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

A Sketch Tour of The Irish and Welsh Coasts: Part 1

[By Róisín Curé around the Irish coast] Urban sketchers get the best gigs...this year I have been hired to sketch some of the loveliest places you can think of. I've been sent on five on-location sketching trips to stunning places: the one I'd like to show you here is part of the Bluefish project, a joint Irish-Welsh scientific project funded by the EU.

In August, and over the last ten days, I travelled around the Irish coast from Dingle in Co. Kerry south to Kilmore Quay in Co. Wexford, then north to Howth in Co. Dublin, stopping at many places along the way to discover martime businesses and the people who ran them. I had a fabulous partner-in-crime throughout all of this, a beautiful, funny woman from Co. Kerry called Sharon, who had designed the itinerary and planned who we were going to see. We met for the first time a few days before the project began, and immediately knew we were going to get along famously.

Here are a few of the gorgeous places in Ireland we visited. More in my next post.

I sketched the above aboard a mussel dredger of the coast of West Cork, sailing in sunshine past Jeremy Irons' very own castle tower near Baltimore on the southwest tip of Ireland...
The man on the left is Colin. On the right is Andrew, whose grandfather laid the ropes Andrew is now hauling out of the sea. We had a hard time finding Colin, despite the GPS lady's best efforts. "Rerouting..." was something we heard her say rather a lot. Sharon told Colin he was very hard to find. "Maybe that's the way we like it," he said, but as well as being beautiful Sharon is very charming and a hard worker- she insisted on helping to pack bags of mussels on board -  and by the end of the session he sent us each away with a bag of mussels for supper.

This was a stunning place beside a deep turquoise seawater lake, connected to the open ocean by the narrowest of inlets, sketching brightly coloured kayaks...It's Lough Hyne near Baltimore in West Cork. That's Sharon sitting perched on the rock.
Sharon's job was to interview the stakeholders in the businesses we encountered, and ask them if they had any feelings as to how climate change might affect them in years to come.

(Turned out it has already affected the majority of them. One crab fisherman in Co. Kerry said he didn't think it was a thing. Most people said they didn't have the education to know either way, that it could be natural cycles, or it could be something more serious. The more educated ones had all the answers. These three facts in themselves were interesting.)

The next one is on a beach in Co. Kerry, called Inch Strand. I knew I had to be fast with this one as the clouds were rolling in across the bay, the top of the hill on the left disappearing fast. There was a surf lesson going on - the little kids all wore green t-shirts - and it reminded me of my first days hitting the waves (I still hit the waves, but in the wrong direction, usually).

This is from Kilmore Quay in Co. Wexford. I felt very sorry for these beautiful animals. One crab managed to escape from its crate, landed with a thwack on the concrete floor, losing an arm in the process. It scuttled off to a corner but its hours were numbered either way. It was one of those "I think I'll become a vegan" days. Sharon didn't have quite the same emotion as me. For a joke, she thrust a lobster in the face of a burly worker, big claws open, you know the kind of lobster-factory joke, but dropped the poor creature. "I felt like such an eejit," she said. Having said that, we are both softies for animals, especially seagulls, and not only did we love watching the antics of the sea life but were able to buy Cool Stuff from the many souvenir shops we came across. Sharon went home with fridge magnets and things to dangle from rear-view mirrors; I bought a key ring or several. Chip-stealing seagulls, felt penguins in life jackets, articulated crabs, little brass anchors, mugs, hats - shop owners got very excited when they saw us approaching.

(The shells were already frozen when I sketched them but the crustaceans were all alive, which I think is obvious from the drawings. I'm really not joking about the vegan thing.)
In total we travelled to about 30 locations in Ireland and Wales and I made 37 ink and watercolour sketches of people at work, whether providing food, fun or fuel from the sea. Between three trips around the Irish and Welsh coasts and a workshop in Kent in between, I've been very busy, and I am still scanning the most recent sketches from the Wales leg of the trip. But if you'd like to read more, I will put them all up on my website in the days to come, and post more here too.

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