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

10 Sketches from the Land Down Under

[Stephanie Bower, Seattle] I am just back from three weeks in far-off Australia! It was an amazing opportunity to teach workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, and I also got to visit relatives in Adelaide and Canberra. All this, thanks to the fact that I was sort of adopted by a large group of friendly Aussie sketchers as we walked around Singapore before the 2015 symposium. What a great bunch of warm and talented people! It was wonderful to see those I met before and to make many new friends on this trip.

Below are 10 sketches from my Australia travels and a brief story about each!

First stop was Adelaide. This was a bright, sunny Sunday morning at the North Adelaide Baptist Church where my in-laws were married many years ago. We parked in the back, walked no more than 15 steps, and I found my view--probably a side of the church that few ever notice, but an amazing space between the buildings. It was great fun to hear the magpies sing at the same time the church choir was singing in to sketch by.

Also in Adelaide, the rellies walked me to a beautiful nearby billabong or water hole. This wasn't the prettiest gum tree, but the spot provided me a picnic table and some shade. I made this sketch really quickly, as we were roasting and I didn't want to make the relatives wait too long in the heat. 

It was really the only heat of the entire trip, as instead of finding late summer, I hit early fall...had rain and cool weather most of the places I went, so this sunny spot brings back some nice warm memories!

After only a few days, it was off to Melbourne and sketcher Angela Williams. Angela lives near the location for the workshop, the University of Melbourne--it was wonderful to get to stay with her and see her lovely sketches too!

Before the workshop, I walked to the Uni to scout locations and practice.  The sketch below was in the beautiful Old Quad on campus, really the perfect location for showing how I start a perspective sketch using the big shapes and to talk about ARCHES!! We had a really fun group, people came in from Canberra, Brisbane, and even Perth!

I also was honored with the opportunity to give a talk about sketching at the Melbourne offices of the famous engineering firm, Arup. Angela has worked here for 10 years and has gotten quite a few of her co-workers interested in sketching, so the turnout after work was great.

With only a few minutes before I had to be in Arup's office, this sketch was drawn very quickly in the wind and cold, and painted very minimally simply due to lack of time...but I really like how clean it is and how the linework stands out. It's one of my favorites of the trip.

The last day, Sunday, was an open sketchcrawl that had a GREAT turnout and some amazing sketches! 

I sketched this clock tower on the Old Arts building, as it had been calling to me for days. I like how this little sketch came out, as I actually managed to leave a lot of white on the page, giving me the opportunity to tell everyone that the hardest part of painting is where you DON'T paint!!

After Melbourne was one night in Canberra to see more rellies...Duncan and Kam were kind enough to take off from work and drive me around to see the sights...and they sat patiently while I did this sketch at the National Arboretum, a new, dramatic modern building. 

Much of the arboretum had been destroyed in fires some years back, so new trees from around the world are being planted. It will be gorgeous in oh, about 75 years...

Finally, Sydney and RooiPing Lim! Thanks so much to Rooi for encouraging me to do this trip, she was an amazing host! 

The workshops here were held in the old waterfront neighborhood called The Rocks. The rain held off until the last day, so we were able to wander and sketch the old buildings and alleys. I felt drawn to the views of the water and iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and did several sketches.

And these two views were on my last day in Australia...the morning from Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, where apparently she used to sit and wait for the ships to come in, and the other was later in the day up close to the opera house. It was raining, the wind was blowing (literally blew my paper away, I had to chase after it--must have looked like a crazy person), and I had to hurry to get back to the car... but I like this view as you can look into and even through the buildings.

I typically am a stickler for drawing AND painting on the spot, but this last sketch was done very late in the day after hours of teaching. I got it drawn and underpainted, but I confess, I finished painting it in the studio...oh well, I couldn't resist the drama of the skies...

All in all, a wonderful trip! Thanks so much to all, I am so grateful to have had this amazing opportunity!





USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=


[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=