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

Color or not: last visit to a Georgia island

[By Marcia Milner-Brage on Little Saint Simons Island, Georgia, USA]
 When on this private island, an eco-resort, off the southern coast of Georgia, my joy is to bask in the purity of a wild place. My passion is to bike and draw, usually by myself. Alone, except for when I join my husband and the other 10-30 guests for meals around the communal table, the solitude rejuvenates me. Over the past 17 years, my husband and I have visited 14 times. For the past seven, I’ve done drawings.

On the Beach Road from the lodge to the seven-mile, pristine, white-sand beach, I came out of the maritime forest and pedaled along the salt marsh. The predominant cordgrass was aglow. This lowland, delta region is appropriately called the Golden Isles. An egret positioned itself perfectly within my view for the drawing at the top.

My husband John had told me before we arrived for this five day visit that he felt this would be our last trip to Little Saint Simons Island. Why? An intuition, he said. After living with him for 40 years, I knew to trust his instinct that it was time to move on.

Presuming that this would be my last visit, I sought to draw elements of the island that I had not previously pictured.

In the woods along Mosquito Creek near the lodge, surounded by palmettos, is this cottage. My guess it was built in the 1930s or 1940s. Now empty, this is where Casey, the head boat captain who pilots the skiff that brings guests from and to the adjoining island, lived until recently.

Sometimes, I do a lead-up, pencil sketch before launching into a larger, color drawing.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I need to invest myself in the two hours to do the larger, color drawing, especially if the pencil drawing does a reasonably satisfying job of capturing the scene. I do enjoy coloring with my wax pastels, although the older I get, the more exhausted I am at times by the effort.

Airline Road is a rutted path through the maritime forest. The path ends when it meets the marsh. Standing in these woods is perilous–the mosquitoes, even in these somewhat cooler months, are outrageous. Slathering myself with bug repellent offered negligible protection. There was no way that I was going to prolong my time there to do a color drawing. Paradise has its downside.

In the years that we have visited the island, there have been wonderful improvements. This recently built boardwalk leads to Norm’s Pond. Norm is the largest (of many) American alligators that are native to the island. Before, the path to visit Norm’s realm was a brambly slog. It's a wonderful place to peek in on the egrets that nest there in the springtime.

To pin down my composition for the subsequent wax pastel, I started with my go-to 5B pencil in pocket-size Moleskin. Again, was it worth it to do the two-hour color drawing when the black and white sketch conveyed a lot already about the place? 

Main Beach from the spit at low tide

Maybe I would have been better off pedaling on to Main Beach and doing some more quickie watercolors there. What do you think?

I've done two previous posts about Little Saint Simons Island: Fully Alive on a Wild Island and Return to a wild island.





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


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