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

The USk Workshops Program

In an effort to foster educational opportunities for sketching enthusiasts, The Urban Sketchers Workshops Program supports artists interested in teaching urban sketching.

The program is an extension of our international urban sketching Symposiums. It aims to bring the educational experience of the Symposiums to any city where a qualified instructor can impart a workshop.

Urban Sketchers Workshops are taught by international and regional correspondents who contribute to our network of blog sites.

Workshops may vary, as their instructors do, in style and substance, but all share common goals: to focus on issues of artistic creation, such as drawing, composition, techniques and materials; and creative approaches, such as vision, expression, story-telling and reportage.

Workshops are conducted in outdoor and indoor urban settings relevant to the content of the class. Think of vista points with city views for a class about sketching panoramas, a busy city square for a workshop about drawing people in motion, or the interior of an old church to learn about perspective.

The workshop goal is to provide each participant with useful drawing instruction that they can apply to their urban sketching practice.

Each instructor is responsible for the organization of the workshop, including collecting registration fees, determining workshop location, hours and price.

Instructors donate a small percentage of the workshop revenue to the Urban Sketchers nonprofit and keep the rest to cover their expenses and honorarium.

Workshops are branded with the Urban Sketchers logo and advertised through Urban Sketchers blogs and social media.

The program is overseen by the Urban Sketchers Education Team. Team members are responsible for reviewing and approving workshop proposals and monitoring the quality of the workshops. Its members are professional artists and art educators.

Workshop guidelines:
  • Urban Sketchers requests well organized, accurately advertised workshops which engage participants in the art and practice of onsite drawing.
  • Knowledgeable instructors with experience in teaching or relevant professional practice of the workshop's subject matter are highly favored.
  • One-on-one interaction with participants is expected, with emphasis placed on education, instruction, and context (rather than simply being a co-participant of the workshop).
  • Instructors are expected to offer critiques of participants' work.
  • Instructors are expected to conduct workshops in a highly professional manner and exhibit respect and integrity for all the participants. Effective communication, appropriate workshop management and relevant course content and appropriate learning goals are a must.
  • Participants should receive a printed handout summarizing the content of the workshop, drawing tips and related exercises.
Urban Sketchers (USK) responsibility:
  • Advertise and promote workshop as an official Urban Sketchers Workshop through Urban Sketchers blogs and social media.
  • Instructor is given access to workshops blog site and added to the list of instructors along with a relevant biography.
  • Survey workshop participants after the workshop has taken place in an effort to promote success and provide instructors with useful feedback.
Intructors responsibility:
  • Conduct workshop on the date(s) planned and meet the workshop guidelines
  • Provide list of participants to Workshops Committee so they can be sent a questionaire after the workshop takes place
  • Report on the workshop experience doing a blog post on the workshop site within 15 days after workshop takes place
  • Donate 5 to 10 percent of the workshop's income to Urban Sketchers to support the non-profit's educational initiatives.

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