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

Sketches at Geumsunsa Temple, Seoul

[By Lee Yong-hwan in Seoul, Korea]

  /Monks and congregators starting the service in praying hall, pen and watercolor, 
(21 x 29.6cm)/   

Scene in the process of the rite, pen and watercolor, (21 x 29.6cm)

After the first(symbolical washing the late souls and making them to hear the Buddha's words) and second(paying respects and praying to Buddha) procedure the chief monk, Buban, thanked for the cooperation of the believers for the new painting and other projects in the temple. pen and watercolor, (21 x 29.6cm)

The third step was undergoing. Participants prayed eternal peace in paradise of their ancestors, family members, friends or anonymous, nameless souls bowing and devoting with clean water. pen and watercolor, (21 x 29.6cm)

Another scene of the third step of the rite, pencil and watercolor, (21 x 29.6cm)

The last step of the rite for the deceased. pencil and watercolor, (21 x 29.6cm)

Yeonhwadang in the temple for the deads. The burying tradition was changed into the cremation one. Families visit there from time to time missing them. pen and watercolor, (29.6 x 42cm)

I sketched the scene of the cinerarium outdoor. pen and watercolor crayon, 
(29.6 x 42cm) 

Banyajeon(praying hall) where the service was held on, under which on first floor there 
are rooms for the temple stayers. pencil and watercolor, (29.6 x 42cm)

Entering the temple people could meet the two story Bell tower building, 
pencil and watercolor, (29.6 x 42cm)

Mokjeong cave, a historical space for praying. The stone cave has been loved by people since the King Jeongjo(1752-1800) of Joseon dynasty, pen and watercolor, (29.6 x 42cm)

Last Saturday, I visited Geumsunsa temple to join the Cheondo-jae that is a ceremony
offered for the deceased.
 At the time of the founding of Joseon dynasty royal monk Muhak established this temple, Geumsunsa, nearly 600 years ago. The temple locates in Gugi-dong, Jongno-gu, in front of the beautiful Bukhan mountain not far from downtown Seoul. So some climbers drop in to take rest having lunch and noodle served by the temple on Sundays except cold days.
In old days Korean people had been paying services for their ancestors on their anniversary annually and on the new year day and thanks giving day. Though it's symbolical for the descendants to spread foods and fruits on ceremonial table for their ancestors we've been remembering them through generations. These days some  families substitute the service with paying mass or christian service. And the new generation changes the food or fruits according to the present popular ones. In the service the names of the late ones are set on table. The names written on paper are substituted with photos nowadays.
On the wall over the painting lots of names are attached on a panel. At the last step the monks and congregators walk all around the praying hall together in a row and move to the furnace. We burn the names of the late souls wishing them to go to paradise. Participants bow praying their favorites' eternal peace.

Hearing that there would be a special service for the late ancestors. I decided to participate in it and to draw the process. It was not easy to see the process in detail because I had to take seat back of the room not to hinder others. I could get several by others' generous understanding about sketching but I added watercolor at home. If I had known about the process well enough to capture more in detail other scene would be drawn in different views.
In spite of the difficulty of the environment for sketching it was worthy to be in the process of rite for parents and to draw at the same time.





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