down the market

davis farmers market
musicians at the farmers marketI don’t go very often to the Davis Farmer’s Market. It’s not very big – not compared with the sort of markets I used to go to in London, Belgium, France – but it can be pretty busy, with lots of things going on. Because it takes place in Central Park, Davis, between two playground, there are always lots of kids and parents about, it’s very much a family place. There is a carousel, and people making balloon swords and dogs, and organic chocolate, and so on.  

There is usually music too, and so I sat and tried to sketch the musicians, very quickly.

Then I sketched the market itself, and look at me drawing loads of people! I am inspired by the symposium, you see. It’s hard to believe it was a month ago already! That means it’s only eleven months until the next one (in Lisbon).

I must confess, when I was a kid I hated markets. I hated being dragged around them, that slow walking, looking at stuff I was just never that interested in. Car boot sales were one thing, regular markets another, but I didn’t like any of them. The Saturday Market in my native Burnt Oak I hated, accessible via an old alley and piss-slippery steps. I remember going to Chapel Street or Church Street or one of them as a kid, pretty young I was, and stopping at a Pie and Mash shop afterwards and throwing up (I hate pie and mash too; some cockney I am). Then there was Wembley market, a gargantuan affair clustered in the shadow of the stadium, my enduring memory of it being so packed all I could see were people’s behinds, all those people at Wembley without the excitement of seeing an actual football match. I got tall, and still avoided markets (and Camden Town station on a Sunday), but I did learn to appreciate them when I lived on the continent: the one in Charleroi which covered the entire town on Sundays, the near-daily ones in Aix which were always better places to buy food than the stores, that amazing one in central Munich with beer and wurst and music everywhere. These helped me enjoy the markets back in London more: Borough, Portobello, Spitalfields. Next time I’m back, I’ll probably sketch them. I still don’t like crowds, but (since sketching the market in Portland) I’m getting more excited about sketching markets as important places of human existence. (Well, I say that now…) 

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