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

USK Ed Event: Townsville Sketchfest - CANCELLED

Image credit: Gerakd Soworka 
Dear sketchers
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, I must unfortunately announce that Townsville Sketchest is cancelled for this year. This event was scheduled for Friday 5 - Sunday 7 June 2020 and also applies to the Magnetic Island sketch walk on Monday 8 June as well.
This is due to the current advice of the Queensland and Australian Governments with respect to the safety of public gatherings. Unfortunately, the requirement to cancel all non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 100 people (indoor events) and 500 people (outdoor events) applies to Townsville Sketchfest as due to your amazing support we had 130 attendees (ticket holders, artists and organisers). Further, flight availability and the mandatory two-week quarantine requirements for our overseas artists make it impossible to continue with the current program. Townsville Sketchfest also values the safety of our artists, attendees and volunteers above all else, and though this situation is extremely disappointing it is clearly not worth compounding the risk to our community.
I value artists and the economic impact that art tourism can bring to an area, especially a regional city like Townsville. To cancel this event is bitterly disappointing both in terms of withdrawing work for artists but also in delivering a financial boost to a city through an arts event. A great deal of time and effort has gone into this event and I would like to thank you for the support you've shown in selling the event out twice in mid January and late January! Please be assured that I will be seeking to program Townsville Sketchfest for June next year (tentative dates: 4-7 June 2021) once this current health crisis has abated. I will contact you directly once I have confirmed Townsville City Council's commitment to the event.
If you purchased a ticket this will be fully refunded though the Eventbrite system (i.e. to the credit card with which you made the purchase). Please be patient as I work through this process. As you can imagine, with so many events being cancelled the ticketing systems are under immense pressure.
Once again, thank you for your support and until we next sketch together - stay safe.
Michael Pope
Townsville Sketchfest and Urban Sketchers Townsville

5 – 7 June 2020 

If you've ever wanted to draw in a community, learn to draw or are looking for something new then join us for three days of drawing in Townsville and its surrounds. Grab your sketchbook, pens and come sketch for winter in the tropics.

Your ticket ($127.69 – $159.34 AUD) includes a selection of two workshops led by artists: Eleanor Doughty (USA), Vincent Desplanche (FR), Gary Geraths (USA), Peter Rush (Sydney), Carole Howlett (Townsville), Gerald Soworka (Townsville), Gai Copeman (Townsville), and Ron McBurnie (Townsville). In addition, it also gives you access to:

  • Official Townsville Sketchfest launch at Drill Hall Studio in conjunction with PechaKucha 20 x 20 (includes artist talks by each tutor in PK’s iconic format) 
  • Saturday sketch walk (CBD) 
  • Sunday sketch walk (The Strand) 
  • Eat, Drink & Draw event at Heritage Exchange 
  • Closing event at Drill Hall Studio 

See below for the schedule of Townsville Sketchfest. Workshop briefs, material lists, biographical information on each artist and tickets are available on link below. See the "details" section of the ticket for more information about the listed events.

Tickets available:
Image credit: Vincent Desplanche

Schedule of events 

Friday 5 June 2020
5 - 6 pm: Registration at Drill Hall Studio
6 for 6:30 pm: Official Townsville Sketchfest launch in conjunction with PechaKucha 20 x 20 event 

Saturday 6 June 2020
8:30 am: Briefing at Drill Hall Studio
9 - 11:30 am: Workshop
2 - 5 pm: Sketch walk (departs from The Drill Hall Studio)
6 pm: Eat, Drink & Draw

 *please note that Eat, Drink & Draw is an official event. This is simply an opportunity for sketchers to gather at a place to do as the name implies. The venue will be announced closer to the event.

Sunday 7 June 2020 
8:30 am: Briefing at Drill Hall Studio
9 - 11:30 am: Workshop
 2 - 5 pm: Sketch walk (departs from The Drill Hall Studio)
6 :30 pm: Closing event

Monday 8 June 2020
9:30 am - 3 pm: Sketch walk on Magnetic Island with Urban Sketchers Townsville.
 *ferry /bus ticket, lunch not included

Feel free to join Urban Sketchers Townsville for a sketch walk around Magnetic Island on the Monday after Townsville Sketchfest. We’ll sketch from Alma Bay for the relaxed drawers and the Forts Walk for the fitter types. Then on to Horseshoe Bay for some lunch. Please note this is a regular Urban Sketchers meet so is free for all to join and not an official part of the Townsville Sketchfest. You will need to purchase your own Sealink ferry and bus ticket. Join Urban Sketchers Townsville group on Facebook for details of the event. 

For further information please email:, or phone Michael Pope on: +61 409 871 977

Townsville Sketchfest is supported through the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Townsville Sketchfest would like to further thank all sponsors, volunteers and in kind supporters including The Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville, Sealink, The Drill Hall Studio, PechaKucha Townsville, Urban Sketchers Townsville, Heritage Exchange, Dave's Pizza Ovens, Tonoirs Espresso Bar and Insideout Architects.




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