and now my life has changed in oh so many ways

Five years ago today I moved to the US, and we’ve been here ever since. Just thought I’d mention it.

It was a culture shock, for sure. One of the first things I did was not get my sketchbook out – I wasn’t drawing as much back then – but throw a pumpkin at the Santa Rosa harvest fair. I even blogged about it, back in 2005: So you know, I have moved a lot of the stuff from my old blog onto my one. There’s more to come, but my ‘letters from america’ are all there (which were weekly observations for the first year, and then tailed off), plus a lot of the sketchbloggery.

It’s been a journey (and it still is). I really miss family and friends (and chocolate bars) back home. I like it here though, and I like Americans, they’re very friendly. I have my own American family now. But I still say ‘zed’, and spell it ‘colour’, and drink endless cups of tea and eat baked beans and watch the footy and get grumpy about queues and say ‘innit’ and call everyone ‘mate’ and complain about the weather no matter how hot/cold it is. I’ll always be a Burnt Oaker. But I also say ‘diaper’ and ‘crosswalk’ and ‘RE-peat’ and carry hand-sanitizer around with me and … no, that’s it. But I’m slowly Americanizing. If I wasn’t, I’d have just written ‘Americanising’;I chose not to.

So to celebrate, today I cooked a nice typical British Sunday roast.

modern art makes me want to rock out

artfest guitarist artfest stradipearius

Last Friday I went out to the far western edge of Davis, to the fourth annual Stonegate Art Fest. It’s an exhibition of artwork – paintings, sculptures, photography – put on by the residents of the Stonegate area. I went to see the work of my colleague Rahman Azari and his wife (both are excellent artists), and do some sketching, and also spread the word about the upcoming Davis sketchcrawl on October 16. I met some interesting local artists and spent a lot of time talking, so only managed two sketches. I drew the guitarist (Kit Sodergren), who played an acoustic set; he was playing “If I Fell” by the Beatles as I sketched this. The other drawing is called “Stradipearius”, a piece by Eric Nelson which was part of the ‘box project’ the stonegate artists were invited to do. Each was given a small wooden box and asked to create something from it, with diverse results. Afterwards, I cycled home, through a Davis which is now full of people and new students, past frat houses which are ‘rushing’, and a downtown full of music and the excitement of the new school year. Summer is over*, and Fall is here at last.

(*when I say Summer is over, I say it while it’s like, 95 degrees outside)