a monday lunchtime sketch

university ave house, davis
So I wasn’t sketching enough in 2016 (and I still am not, for my liking…been occupied) but I resolved to sketch every lunchtime this week. I made it four out of five which is very much back on track. This house is on University Avenue, just off of campus, and I just had to stop and sketch it. I don’t know if it’s related to sports clubs on campus but there is a big wooden sign referencing UC Davis rugby above the windows. This is a very typical style of house for the older streets of Davis. This is roughly on the other side of the block from the sketch of A Street I posted earlier this week.

constructing the manetti shrem, part five

manetti shrem museum under construction jan 2015
The second of my 2016 sketches so far, continuing my documentation of UC Davis’s upcoming new art museum, the Manetti Shrem. The frame of the large metal canopy is up; this will look impressive from the air. Here (from the Manetti Shrem’s website) is a pre-visualized idea of how it will look: shremmuseum.ucdavis.edu/museum-design/index.html. I feel like I’ve been peering through the window at Christmas time waiting for a glimpse of the new toy display; I can’t wait to finally walk around inside. I’m going to keep documenting as it goes up, updating every couple of months or so, but in the meantime here is a little retrospective so far…


manetti shrem museum under constructionmanetti shrem museum under construction
shrem museum of art under constructionshrem museum of art (under construction)
shrem museum under construction june 2015shrem museum under construction april 2015
shrem museum under construction april 2015shrem museum under construction

bell free

belfry A-st jan16

This was the first sketch of 2016. Seems like ages ago – I’ve just not done as much, two sketches since new year. Come on Pete, no excuse! This is unlike me. Partly, I’ve been uninspired – what do you sketch in the town where you’ve sketched everything – also it’s been colder, rainier, which is no excuse really because I like it like that. I’ve been busy, but I’m always busy in January. I was happy to get out this one lunchtime though, and sketch this building on A Street. That’s “A” Street, not “a street”, oh I’ve done that whole thing before. Still it would be nice if it was actually called “a street”, and then “bee street”, “sea street”, followed by “the street” “he street” and “f*@! street”, and then “gee! street”. After that Davis downtown kinda ends so that game gets a bit boring. Still it’s always fun when people ask me the way to “a street” and I say, “sure, which street do you want” and so on. That never happens. It’s also fun when I ask people “which street is this” and they say “A” and I say “I said, which street is this” and they say “A” and I’m like, “WHICH STREET IS THIS” etc. That never happens either. Ok, the sketch. The Belfry. I’m not sure they have an actual bell in there, maybe a doorbell, or it may be in the rear building, which actually does look more like a belfry, I suppose. Actually it is the meeting place for the Christian Lutheran Episcopal Fellowship, no hang on it’s the Lutheran Christian Episcopal Fellowship, or is it the Lutheran Episcopal Christian Fellowship, yes I think that is the one. It’s a hard name to remember, but it’s important to get these things right, in case there is another group with one of those other very similar but totally different names (“splitters!”). They missed a trick not being called the Christian Lutheran Episcopal Fellowship though, because the acronym would have been “Clef”, giving them a possibly great musical symbol to use as a logo. Instead the Belfry has a very angular, almost runic symbol. They’re also the meeting place for the Christian Orthodox Fellowship, no I mean the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and the Unitarian Universalist Campus Ministry Group (ok, I give up). It is fun though to come up with humourous pretend names for religious groups to come up with funny acronyms, but I won’t share any here (because I haven’t thought of any yet).  So anyway, the Belfry is a religious place, so the bells are likely more spiritual in nature than actual bells (in fact you might say it is “bell-free”). Shame, who doesn’t like a good church bell ringing.

Anyway in case you are interested in whereabouts this is on A Street, here is a handy diagram showing some of my other A Street sketches. Click on it to see more detail. Looks like there are a few gaps I need to fill. Now I know what I can sketch this week!

A Street (East side)sm

fall or nothing

chemistry buildings, uc davis

When this time of year hits, we get that big explosion of colour before the weather finally comes and washes it all away. Sometimes the weather doesn’t come, and it’s been a hot year, but now the rain has started (well, it’s misty) and the winds are blowing away these bright leaves (well, they’re falling off in a slight breeze) so I’m posting these autumnal scenes from a couple of weeks ago at UC Davis. Above, the view of the Chemistry Buildings, surrounded by red and gold. A very UC Davis scene. Below is the view directly opposite, of Bainer Hall, home of Engineering. Slightly less bright colour but still glowing with the themes of Fall. But in each of these as you will no doubt have seen, two different types of UC Davis fire hydrant, in the signature white and blue. November is gone now, and we’re almost reaching mid-December, and have I done all my Christmas shopping? No, still more to do. What does everyone want?!? I know what I want – for the world to look like this forever! Well maybe not forever, but at least for a bit longer.

bainer hall, uc davis

the other side of the tracks

trackside center, davis

This is Trackside Center, on 3rd Street, Davis. Or the “under-threat” Trackside Center, as I must call it, for the developers are moving in. I’m not sure of the latest, but what is proposed is to demolish the existing building and build a large six-story complex with apartments and businesses, as well as basement parking, which is part of a plan to re-invigorate 3rd Street as a corridor to campus. Something along those lines, anyway. I sketched the above on the day before Thanksgiving, to capture the colours of autumn in their full glory – it really is spectacularly colourful here in northern California right now. It was chilly though, and the tips of my fingers were feeling numb. I show the railroad crossing – this is not called “Trackside” for nothing – though the tracks themselves were hard to see going across the street so they aren’t in the sketch.

trackside center, davis CA

For the sketch above, done a couple of weeks earlier, I focused more on the building. I’d wanted to do a full panorama, but I am panorama-shy lately (can never commit to the two to three hours it takes…) so only did half of it. I used to cycle past here so often on the way back home when I lived in south Davis. The building is covered in paintings of leafy landscapes.  Other than that, it’s not anything special, but is home to several good local businesses. That shop on the end is an amazing chocolate shop, I always bring boxes of their choccies home to England with me. If this all gets redeveloped, what will happen to them? I’ve watched progress happen in Davis – my barber on 3rd Street had to relocate to G Street and the old building has been replaced with something more modern (and frankly more solid looking) but it does look alright, and the cafe on the first floor has tables along the sidewalk which creates a, dare I use the cliche, ‘European’ feel. The problem with the proposed building at Trackside however is the size. In the top sketch, I’m showing you the view of sky, which would be gone. It is the residents of Old East Davis who have most to complain about. We don’t have a lot of tall buildings in Davis, and this would block the afternoon sunlight for a good deal of the surrounding residents. As I stood to sketch this, still largely unaware of the details of the project other than what was posted onto a telegraph pole across the street, a man eyed me warily, asking me if I was of the project. “Nah, I’m just a sketcher.” I feel a bit like the Watcher, from the Marvel Universe, there to observe the events but bound by an ancient code of my species not to get involved (plus I wear a toga, am completely bald and live on the Moon). He (the man, not the Watcher) told me a bit more about the proposal, saying it was very controversial and that the residents nearby are very unhappy about its height. Here is an article in the Davis Enterprise about the fight to save the Old East Davis area from over-development: http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/old-east-davis-fights-for-the-neighborhood/. I’ll follow the story, and sketch this building a bit more as its fate is determined.