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.


By Marcia Milner-Brage, Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA

The billionaire businessman Donald Trump is hoping to win the Iowa Republican Caucus on February 1st. He is campaigning to become the Republican presidential nominee.


This January 12th rally was in the West Gym at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, the town where I live. As my husband and I walked across campus, the chanting of demonstrators grew louder and louder. A hardy cluster carried placards that echoed their collective voice: “Bigots Can’t Be President. Bigots Can’t Be President. Bigots Can’t Be President. Muslims are our freinds”. It was a blistering cold night, temperatures were just below 0F (-18C). Before following the lines of Trump supporters and fellow curiosity seekers inside, I eked out a scribble with my ungloved hand.

Bigots Can't Be President

All—those with printed invitations or those without—had to pass through a metal detector and have the contents of pockets and satchels picked through by black uniformed police with ‘Secret Service’ labeling their bullet-proof vests. Each of my pens and water brushes were uncapped and inspected before I was allowed to enter.

We’d arrived two hours early to get a seat. From the balcony, I looked down at the gathering crowd standing below. Most kept their heavy winter coats and hats on. A glamorous, young woman, a runner-up in Trump's reality TV show “The Apprentice”, introduced the man who she proclaimed would be the next President of the United States, the man who is going to Make America Great Again.

Golden-haired Mr. Trump stood on the stage above the crowd. He teasingly berated Iowa for not giving him more of a lead in the polls against Senator Ted Cruz. “Come on, Iowa, you can do better." The crowd cheered when Trump threw out the carrot that he’d buy an Iowa farm, if the voters gave him the state. In his signature style, he made insulting or accusatory remarks about President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, the Press, former President Clinton, former Secretary of State Clinton, and Senator Sanders. Priding himself in never using a teleprompter, Trump pulled a piece of paper from his chest pocket and recited a poem, an allegory about protecting our borders from “bad people”. A woman saves the life of a snake, nurtures it, only to have the serpent deliver a lethal bite. “You knew I was a snake”, the snake tells her, as she succumbs to the foolishness of her naive, good intentions. “We will build a wall”, Trump promised.

Donald Trump at University of Northern Iowa, West Gym

During the hourlong speech, the crowd applauded, but never erupted in thunderous enthusiasm, as I had witnessed at the Bernie Sanders rally last month. No dissenters heckled. It wasn’t until Mr. Trump stepped down from the stage and the autograph-seekers surged towards him that the rally took on urgency and excitement. A phalanx of stone-faced bodyguards, the bulge of a gun under their suit coats, scrutinized the throng.


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