more fall you

fall in the arboretum
It’s Fall. Autumn. So the leaves are all changing. You expect that sort of thing. Hey, you might remember I sketched this scene (from a different angle) only a week or two ago when it was all still green (actually I left the trees white I think, so that doesn’t work), I didn’t even compeltely colour this one in, but it was so peaceful and colourful. The scene below, sketched last week in the Arboretum, was also colourful, but there’s only so much time to colour everything in. It wasn’t that colourful I suppose.
arboretum greenhouse

islamic center of davis

islamic center of davis

Another Davis building along Russell, a bit further down from the International Center. This is the Islamic Center of Davis, a strikingly light blue structure just opposite some campus dorms. This building, opened in 2008, replaced one that was demolished in 2006. I can talk about those long-ago dates now and yeah, I was living in Davis then. That’s what ten years in this town does, it makes you a local, you get to see all the changes. That said, I don’t remember the building here before. I don’t come up Russell that often, but I have sketched this center once before, back in early 2010.

enter the international center

international center uc davis

This is the International Center of UC Davis, under construction. I cycle by it each day, and have done since it was an empty lot. It’s at the edge of campus by Russell. Here is a website that shows what it will look like. We have a lot of international students on campus (I should know, I deal with a lot of their applications), but also scholars and indeed staff (I should know, I am one). This whole building is costing almost $30 million and will open by Fall 2016. I hope they keep that big pink sign of the man playing tennis.

I kept giggling at that sign about cross traffic not stopping. Presumably this means that polite traffic would stop?

There’s a lot of new building going on across campus right now. We need it to, with the student population increasing, especially international students. We are a growing university…

pea green soup

mrak & king from the arboretum
While walking in the UC Davis Arboretum earlier this week, I was greeted with an unbelievable sight. The entire creek and Lake Spafford was a bright, grassy green. It wasn’t the water itself, rather the green stuff floating on the surface. It wasn’t a sickly green, rather a very healthy looking green. It looked like the fairway of a golf course. So I did a quick sketch, which is below. You can see it in the sketch above as well, though in patches the water is visible and reflected the sky. Those scribbly dark areas are shadows.
arboretum uc davis
Just a little green. Or a lot of green. Anyway, the arboretum is a lovely place right now, with leaves turning autumnal colours and the change in the weather (pushing 90 a week ago, pushing 60/70 now). Ok, so back to the top sketch, this is a scene that I’ve sketched many times over the years. I watched this view change over the course of a few years, once per year, until it settled upon the current look, when I got bored and stopped. You will remember, I have been in Davis ten years now, and it’s not a big place, things will get sketched multiple times. This is King Hall, with Mrak Hall in the background. This used to be a view of Mrak alone. Here are the sketches; I really do feel like a sketch historian now…


mrak & king halls

mrak & king halls

mrak & king halls

mrak hall... with the law school ruining the view

mrak hall

mrak, seen from the creek

Coming next: a new sketch of the Bike Barn, which I have sketched about two million times…


Tercero Halls
These are the Tercero Residence Halls at UC Davis. They are colourful, and still pretty new. In the background, the other UC Davis water tower (no not that one, the other one). I stood here one lunchtime and sketched in the shade, the weather still being really warm at this late-October time of year (it suddenly turned cooler this week, at last). Now as you know I like to showcase the changes in Davis, and this is no different, so below is a sketch from the spring of 2012 of these halls’ predecessor, already closed and about to be destroyed forever. Today, it is much prettier.

pierce hall (being demolished)

walker hall

walker hall, uc davis

This is the old UC Davis building known as Walker Hall. I sketched it earlier this week at lunchtime while listening to the Football Weekly podcast, so my thoughts when looking at this are all about Arsene Wenger, Tim Sherwood, Jurgen Klopp. It’s always a bit tricky to sketch this building at lunchtime because the sun is invariably shining right behind it, losing it in shadow, but on this day I found a good spot out of the direct sun and sketched it anyway. Walker Hall was named after Harry Walker, who sounds like an east end pub landlord but was actually a professor of agricultural engineering. It still says Engineering above the door but they don’t do any engineering in there now.  In fact it is currently vacant, but there are plans to seismically refit and upgrade the building for new and much-needed lecture hall space (see this). I have sketched Walker Hall before from the other side, early last year (here’s the blog post), in panorama format:

panoramarathon 2014 walker hall sm

hart now hear

hart hall, uc davis

Hart Hall has a new sign. I have sketched this building many times, so this is a bit like telling an older joke that I have told before but with a slightly new twist. I’m all for that as you know. Maybe new people heard that joke for the first time and laughed. Maybe the same people heard it again and laughed again. Maybe nobody laughed at all, either because it wasn’t funny or because they just didn’t get it? Maybe I need to tell it again and again until people do get it. Well it’s the same with drawing Hart Hall (sort of), but this time there is an added detail, the new sign, coloured in to show it off. I like these new signs on campus. It took more than three years to get our new sign and it looks nice, nicer than the old plain orange one. Hart Hall. I used to have a drama teacher called Mr. Hart, he was not a fan of my jokes let me tell you. Once he angrily stopped a performance I was doing in class, in which I played a pretty spot-on and (I felt) serious performance as a down-and-out, just because when another character asked me my name I had said it was “Freddy Reddy”. I know people called Reddy! And Treddy! Ok maybe not Freddy Reddy but it’s not an entirely inconceivable name for a real person. It’s not like “Fredo Play-doh” or something, that would be ridiculous. Honestly, he just shut the whole thing down because I said my name was Freddy Reddy, because he assumed I wasn’t being serious. Not my fault everyone laughed inappropriately, including me. Poor old Freddy Reddy. I wonder what would have happened to Freddy Reddy if his character had been allowed to grow and develop, he might have made something of himself, picked himself out of the gutter, turned the laughter into nods of respect, but alas his life was cut short by an angry drama teacher in a purple top. So when I see Hart Hall, among the many many other things I think of (I have known much better Harts since then), I do think of Mr. Hart, and of good ol’ Freddy Reddy.