The Varsity Theatre in Davis, drawn last Friday evening after work. I had considered finishing this at home with some additional colour, but I got back and realised I quite like it like this. This place shows a lot of art-house and independent movies, though I’ve only been to see a film there the once (An Inconvenient Truth back in 2006). In fact it only reopened back in 2006 (I was working at the bookstore acros the street the day it opened), but the building dates back to 1950. It makes this place feel very ‘Hill Valley’; I fully expect that it will be showing Jaws 19 with a holographic shark some time in the next four years (but only if Jaws 19 is considered art-house, which is unlikely. More likely we’ll see a Jaws reboot before then – you heard it here first!). People always have great memories of cinemas. For me they are like Tardises, you step inside and suddenly space and time mean nothing, I can never fathom how so many big screens fit into what look like fairly smallish buildings. They are full of memories too; sweeping movie moments, first (or last) dates, that smell of popcorn. This place is no different, is a beloved Davis part of the Davis community. I should know, I’ve drawn it enough times.
A few weeks ago we spent the weekend in Monterey, staying near Cannery Row. We like it down there – it’s a nice cool place to escape frm the central valley heat. The place we stayed at was a little noisy though, not just from traffic, but from seagulls, bloody seagulls all hours of the day and night. I love the sea, really really love it, I feel at home beside the big blue, but for the seagulls. Always folloiwng the trawler, thinking that sardines will be thrown into the sea, zut alors. Give me the things that swim below the waves. To see them, we went to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
This was the third time we’ve been. The first time was nice and relaxing, while the second time was less so (it was the addition of a constantly-running one-year-old, you see). This time was nicer; the one-year-old is now three, and a little more interested (but not as interested as he was in the trolley buses outside). I did what sketching I could (fish move pretty fast), and it was not easy in those large rooms with the deep sea tanks, it was dark and like drawing blind (and my green and blue microns were near invisible). That Ocean Sun Fish was an odd fish – absolutely huge, it was shaped more like an enormous chicken nugget than a fish.
The remnants of the old sardine canning industry can be seen here still, and there were lots of cool pipes and industrial features to draw. I love these sorts of things, they remind me of the game Mouse Trap. Thankfully, no little cage rattling down a pole, just a lot of people crowding in the gift shop.