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 in New York City, September Edition

[By Veronica Lawlor in New York City, USA]  Just two weeks ago, I met with a very talented group of artists who came to New York City to participate in my Puzzling Out the Picture workshop. We had a full class of 16 people and wonderful summer weather. I felt lucky that we were able to enjoy the best of the city, as well as drawing on location together. 
We spent Friday evening together on the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, enjoying the sunset and wonderful skyline views from high above Central Park. (Cover drawing, above, by Chris Carter.)
Art by Ingrid Thomson
We also viewed this summer's roof garden commission: The Theater of Disappearanceby Adrian Villar Rojas. Some of us liked the exhibit more than others, but we all agreed, the people watching (and people drawing) that evening was fantastic, and it was nice to have a little social time to get to know each other. Plus I enjoyed the chance to have a sneak peek into everyone's sketchbooks before we began our workshop in earnest the next day.
Thumbnail drawings by Mitzi Beneck
The next morning was bright and sunny, and we met in Central Park's Bethesda Terrace, near the Angel of the Waters sculpture. The park was buzzing with tourists and locals alike, and after a  demonstration on picture dimension, everyone spent the morning moving around and thumb-nailing the scene in front of them. We looked for entrances and exits to the park, and situations that we could document. So many stories and so much life, what a great place to practice picture making, storytelling, and body language!
Thumbnails and extended drawing by Chris Carter
After the thumbnails and lunch al fresco at the Boathouse, we looked at a few master artists for inspiration before setting out to make some larger drawings and create more storytelling reportage. The park was in full swing: there were brides and grooms having their photos taken, musicians, street buskers, families, artists (including us,) rowboats and even a gondola! The afternoon flew by, and soon it was the end of the day and time to share what everyone had accomplished. What a talented group! Below are some more drawings from the day, emailed to me by some of the participants:
Drawing by Rajesh Dhawan
Drawing by Rajesh Dhawan
Drawing by Chris Carter
Drawing by Myania Moses
Drawing by Eva Weiss
Drawing by Myania Moses
Drawing by Lisa Zablocki
Drawings by Mitzi Beneck
Drawing by Mitzi Beneck
Drawing by Eva Weiss
Drawing by Eva Weiss
We really enjoyed seeing each other's work at the end of day critique, and there was a lot to see:
A lot of exciting drawings! Photo courtesy of Chris Carter.
The next day we ramped up the activity, and added some color for good measure, at the busiest crossroads of the city: Times Square! First, another demo, about picture making and selectivity on location:
Demo on location at Times Square, photo courtesy of Chris Carter.
Drawing upside down takes practice! ;) Everyone was feeling nervous about drawing such a busy scene but jumped in anyway, and we spent the day using our thumbnails to improvise and make artistic jazz with combinations of line, texture and color. And of course, lots of people. Without anyone really thinking about it, the thumbnails grew into larger and larger pictures, and soon enough everyone was creating reportage of Times Square on site. Wow! Some more samples below:
Drawing by Lisa Zablocki
Drawing by Lisa Zablocki
Drawing by Chris Carter.
Thumbnails by Eva Weiss.
Drawings by Eva Weiss.
Drawings by Myania Moses
Drawings by Myania Moses.

In the middle of the busy-ness of Times Square, we created our own artist's circle. I really enjoyed having a chance to meet so many artists from around the country. (Photo courtesy of Shay McClean.)
Drawing by Mitzi Beneck
Drawing by Mitzi Beneck

Drawings by Rajesh Dhawan
Drawing by Rajesh Dhawan
Again the day flew by. The art above is only a fraction of what was accomplished, as you can see from a glimpse of the sketchbooks in the critique photos below. It was such a magical weekend, I really enjoyed it; and I can't wait to do it again next month! (There are still some spots available in the October edition of the workshop, see HERE for more info.)
Thanks to everyone who joined the September edition of Puzzling Out The Picture - it was a pleasure to work with you all, and I was very impressed with what you did on location. Hope to see you again soon! xx Ronnie
Photo courtesy of Shay McClean
Photo courtesy of Shay McClean
Photo courtesy of Rajesh Dhawan





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