the more i see, the more i know

bikebarn, uc davis

I wonder how many times I have sketched this building over the past few years? I don’t think I ever sketched it as directly head on as this. The UC Davis Bike Barn, drawn on Strathmore watercolour paper. I actually omitted one element from this drawing, a rather weedy looking mini-tree in the foreground that I didn’t want to draw, as it would take away from the detail of the building. I don’t like the tree anyway. I still miss the bigger tree that used to stand to the left of this drawing, which was a nice place to sit beneath and eat lunch or sketch, until it blew over in a big windstorm back in October 2006 (wow, I’ve been here a while). I remember that day; the smell of grassfires was everywhere, as the wind blew across the tinder-dry landscape (it has been a hellish hot summer), and trees were down, and fire tucks were busy. It’s always a shame when a big tree just goes. So it wasn’t really a shame for me to eliminate the small little tree from the drawing. It’s still there in real life.

It’s another hot Davis summer. Well, when I say hot I mean it’s been in the 90s, so therefore not a hot Davis summer. We’ve hit the hundreds a few times this year but not as often as in the past, thankfully. It’s still pretty toasty when you’re cycling home in it though. I’m not a fan of the heat, though it’s better than the bad weather I’ve had on my last two London trips. I’m Californian now, but still British enough to moan about the weather, hot or cold.


red hydrant, unplanted

Ever wondered what a fire hydrant looks like befre it’s plugged in? No? Well in case you were, here is one I spotted the other day, along with some others, ready to be inserted into the ground of whatever this new development is. I have cycled past this open space for years, watching the hares bound by and the snakes slither off, while kids on BMX bikes race over the bumpy dirt. however, the buildings have been slowly rising in this neck of Davis, and this land looks soon to be lost. And unusually for Davis it will have red fire hydrants (most of them are yellow, or white/blue on campus, except for a couple of red ones I spotted once). One was already plugged into the ground, like the flag of a conquering civilization (we should have put one on the Moon, that would confuse later generations).
Seen through the fence like this it looks a bit like a prison yard, with the hydrant doing press-ups or something. No, the anthropomorphizing of hydrants is silly (but might make a great comic).