Tag Archives: woodland

music and skateboards

Os Lorenzos sm
A few weeks ago I was invited by Yolo Arts to sketch in Woodland on a Friday evening, as the event sketcher for ‘Music On Main’, part of the 1st Friday Art Walk’s evening entertainments. My first stop was at Steve’s Pizzas on Main Street, where, in the courtyard at the back, a band called Os Lorenzos were playing jazzy tunes. I sketched for nearly an hour, got the musicians to sign the sketch, and moved on.
Acoustic Sanctuary sm
In the square outside Woodland Opera House was this odd looking little truck. “Acoustic Sanctuary” is the colourful vehicle of the one-man-band Winko Ljizz, usually resident in midtown Sacramento, whose purple truck is filled with musical instruments and enough stools for a small audience. I didn’t have time to sketch inside – I was scheduled to sketch skateboarders next and the evening was running away fast – but I’d like to sketch Winko performing his many instruments sometime.
Main St Skater sm
Part of Main Street was cordoned off for a special skateboarding demonstartion / competition, organized by the SorD Boardshop (“SorD” stands, ominously, for “Skate Or Die”, though I’d rather simply “Skate or Maybe Walk Or Ride a Bike, Thanks”). The young skateboarders zoomed all about making jumps and other sorts of jumps (I don’t know any skateboarding lingo) while onlookers looked on. I’ve never sketched skateboarders before – well they move so fast – so it was a fun challenge.
SorD skaters sm
And finally the sun set, but I had one more sketch to make. A three-man mariachi band called Trio Los Lafiras was moving about from place to place performing traditional Mexican songs. I started following them as I saw them walking down the street, and eventually they went into a brewpub and asked to perform a few songs. I tagged in behind them, big sketchbook in hand (I had bought a large format spiral bound Stillman and Birn ‘Alpha’ sketchbook for bigger sketches that I could take out if I needed, I really like that paper) nd told them I would sketch them as quickly as I could. They played three songs, giving me just enough time to sketch them all, paint in their yellow shirts and draw the brickwork too (I added the ‘spotlight’ detail after they’d finished), which was pretty bloody fast if I say so myself. Well, their music was excellent, truly brilliant. I can’t stress how much more fun it is sketching to music, but believe me sketching to a Mariachi band is so much more of a delight. I even knew the tunes they played (though mostly from their 1980s football terrace versions, admittedly). So a fun end to a very busy sketchy evening.
Trio Los Lafiras sm

Many thanks to Kristina Fong at Yolo Arts for giving me this great opportunity to sketch!

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…