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Here is something I drew a while ago (Martin Luther King Jr Day, in January, hence the flags), in my panoramic accordion sketchbook, but did not scan and stitch together until now. I sat out there for a couple of hours, followed by another hour or so on a day later that week, and just sketched and turned and curved as best I could. It’s a good exercise, but tricky all the same. It looks even more different now it’s on a computer screen. The plan is to fill the whole book with similar scenes from Davis as the seasons change. Other seasons may be more colourful, but this represented sunny winter. There is a detail below. All drawn on an accordion sketchbook from Cass Arts in London in uniball vision micro pen.
Next month I will be back in my home town of London, to see the people I miss so much, and also to do a bit of drawing. I will be a guest blogger on the recently launched Urban Sketchers London website, and so I am pleased to be organizing a sketchcrawl on Saturday May 26 around the historic Temple and Fleet Street areas. Why not join in? Let’s draw London!
The sketchcrawl will begin at 10:30am, meeting outside Temple tube station. All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on, and this event is free and open to everyone, artists and sketchers of all levels. What better way to explore the hidden nooks of your city than with a sketchbook? It’s only half about the drawing, it’s also about the looking, the act of observation through which you build a relationship with your surroundings. Plus it’s great fun to sketch with others!
There will be a midway point at 1:00pm outside Temple Church for those who come late or leave early, and the sketchcrawl will finish at 4:00pm in Gough Square, by the statue of Dr.Johnson’s cat. It’s just off of Fleet Street, but like a scavenger hunt you’ll enjoy finding it! There we will look at each others’ sketchbooks, and then maybe pop into the old Cheshire Cheese for a pint.
I hope to see you there!
This is The House, a building at UC Davis near the tri-co-operatives, a part of campus I had not explored before today. I cycled around there looking for something to sketch, and found this pleasant little spot. (I sound like Alan Whicker or someone) The House is home to CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services), who do a great and necessary job on campus. The House has an imaginative name (a bit like The Barn, sketched recently), but I keep imagining it being bellowed by Christopher Lee, “The House!”
Still adjusting to the new house. This weekend gave us the hot weather test. Davis is a place where it gets hot, very hot, and I’m not joking. Just not usually this early! Mid-90s weather came out of nowhere, disguised in mid-80s forecasts, just in time for Picnic Day (and it always feels hotter in Picnic Day crowds). That’s mid-90s as in Fahrenheit, not as in Britpop. On Saturday we sweltered, but by Sunday, another scorcher, we’d figured it out. It’s starting to cool down again now, so this was just a dress rehearsal for the real stuff in July. Come on Davis Summer, do your worst.
Do you know the difference between Basil Fawlty and Victor Meldrew? There is a broad range of character defects between the two but I’ve narrowed it down to this – things tend to happen to Victor, without them necessarily being his fault, whereas Basil’s woes are almost always entirely his fault and pretty preventable. As the episode of Fawlty Towers goes on you see him diggin further and further into a hole which it is almost impossible to get out of, and you can just tell is going to get worse. So what about Harry Redknapp?
I won’t go into the story, footy fans know it, non-footy fans have turned off already. Harry has been great for Spurs and may continue to be but this England job thing hangs over the whole club. Sure the FA are waiting on their decision – but I think it might make things a lot easier if Harry actually came out and said if he will or will not take it if offered. Spurs’s season since this whole thing came up has resembled an episode of Fawlty Towers (at least, I can’t get the image of Basil/Harry falling off the ladder trying to ‘look at girl in room’, that being the champions league), and wondering whether this business-end-of-season-collapse is Harry’s fault for not committing or the FA’s fault for not asking. That is, is Harry a Basil or a Victor?
Hmm. If someone had said to me in mid February when we were nine points clear of Arsenal that two months later we’d be six points behind them and sinking, I’d have said “I don’t believe it!” Now I keep imaging Harry picking up a puppy instead of a phone.
A newer building on campus, the new Student Community Center, opposite the Silo. Sketched yesterday lunchtime. There has been a lot of redevelopment in this part of campus since I came to Davis. Drawn with a copic fineliner (fairly well used) in the gamma S&B sketchbook. Decided against colour.
The weather is heating up, it was 88 degrees in Davis yesterday and very warm at night. Picnic Day – tomorrow – will be a warm one this year…
Needed a quick sketch yesterday lunchtime after chowing down at Habit Burger, a place which does great big chicken burgers for sure but they don’t half like talking and repeating back everything that you have ordered (including pointing out the things that you did not order like teriyaki sauce) both when you order and when you pick it up. Handy for some, I’m sure, but I’m not a patient man, I just want to pay and eat. They are quick to make it though, and boy it is good when you get it, so you want to savour it. All of which means I have a smaller window to sketch within. Still you can get a lot of information across in a short amount of time. I stood opposite Firts Street Real Estate, a building I’ve never drawn but is very sketchworthy, and scribbled along in purple pen, adding some colour, the whole thing took about 20 minutes before I had to run back to the office.
Remember when we used to use public phones? God, we were dumb! Putting our coins in, talking for a bit, putting more coins in, hunting woolly mammoth; it’s so much better now we live in the future with our iPhones and blueteeth and hoverboards. There is a living relic of this ancient past on G Street, complete with a ‘phonebook’ (which doesn’t even have a search box, and people have clearly been writing their names on it to try). I have been meaning to draw this for a while, so I drew it during the sketchcrawl on G Street last Saturday. This being a historic neighbourhood, I can imagine it being used by early farm settlers, gold prospecters, maybe even local Native American tribes (before the invention of the smoke-signal app, obviously). I drew this in the Stillman and Birn gamma sketchbook, with a Micron pen and Cotman watercolours, and it took a little under an hour.