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

National Historical Museum - Colonial Chile

[by Erika Brandner in Santiago de Chile]

Couple from the colonial high society in Chile - XVI Century

  I made these sketches in the National Historical Museum located downtown Santiago de Chile. Right in the "Plaza de Armas” or main square of Santiago city. The museum shows the history of Chile from the pre-Columbian era (15000 BC) to the government of Salvador Allende.
The museum is not so big but in its 15 rooms there is so much visual and written information that I was able to sketch only one period the first one: the "Colonial Chile. From 1600 to 1810, beginning with the Destruction of the Seven Cities and ending with the onset of the Chilean War of Independence. During this time the Chilean heartland was ruled by Captaincy General of Chile. The period was characterized by a lengthy conflict between Spaniards and native Mapuches known as the Arauco War.

Erika Brandner sketching on a very sunny day with ink and water brush the Historical Museum of Chile

The building where the National Historical Museum is located was built by the Chilean architect Juan José de Goycolea and Zañartu in Neoclassical style (as almost all Santiago where the French influence was very strong in the 19th century). It was the first National Congress, the Royal Court and Government House (until it was moved to the Palace of the Coin).
The museum as such was created at the beginning of the 20th century with collections from the  former Indigenous Historical Museum, the Historical Gallery of the National Museum and the Military Museum.

Building of the National Historical Museum - sketch made with ink pen and brush pen by Erika Brandner

In the 16th century, the Spanish Crown was the first European power of the 16th century. And in Southamercia, one of the practices of the king were to give land grants and the encomiendas, which gave rise to the latifundium. The Land Grant (from 400 to 600 blocks) was given according to the warrior merit. The encomiendas were groups of indigenous people that were assigned to an owner of a grant to work the land. To the rhythm of the economy of the wheat, the ruling class acquired wealth, power and prestige and the "People" became a peasant.
"Collections" sketch of metal and carved wood stirrups - Silver Mate and Candlesnuffer - XIV Century 

During the colonial period, Chile depended of the archdiocese of Lima. In Chile were diosesis of Santiago and Concepción. The highest authority was the bishop.The orders that came to evangelize were:

The Dominicans: 
Fray Bartolomé de las Casas was one of the first orders and tried to defend the indigenous peoples from the abuses of the Spaniards.
The Franciscans:
They carried out mass baptisms to indigenous peoples. They made a strong missionary work to the "Indians" and they had evangelization schools.
The Jesuits:
They made an intense educational work. They worked with great diligence and economic activities were carried out. Their power led the King to expel them of America in 1767. One of their priests, father Luis de Valdivia played an important role by trying to implement a policy of defensive war  to avoid the conflict with the Mapuche and achieve peace.
"Collections" of catholic religuous items: Cross, bells, custody, etc.

The only piece I sketched that was around modernity was the Bridge of Cal y Canto. The classicism of the 19th century is also reflected in the works of urban infrastructure. The construction has a neoclassical architectural style with engineering logic, rationalism and simple, clear and rigid to optimize its functionality. In this sketch of the scale model of the bridge I also included the jacket of Ambrosio O'Higgins, the biological father of Bernardo O'Higgins, who is known as the "Father of the land" Chile.




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