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

Puzzling Out The Picture NYC Workshop

[By Veronica Lawlor in NYC] Can't believe it's been two months since our May weekend workshop in NYC, Puzzling Out The Picture! Our planned for warm spring sunshine weekend didn't quite pan out, but the group was flexible and some wonderful work was done, as you can see from the Grand Central panoramic by Jennie Evans, above.
Thumbnail demo on-site.

The weather report predicted rain on Saturday, so we headed downtown to the Brookfield Plaza to start our work on picture making.

Our first lesson: thumb-nailing and exploring space. Brookfield Plaza was a great choice for this as there are entrances and exits everywhere, and the participants spread out to capture the essence of this urban space.

As it turned out, the rains never really materialized, so we had a nice time along the Hudson river waterfront as well, and made our way over to the 9/11 memorial and the Oculus building across the West Side highway after lunch.

Thumbnails by Susan Cornelis
 A page of thumbnails by Susan Cornelis - great teachers always make great students too, and she was really moving around to find the pictures in the scene.
Drawings by Judith Cassel-Mamet
The adventure journalist Judith Cassel-Mamet could only join for one day, but created some really fresh drawings with us on Saturday, above - notice the multiple entrances to the pictures.
Alice Flitter, left, Susan Cornelis, right
The beautiful Oculus building was a great spot to practice design.
Drawing at the Oculus and September 11th memorial.
NYC urban sketcher Luis couldn't stop drawing it, and some on-site help from the tourists added to the mix. :) 
Lecture in front of the Oculus.
A little visual inspiration from Brangwyn helped us think about how to incorporate people into the scene. It was a great first day, and we were hoping for the sunshine to continue on Sunday.
Pamela Tucker, Times Square thumbnails and drawing.
We hit the ground running at Times Square the next morning, adding color and of course, lots of people to our thumbnails and larger drawings, as the fantastic example by Pamela Tucker, above, illustrates well.
Trying to keep warm in the unseasonably cool May day.
We had a busy morning but, despite the sunshine, the early May weather felt more like a February chill - notice the parkas and winter coats - so the group decided on lunch at the Grand Central Station food court, and a final afternoon of work inside Grand Central. What a great decision - the lessons learned over the last day and a half really showed up during those last few hours. (Examples below.)
Alice Flitter, Grand Central Station
Claudia Schellenberg, NYC food truck and Grand Central people
Jan Campanelli, Grand Central panoramic
Pamela Tucker, Grand Central panoramic
Drawing Grand Central from many points of view.
Left to right: Luisa Sartori, Nora Somer, NYC USK leader Raylie Dunkel
Susan Cornelis, Grand Central panoramic

The final critique at Grand Central; bottom left art by Alice Flitter, other two drawings by participants.
(Please send me your credit info, the artists who made the drawings on the right and above - great work!)
Everyone in the group worked hard, and were very flexible in adapting to the various NYC locations that the weather pushed us to visit, which I appreciated. I know that the participants were tired by Sunday afternoon, but they kept on and really pulled it off. Thanks everyone, it was such a pleasure to work with you all, and an extra thank you to those of you who sent me your work to include in this post, and to Carol Ann Waugh for the photos.

Looking forward to the September edition of Puzzling Out The Picture NYC! :)




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