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

Kiwi Car Culture

[By Murray Dewhurst in Auckland]  
It's official, Aucklander's are car mad (no wonder we have such monumental traffic jams — the state of Auckland's roads and lack of public transport are evidence of that – but that's a story for another day). 

Over our summer I visited several local car shows, both with extremely different car cultures. These top two sketches were done at the Kumeu Classic Car and Hot Rod Show. Kumeu is out on the western fringe of Auckland, the so called land of the Westie. It's the ideal setting for a weekend of car culture. Car culture as in custom cruisers, low riders, rat rods, hot rods, hot dogs and custom pin striping. 

It's a very down to earth scene, we arrived around 10am and it was already time to get your shirt off, show off your fresh ink and take your favourite brew for a walk around the thousands of cars on display. The intriguing thing is that despite the rustic appearance that is on display on a human level, the money and effort put into the cars themselves is on a very different level. 

We had a great time, the young fella had a blast on the go karts, ate his fill of hot dogs, and I sketched the '56 Chev at the top and this pale blue FC Holden Station Sedan. This is a beaut Aussie classic and this one hasn't been restored, but even better it's in really good authentic original condition.

A few weeks later we were at the Ellerslie Intermarque Concours and Classic Car Show. The culture here is supposedly a bit more high-brow, so for the most part, everyone keeps their shirt on. At the end of the day though, and despite what anyone says they're really just the same petrol heads as you see at Kumeu!

The object of the concours game is to enter your car in the finest condition as possible. Entrants earn points for originality and condition and many of the cars on show are in much better condition than the day they left the showroom.

Ian, right, explained the ins and outs of restoring his Armstrong Siddeley Typhoon while I sketched. Owners are a resourceful bunch who do much of the work themselves to avoid costs getting completely out of hand.

Bergerac style Triumph Roadster

Car clubs can also enter for the team prize. A theme is set every year and this years theme was 'A classic day at the races' so clubs set themselves up with a race paddock theme.

I particularly liked the Monte Carlo rally winning Mini Cooper above and the Renault Gordini below it, both looking decidedly hard case with their big bug eyes.
Amongst the mind boggling selection of cars on display was the very cool 1904 Darracq as part of the Vintage Car Club display. Apparently Darracqs were a popular choice for early kiwi drivers. 

Gotta love the fins on the PA and PB Vauxhalls!
Holden had a superb team display, with an EK, a GTR XU-1 Torana and these two beauties – an electric blue '69 Monaro and a pale yellow FJ...

Well that's it for this years big shows. I'm looking forward to seeing what's on show next year!





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