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

London's new US embassy: two views

[By Lis Watkins and James Hobbs in London] By chance, Lis and James both drew London’s new US embassy last week: here are their different views of a rapidly changing area of the city. 

James: I worked in an office close to Nine Elms for several years, and have seen and drawn the area as it has been gradually transformed from its former industrial state. The new US embassy, designed by Kieran Timberlake, is hemmed in by a ring of noisy building sites, so it doesn’t yet seem like the attractive location the developers’ images suggest it will one day become. Is it “off location”, as President Trump tweeted? Now it may seem so, but new tube stations, a pedestrian/cycle river crossing and the traditional (unaffordable) housing will make it seem a different place, just as the King’s Cross area on the other side of town is in the process of being utterly transformed. The new embassy is hardly remote: it is within sight of the Houses of Parliament and as close to it as the old US Embassy in staid Mayfair. The Dutch embassy is moving to Nine Elms, and there are rumours the Chinese one may come too.

My drawing of the embassy (below) includes a glimpse of the Tower, a 50-storey apartment block next to the river. It has no affordable housing, and has remained, since completion in 2013, largely unoccupied.


Lis: Surrounded by busy roads and new building developments, the newly opened embassy looks essentially like a big cube, with three sides adorned by a decorative structure of metal rods, supporting large transparent film shapes. Its location at Nine Elms is close to the Thames, between the MI6 building at Vauxhall and Battersea Power Station, which is also a hive of major development at the moment.


It was a cold Friday afternoon when I was there (top image and above) and most of the people walking past as I drew looked like they were working on one building site or another. There don’t appear to be an awful lot of shops, just a small Tesco Express supermarket and a couple of restaurants hiding underneath one of the tall blocks nearby, so it will be interesting to see if the area, which the developers call 'London’s Diplomatic Precinct', can soften a little with the addition of more greenery. According to the architects who built the embassy, eventually there will be a 'pedestrian greenway' extending all the way from Vauxhall station to Battersea, which will really open the area up to visitors.

Lis Watkins and James Hobbs both draw with Urban Sketchers London.

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 2
Loading...

|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