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".
Blog
Flickr

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

Sheffield's 1st 10x10 workshops

[by Lynne Chapman, in Sheffield, UK]

  On Saturday, we had the first two events of the Sheffield / Manchester 10 x 10 workshops to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Urban Sketchers. Exciting stuff. I decided to do two workshops in a single day, to make it easier for anyone travelling to Sheffield, which worked out well, as I had one participant who had come all the way from Vienna!! (Hello Gerlinde).

We met in the Winter Gardens, in the centre of Sheffield. I had 12 students, which was a really nice size group.

The morning's workshop, Stop, Look, Listen, looked at how to simplify the crazy overload of information you are faced with when you sit down to sketch. I brought loads of examples in my own sketchbooks and showed people techniques for building an overall impression of a particular space, by selecting and combining elements. Then we adding in a few ways to add to the sense of the 'life' of the venue and the captured moment, by adding in overheard snatches of conversation, sound effects or personal comment. When you really stop, look and listen, you notice lots of things you otherwise miss.



It was a really mixed range of abilities, with one real beginner, one person who'd not sketched for donkey's years, through to one or two people who were already very accomplished, but looking for new ideas.

In the afternoon, I had 12 students again, although they weren't all the same 12. Let it Flow was about how to get the best from concertina sketchbooks. I taught people techniques for flowing different kinds of subject matter together, even if they are fully painted sketches with backgrounds, to give more of the sense of an ongoing period of time spent somewhere, rather than separate 'snapshots'.



Everyone worked really hard and my complete novice was especially brave, staying with me the whole day and having a really good go at everything I threw at her (well done Paulina!). About 9 people of the 12 had booked for both workshops and so were with me all day. We were all pretty worn out by 5pm, from all that full-on concentration. It's especially tiring when someone is pushing you out of your comfort zone. It was really good fun though and I've had some lovely feedback. I was genuinely inspired by some of the fabulous work created.



There are still places left on many of our region's remaining workshops. Two more, run by me, are in Sheffield on August 12th (though the afternoon is sold out), the remainder are by my partners Simone Ridyard and Len Grant, and will happen in Manchester. If you want to get involved, contact Simone, as she is coordinating the bookings for us.

COMMENTS

|Faculty$type=blogging$ct=0$m=0$show=http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/usk-symposium-faculty.html

$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/usk-symposium-travel.html

USk News$type=blogging$ct=0$au=0$m=0$show=http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/drawingattention.html

[Blog]$type=one$count=7$comments=0$author=hide$show=http://testuskblog.blogspot.com/p/usk-blog.html

[Workshops Blog]$type=two$c=12$ct=0$m=0$show=http://www.urbansketchers.org/p/usk-workshops.html

Instructors$type=carousel$cat=0$show=http://testuskblog.blogspot.com/p/usk-workshops.html