women and men who share my concerns and fears. Watching media coverage of similar marches around the world, I was deeply moved by the enormous solidarity demonstrated. I came home from the event feeling hopeful that we have the collective strength to take positive action.
Tina Koyama

Tina Koyama

Jane Wingfield:

It was drizzling when we parked and started walking towards the Capitol grounds. We could hear cheers and drumming as we got closer. Then, gradually the sun broke through the clouds, and waves of marchers and signs poured towards us. There was joy and happiness and empowerment flowing through the streets of Olympia. Our theme song was “Lead with Love” by Melanie DeMore, whose chorus rings with freedom and justice:  

You gotta put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.
Put one foot in front of the other and lead with love.
Don’t give up hope.
You’re not alone
Don’t you give up.
Keep movin’ on.’

And that’s exactly what I plan to do, one step at a time. 

Jane Wingfield
Jane Wingfield
Jane Wingfield

David Hingtgen:

Yesterday we made our way to the march on a bus packed with families and pink hats. There was a strong sense of cordiality and unity as strangers struck up conversations. Departing the bus, we hiked up the hill to the crowd and waited for the march to start. We waited for the first wave to pass for the end to come. After waiting an hour with no end in sight we jumped and made our way to the Seattle Center on a beautiful sunny day. It was a fairly quiet crowd with intermittent waves of shouts surging from behind and passing us. For me it was very reassuring to be with so many other like-minded citizens.

David Hingtgen

David Hingtgen

David Hingtgen

Susan Miller:

I left West Seattle early to sketch at Judkins Park. The No. 21 bus has probably never before been standing-room-only at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, nor felt like a party bus, with everyone chatting and bonding. And I can state categorically that I have never before packed Opera pink to go sketching in Seattle in January.

Susan Miller

Kate Buike:

"So bad, even introverts are here." That sign seen in a photo from the DC march sums it up for me. I don't like crowds. This was not the first march in which I've participated but it was by far the largest. Except for a few religious zealots yelling at us, the crowd was relatively quiet and very upbeat. I found it a rather joyous atmosphere despite the reason that brought us out.

Kate Buike
Kate Buike 

Gail Wong:

It was a bright sunny morning, pink Pussyhats everywhere. Every so often you could hear a roar starting up like a wave coming up the hill and passing over us. It was truly an amazing experience. I broke off from the march at the public library to search for a view overlooking the march.

Gail Wong
Gail Wong

Antonella Pavese:

These were made at Judkins Park while listening to the speeches and waiting (2 hours!!) to exit the square. It was a long, exhausting and exciting day. I wasn't expecting that many people and the diversity of messages and representation at the march.

Antonella Pavese

Antonella Pavese

Dave Somers:

My wife and I joined a herd of friends for the Seattle Women's March. The crowd was stunning. It was VERY large, high energy, happy and pleasant, though resolute in the feelings that brought them to the march in the first place. All my sketches were made at Judkins Park since we had a lot of waiting time before we started moving. It was packed tight with people and signs and activity. 

Dave Somers





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