And now for a short break from France sketches to see a sketch from July 13th, which of course is the day before the French national holiday, Bastille Day. This is the UC Davis Bike Barn, yes, even looking like this. Regular tuners-in will remember I have drawn several times since taking up Davis sketching, but now it appears to be undergoing some reconstruction. It looks sad with the windows boarded up, but signposts indicate the Bike Barn is still operating during the building work. So much building work on campus right now…
Below are most of the sketches I have done of the Bike Barn over the past nine years, not including the ones of the other side of the building (which looks very similar). I wouldn’t mind, but I hate drawing bikes.
Above: September 2006, October 2006, January 2007.
Above: August 2007, January 2008, March 2009, April 2010
Above: January 2011, February 2011, August 2011, October 2013
Above: October 2013, March 2014 (x2)
More construction on the UC Davis campus, while I slowly scan (and finish in some cases) my French sketches. Long-memoried observers of my UC Davis sketch adventures (really, that sentence) will recall that I spent a lot of time a couple of years ago or so sketching the demise of the old Boiler Building. You can see those posts at petescully.com/tag/boiler-building. The space was assigned as the location of the brand new Music Recital Hall, which (thanks to a generous donation by the late alumna Ann Pitzer) will officially be called the Ann E. Pitzer Center. When complete, it will be a 399 seat concert venue (why 399? Definitely no room for 400? Bet there’s a bureaucracy reason, oh I love the bureaucracy. No, I actually do). It will also be a classroom space, which will have course schedulers gleefully rubbing their hands with their 400-capacity classes (ah, I see why it’s 399 seats now…). Anyway, I got back from Europe and saw that construction had finally begun, with the first concrete panels going up (top sketch). A week later (yesterday) the large concrete box was already sealed. I don’ know what the vertical lines around the edges signify, but they add a touch of interest into what currently looks like some sort of military installation. It won’t always look like that. Once the shiny glass and steel are added this will be one of the most attractive buildings on campus, and one of the first you see when you enter on Shields Avenue, in what will be known as the campus ‘Arts District’.
On the right, you can see how this spot used to look, in 2011. I miss the old Boiler Building, with its rusty pipes and sun-burnt tiles. You can find out more about the Pitzer Center here at arts.ucdavis.edu/pitzercenter. Here is how it will eventually look (pictures from the Davis Enterprise). I’ll be sketching its progress, so watch this space…
This is Tercero Dining Commons at UC Davis. At least I think it is, I’ve never been in there. Actually that isn’t true, I’ve been in the shop. I don’t know what the building with the funny protrusion from the roof is, I always thought it was a chapel or a giant periscope. This description is going well so far. I used to be a tour guide in London, and I tell you I was much smoother than this. “That is Buckingham House PALACE, Palace, where the King QUEEN lives, on your right LEFT is St. James’s Park GREEN PARK, Green Park, the only Royal Park with no grass FLOWERS, no flowers, Charles the First SECOND, I mean Second, got rid of them all, actually no it was his wife, there’s a funny story about that, no wait was it, hang on, here’s our stop. Oh hang on no, its the next one.” It was something like that. No, I was actually pretty good at it, except when being knocked down the stairs by branches of trees. It was an open top bus in central London, and those trees are vicious. I did have to know my stuff though, and spent hours researching the histories of buildings I might get in stuck in traffic next to. Sometimes here in Davis despite my many years here and my many observations, I do feel like I don’t really know what a lot of stuff actually is. Fire hydrants as you know are a fascination to me, but I have no idea how they work, not really. I’m sure they are more complicated than I think they are, but they’re so mysterious. The Varsity Theatre shows movies, but I have no idea how that works, or even what a movie is, it’s like magic. When I sketch a bar, I have no idea what anything is all about, I see people having conversations and it’s just like, what is that they are doing, one person says a thing, the other person says another thing, it’s just so otherworldly. Anyway, I was sketching this one lunchtime, listening to Football Weekly. I had neglected my urban sketching for a few weeks and felt great after I’d done it. Sketching helps brighten your day, even if it doesn’t make it make any more sense…
Well, that was annoying. It’s the day after the General Election in the UK, and, well, what a let down. I did manage to vote this time, from afar, little difference that it made. Anyway, I’ve not posted in a while as I did a little traveling (and also, you know, lazy), but I have a whole bunch of recent sketches to post so I’ll have them online soon. I went to LA, sketching beaches, bars, buildings and more hydrants. I also sketched more toys at home. But this one, well, it’s a quiet moment of repose, sketched at the rear of Hart Hall UC Davis early last week. Back in the UK, five more years of the Tories, but this time without any Lib-Dem cling-ons. Sigh.
This is Celeste Turner Wright Hall, a colourfully painted building on the UC Davis campus, home to the Main Theatre and to the Department of Theatre and Dance. Yes, that’s spelled “Theatre” not “Theater”. This building was named after Celeste Turner Wright, who was the first tenured female faculty member at UC Davis. She was also the first drama instructor on campus; you can find out more about her long and illustrious career here. This building was built in the 1960s and was famously photographed by Ansel Adams. In front there are a couple of Robert Arneson’s Eggheads called “Yin and Yang”. I sketched it last week at lunchtime, furiously drawing as much as possible. but added most of the colour later. Oh, click on the image if you want to see it larger.
Hey I thought you might like to see this, the first time I ever sketched it, which was back in November 2006. I remember doing this and loving playing with all the paint, still actually one of my favourite Davis sketches, mostly because it’s so different from what I do now, but also it was still that first year here, still discovering everything. Looking back, it really took me a lot of time to settle in, even though I worked both on campus and downtown and explored whenever I could, riding around on my bike in the stupid, ridiculous heat. Well, I’m still here, still exploring.
Another period of little sketching, but these are actually from a couple of weeks ago, though I never coloured them. The scene above, looking at Asmundsen Hall at UC Davis, now has a lot more bright pink blossom near it, which wasn’t there when I sketched it. It’s been warm and sunny lately, which is nice. Except we need rain because California is running out of water. A year’s worth left, say NASA. Ah. Yes, let’s have some big wet storms please. Below, Kerr Hall. I really wanted to colour this, but never did.