that was twenty eleven

toy planeAnd so 2011 draws to a close.

I was afraid that the world would be ending tonight, because my calendar has no more days in it after December 31st, but I guess I’ll just get a new calendar tomorrow (see, Mayans?). This has been a very busy year, and it still seems so weird to be talking about twenty-eleven, which used to be just a year so far into the future, and now it’s over. I’m fully expecting hoverboards sometime in the next few years.

Anyway as some sort of retrospective, here’s a run-down of what I did art-wise this year:

January: ArtAbout at Armadillo. I exhibited some sketchbooks and prints at Armadillo Music in downtown Davisas part of the 2nd Friday Art About. This was a great evening, with music by the popular country musician Rita Hosking (who lives in Davis). I also got written about in Davis Life magazine by Walking Bob Schultz.

artabout jan 14Rita Hosking and her bandAndy the fiddler

April: Artery show ‘8×8 Small Is Great’. I contributed one piece for this group exhibition at local art co-op The Artery, ‘Miscellaneous Details’, and it sold! I went by to do some sketching and met more great Davis art folks.

May: ‘The Revengers’, background art. I drew some pictures for my actor/director friend Simon Nader in London who was staging a play called The Revengers. The ‘Avengers’ themed drawings were part of the background of the set.

hat"miscellaneous details" at arteryumbrella hilt

July: Urban Sketching Symposium: in July I flew to Lisbon to meet up with nearly 200 other urban sketchers from across the globe (all continents represented!) to take part in the 2nd International Urban Sketching Symposium. Lisbon’s an incredible city, and I learnt so much from being around all the other urban sketchers whose work I have admired over the years. And there were lots of fire hydrants!

contrastes rua bicaLisbon perspectives sketchcbookshydrant rua santa justa

August: Pence Gallery Art Auction. I contributed a drawing of the UC Davis Arboretum for the 2011 Art Auction (and it sold!).

August: Dr. Johnson’s House cards were produced (on sale at Dr. Johnson’s House museum in London). The kind folk at the Johnson house sent me a pack of the cards, they look great!

arboretum bridge at pence gallery auctionjohnson house and hodge the cat

November: Davis Library display. I exhibited sketchbooks and drawings in the display cabinet at the Davis Public Library for the month of November. That was fun!

November: ArtAbout at the Avid Reader. I displayed some sketchbooks and prints at the Avid Reader bookstore in downtown Davis for the 2nd Friday Art About, on 11/11/11.

Sketchbook display at Davis Public Library11-11-11 art about event!ArtAbout 11-11-11, Avid Reader

December: Grace Cathedral Christmas brochure. I illustrated the cover for Grace Cathedral (San Francisco)’s Christmas Concert brochure and program, and was invited to come and see one of the shows.

December: Pete Scully, Urban Sketches upstairs at the Pence Gallery. Saved the best one for last, my first solo exhibition at a proper gallery, and it went really well! The artist reception on Dec 9th was especially fun. Many thanks to everybody who came to see my work, and especially to those who bought my drawings.

grace cathedral xmas brochurespreparing for my show at the PencePence Gallery Show, Dec 2011

Sketchcrawls / Let’s Draw Davis:  We held ten ‘Let’s Draw Davis’ sketchcrawls this year, in every month except March (rained off) and December (too tired!). January’s was the most popular, with thirty people coming out to sketch. We were also featured on Aggie TV. In October our downtown sketchcrawl was featured on the front of the California Aggie. We’ll be continuing them monthly in 2012, starting with the next worldwide sketchcrawl on January 21st – details to come soon! I also went to San Francisco in April for the Worldwide Sketchcrawl, sketching the Mission District, and of course took part in the Worldwide Sketchcrawl in Lisbon in July.

let's draw davis october 15, 2011davis sketchcrawlers!let's draw davis: may 14 2011

Sketchbooks finished in 2011: These are the sketchbooks I completed this year. I still have several more on the go…

Moleskine 7

Moleskine 8

Davis Moleskine

London/Lisbon Moley

Small WH Smith Sketchbook

Little Red Moley

heathrow airportTravels: I went to a few places in 2011. Las Vegas in February, Oregon in July, London in July, Lisbon in July, Monterey in August, and San Francisco several times.

What did I learn in 2011? That I can find time to do anything, but that I can’t do everything. I have lots of plans and ideas! This has been a very busy year.

Art goals for 2012? That would be telling. What is expected for 2012? First of all the new Urban Sketchers book, ‘The Art of Urban Sketching’ will be published on February 1st so be sure to get your copy (I’m on pages 30, 46 and 281). As for the rest, well let’s see what the year brings!

Happy New Year 2012, may it be prosperous and happy for all.

absolutely J street

st paul's, midtown sacramento

Some more sketching from yesterday’s afternoon in Sacramento. Above is St.Paul’s church on J Street, in Midtown. I had thought about sketching the cathedral downtown, but decided in the end to do something a little smaller and homelier. I sat opposite, outside the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, and listened to the most recent Art Brut album (confirming my view that it’s really not as good as their previous ones). I sketched for just under an hour before moving on up J Street. 

french cuff consignment, midtown sacramento

I ended up sketching this building above, which is home to the French Cuff Consignment boutique. They have one of these in Davis (everything in Sacramento has a double in Davis, it seems; I keep expecting to bump into the mirror-version of me, crouched over a moleskine) but it’s not in as cool-looking a building as this. A little sun peeked through the clouds giving some faint shadows so I drew those in.

Drawn on the second last day of 2011. If I don’t get around to posting my 2011 retrospective tonight, then Happy New Year everybody!