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.

The Weekly Ocoee Florida Parking Lot Jam.


 By Thor, Orlando FL

Every Friday on the corner of Maguire and Colonial in Ocoee, musicians gather in the parking lot behind the Twisty Treat ice cream shop to perform Bluegrass music. This tradition began 25 years ago. Different musicians show up each week to sit in. Outside this tight circle of performers, locals in the know, stop out with their lawn chairs to watch. A large semi truck cab was parked nearby with it's loud diesel engine rumbling. He must have been parked there to watch. Children laughed from the windows of a white family van. My bet is this that parents had the heater on to stay warm.

The Ocoee Parking Lot Bluegrass Jam is a well-established, open jam and has welcomes pickers of all skill levels. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoy the Jams. It’s very much a place for families, young couples, retirees, children, pets, and tourists. Weather permitting the Jam begins every Friday evening at 6:30.

The orange glow lighting under the parking lot lamp was magical. On this night the temperate was down in the low 60's with a crisp wind to add a wind chill factor. When the musicians took a break to get another layer of clothes, I did the same. With a skull cap and wind breaker jacket, I was nice and toasty. I recognized most of the folk songs and sang along. "Will the Circle be Unbroken" seemed particularly appropriate sung by this tight knit circle of friends. Between songs they might ask about a musician who hadn't shown. It was clear they look out for each other.

This is one of the few old Florida traditions that remains in a digital age where the world speeds by. There is a comforting small town warmth that comes from watching this parking lot jam. It is like the feeling , had as a child when first watching a small town parade. Musicians and locals would catch up and chat between sets.

I worked on my Wacom tablet since I figured the computer CPU might help warm my hands. A banjo player complained the his fingers were cold. He later told me the he came to watch one of the parking lot jam sessions and one of the musicians walked up to him and asked, "Do you play banjo?" "Why yes, how did you know?" the man responded. "you look like a banjo player". Since the banjo was in his car, he ended up performing from that night onward.

Analog Artist Digital World

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