Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

"Since I was a child, I have always loved drawing. As an architect, I was trained to sketch on site in my first year of my studies. I have always considered sketching a wonderful tool in my job to understand things, more in the field of spatial relations than in their material aspect. On the other hand, I have always brought a sketchbook with me in my travels as a much more effective way of keeping a memory than a photograph. But lately my travel sketches tended to be too few and too quick. I have recently found Urban Sketchers, and then discovered the immense joy of sketching outside with no particular task. Reading Usk’s manifesto, I feel especially sensitive with the point of keeping a record of time and place, and I’m changing from sketching just architecture to understand the city as a big scenario for human activity. I live in Málaga, a city in the south of Spain with more than half a million residents and 2,500 years of age; but also the center of a busy and lively metropolitan area, home of an active harbour and a big tourist destination. Now that I have two small children and I do not travel as much as before, I’m trying to show this mixture of old and new in my drawings. It is so rewarding to share my work with so many excellent artists and receive continuous feedback from other members! And, last but not least, to learn from other parts of the world. I'm delighted to join Urban Sketchers." • Luis' art on flickr.

My Vacation at the Beach



A few weeks ago I had 2 wonderful relaxing weeks at the beach - at Port Macquarie (4 hours drive north of Sydney). I do not fit the classic picture of an Australian as I rarely get to the beach so you can't imagine what a treat it was to be offered my aunts flat for a fortnight. I swam more times in the first week than I have for a decade (yes, once a year swim is all that I manage to do- shocking) and felt so incredibly refreshed and revived as a result. Each morning for the first week I would go for a walk, a swim before breakfast and do a sketch (of course) This is a sketch from my first morning.



I have always had a love for rocks - and the beaches at 'Port' are dominated by dark and dramatic rocks. I soon became addicted to sketching them morning and afternoon.


I realised during that week that I wasn't quite sure the best way to handle beach scenes and waves but as the week progressed I observed more and started to work it out for myself. This is one of my more abstract pieces that first week.



Then we got hit by the end of the terrible storm (Cyclone Oswald) that struck Queensland on Australia Day.



The sea got rough and brown and sea foam appeared on the beaches (not covered metres high like other places got) This ocean was mainly white so I approached my paintings a lot differently...making sure that I used the white of the paper more.


By the end of that second week I could swim again but regardless of the weather I went out to paint. The full set of my sketches is here on flickr.

I know that these are not really 'urban' but I really learnt so much during this vacation that I am sure the benefits will be apparent now that I am back to my urban life and sketching. I did intend to be using the beach for life drawing... but early morning and late afternoon the beaches were so deserted (something I am NOT going to complain of). I am not even going to mention that there was a nearby tearoom as well that I visited nearly every day.....

I wish I was back there now (I can't express in words how relaxed and buzzing I was at the same time doing these paintings!).... Actually I just have to find the time and start my beaches of Sydney series! After all Sydney has the most impressive collection of beautiful beaches - supposedly well over 100 beaches - some surf some harbour beaches! wow! that will keep me going for a while!

I hope these sunny scenes will warm those of you in cold conditions right now! And if I could I would send you some of the Port Macquarie sun your way!

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