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

Happy Birthday, City of Davis!

Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion, Davis

[By Pete Scully in Davis, California]

In March 2017, Davis celebrated a very special birthday - 100 years old! Which is pretty nice for a city founded in the 1860s, and I will be doing the same thing on my next birthday when I turn, you know, 29. In fact March 28th, 1917 was the date when Davis formally organized itself into 'city' status, and officially took on the name 'Davis' having for a long time been called 'Davisville'. People were shortening it to 'Davis' for about ten years up to that point, with the 'Davisville Enterprise' changing to 'Davis Enterprise' (still called that to this day) in 1906 and the postmaster angrily crossing out 'ville' on all the envelopes by 1907, so not to confuse us with Danville. The D-ville is in the details, as they say. So I organized a sketchcrawl last month to explore the old pre-1917 buildings of Davis, and here are some of my sketches from that day and a few others, to celebrate what was here at the time when Davisville became Davis. Above, a detail of the Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion on 2nd Street, built in 1875 as the home of the early postmaster, Mr. Dresbach; it was he who called the town 'Davisville' after Jerome and Mary Davis, who had previously owned the land upon which Davisville was built. After the Davis family sold up the Union Pacific railroad built a railway triangle here and from there the Davisville settlement grew.

3rd st copy max Davis CA
This building, near campus, dates from 1870 and is called the Eggleston House, one of the oldest structures in Davis. We think of these towns in California as being new and lacking in the history of our towns back home in Europe, but imagine this - when this little wooden house was built, the Franco-Prussian War was being fought. That's really old. This is a block from the UC Davis campus, founded in 1908 as the University State Farm.

bentley house, old north davis

This house, called the 'Bentley House' is in the Old North Davis neighbourhood, also known as the Bowers Addition. I've written a bit about the Old North on my sketchblog. The Bowers Addition to Davisville was laid out in 1913 north of 5th Street, but according to the plaque outside, the Bentley House dates from 1910.

masonic lodge, G St Davis

This is a building I have always overlooked, but discovered that it was a Masonic Lodge dating back to 1917, on old G Street. With the trees still relatively leafless you can make out the masonic symbol near the top. You know you're a proper city once the Freemasons build a lodge. Actually the Masons had been in Davis since 1873

richards underpass (1917)

This final one from 1917 is the Davis Subway, commonly called the 'Richards Underpass'. It acts as a gateway to the town, and is very popular with traffic wishing to slow down and wait in traffic for ages. In fact it was built in 1917 as a way of getting the Lincoln Highway to pass beneath the railroad. The Lincoln Highway was a historic road stretching from San Francisco to New York, passing Davis on the way. This subway is on the National Register of Historic Places.

I have drawn a lot more of "pre-City-of-Davis" Davis over the years and there is still more to sketch, so I created this handy map which I gave out at the sketchcrawl. If ever you are in Davis, why not download the pdf handout ( and start exploring our city's history for yourself!





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