Tag Archives: gallery

on a street where a tall man poses

1st st, davis
This panorama is from a week or so ago, drawn while sitting down on 1st Street on Martin Luther King Jr Day. I sat there sketching for nearly three hours, and still had to finish off the rest of the colour when I got home! It’s those trees, I am trying to look at all the branches, it’s maddening. But great fun, huh! I listened to some podcasts (history, football) and some music (spot the David Devant reference in this post’s title). This scene, latest in my ‘panoramarathon’, shows a row of fraternity houses (all part of Theta Xi, which as I’ve said before is probably the frat house for trainee cab drivers), ending up on the right with the John Natsoulas gallery. This is a whole block between D and E Streets. If you have never been to davis before, well looking through my sketchbook these days is getting to be a hand-drawn Streetview. On the far right (geographically not politically) you can see a large sculpture of a colourful looking figure, a tall man posing, with a head that looks like an old diving suit helmet. It glows up at night like a sentry guarding the entrance to downtown. I don’t know what aliens arriving here would think, but to be fair they would probably not be coming in off of I-80, they’d probably land their saucers in the Quad or beam into Central Park or something. I can’t speak for aliens (although in American terminology I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, I’m an Englishman in Davis, though I suppose I prefer ‘Briton’ or ‘Londoner’) (ok fine I’m a Martian I admit it).

Here is a closer view, for those without built-in Martian zoom-vision. There were a lot of red vehicles parked out on the street that day, I didn’t just paint them that way to break up the beige and white monotony.
Frat House plus Gallery
And this dry weather continues. Some trees are already starting to blossom. Temperatures have been in the high 70s all week.
Frat houses

More panoramas to come, but boy they eat up your time (or my time rather). I’ll have this book finished by the end of the month.

2013 art auction at the pence

pence art auction 2013 patio
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Pence Gallery‘s annual Art Auction as one of the contributing artists. It was the third year in a row that I have been invited to take part, in the auction; this year I submitted my panoramic sketch of the Davis Art Center (and it sold – many thanks Erie!!). I also went along (after a busy and late day at work; lots of those lately, hence lack of energy to post my sketches on time) with my sketching materials, and drew what I could. Last year I had sketched the patio from down below, this year I took the opportunity to sketch from above. The band was playing as the September evening got darker, and on the far wall is a huge mural currently being painted by artist Anthony Padillo, whom I had the fortune to meet while I was actually sketching this very scene.
pence art auction 2013

Soon it was time for the Auction itself, and this year I brought some bigger paper to sketch on. It is a real education in art, going to an art auction. I know that sounds obvious, well it is really, but there were some amazing artists on display, local and otherwise, including work by the celebrated late local ceramicist (and UCD art professor) Bob Arneson, and even an original print by the father of Art Nouveau, Alphonse Mucha. I sketched in a large Canson pad, and had some nice conversations afterwards. Always fun sketching events at the Pence!

art farm 2012

Gallery 625: ArtFarm 2012
Last Friday I was invited to sketch at a special event in Woodland, just north of Davis, called ‘Art Farm’. It is an event organized by Yolo Arts, held at Gallery 625, right by the courthouse in downtown Woodland (do you know, in seven years exactly of living in Davis I have never once been to downtown Woodland?). The main exhibit and auction (or Art Harvest) was made up of exceptional works of art by local artists, many of which were painted on location at farms around yolo county. These are organized monthly plein-air meetings called the Art & Ag Project – I’d been told about them before, but haven’t participated msyelf. Anyway, I was kindly invited to come and record the event in my particular sketching way, and for three solid hours I got to work.
ArtFarm2012: Good Humus
I was asked specifically to draw the table above, Good Humus, and it was such a colourful and friendly thing to draw. However, I did have to use every single one of my urban sketching skills to get this drawing. I had only a tiny spot of space, and I was sketching in a larger watercolour pad, surrounded by art-loving people carrying wine-glasses and plates and queuing up for arugula salad. I used x-ray vision to see through people for the stall, drawing it piece by piece as best as I could. I had to do the colours afterwards, there being no way I could stand in that crowd with my paints, but that meant taking some serious notes and mental images. All the while, I hummed David Devant songs to myself, and chatted amiably with people from the Yolo art world; “here’s my card”. I’m quite ecstatic about the results. I hope they are too!
Art Farm 2012 : welcomeArtFarm2012 Cache Creek stall
The remaining sketches were much less hectically achieved, but I bolted through them without stopping for a sip of wine or a nibble of cheese. I had been very nervous about this – my stomach was jumping about like a bag of kittens – after all it was a sketching job among some incredible artists, but as someone tweeted to me that day, “you have trained for this.” I kept thinking that phrase, of course I have, I do this stuff all the time. I stayed focused and relaxed, smiled, spoke freely where needed but didn’t get sidetracked. I missed a lot of the live auction – it was just too crowded, but at least I’d drawn the gallery exhibit before the people came – and I sat on the floor to draw the autumnal display at the entrance with the beloved brown pen. I managed a couple more people sketches too, one of Fred Manas, who tried to tempt me back into red-meat with his sausages (I declined, but I’m sure they are very nice), and the band’s very soulful singer Tessie, pink-haired and with Day-of-the-Dead make-up, who I captured very quickly halfway through their last number. The wine glass wasn’t mine, i was drawing someone else’s dregs, but thought it a nice way to close it out. On the whole this was a fun evening, I saw some familiar faces, and I am really glad to have been invited to be involved.
ArtFarm2012: Fred ManasArtFarm 2012Tessie @ ArtFarm 2012

And then I had to get home, and that is a whole ‘nother story. I might even write a comic about it, called “Running Frantically in the Dark”. Not to worry, it ends with me finally getting home and having some noodles for a midnight dinner, but I think next time I do something like this out of town I will have them call me a cab…

halfway up the stairs is a stair where I sit…

at the Pence Gallery

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I do have some original drawings still for sale at the Pence Gallery, in their gift shop area. Above are the Davis Lock and Safe drawing, Old City Hall and that one I did of Paris. You can find them at the Pence Gallery on D Street in Davis. Cheers!

http://www.pencegallery.org/

a look at the gallery

pence gallery, davis

This is the Pence Gallery where I had my show last month. I had wanted to go and draw the building properly for a while, as it’s a very interesting design, but usually the foliage hides it a bit (but I love January!). I started this on Tuesday lunchtime, and then finished it off last night at home. Canson watercolour paper with uniball vision micro pen and cotman watercolours.

Incidentally, if you missed the show, you can see all the drawings that were on display on this new page here: Pence Gallery Show December 2011. Hope you like it!

je pense, je pense, je pense

pence gallery on D street

The Pence Gallery on the right and Antiques Plus on the left, a view of D Street drawn one lunchtime a couple of weeks ago. That man really was hunched up like that working on his laptop. It seemed wrong to leave him out. Seemed a strange place to study, but who am I to talk, I hunch over my sketchbook around town all the time.

So I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but this December I will be having a show upstairs at the Pence Gallery, exhibiting many of my recent urban sketches. I’ll publicize it a little more widely as it draws near but I have been busy drawing away, still one or two sketches left to do but I’m getting there. They’re all sketches of Davis, places locals will recognize. Like this one. Stay tuned!