wrapped up in books

Powell's, Portland

Powell’s City of Books in Portland is one of the most well known bookstores in America. It covers a whole block downtown, and I went in there on my first night in Portland and nearly never came out again. Books books books, everything you could think of, I was lost in a literary world (well, in my case more of the non-fiction world, and specifically the language section) as soon as I walked through the door. It’s the sort of place I would probably have spent every day of my teenage years (by the way, I spent almost every day of my teeneage years in bookshops, whenever at all possible). The map of the store is incredible, but in my case I still got hopelessly lost. I just kept seeing things I wanted to read. when I reached the section on languages and found the books on philology I nearly started crying. There were titles I have never seen in a bookshop, just sitting there on a shelf in front of me, saying “Go on, Pete, you know you want to spend the rest of the evening reading about Old English and its Closest Relatives”. I didn’t give into book-buying temptation (mostly because I didn’t want to carry loads of books to the pub with me), so I got a Powell’s pint glass and a couple of t-shirts instead. I did find myself getting sucked into their Star Wars section, got a little sidetracked looking through the maps and travel books, and I passed a good deal of time in their zine and small-press section too. I came back on my last day there to sketch the outside, but ended up getting sucked back in and wandering about its colour-coded sections like a mouse in a cheese shop.


let’s draw davis community park

let's draw davis! community park, 11/11/12
Hey sketching folks, it is time for another Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl, this time back up at Community Park in north Davis, from the Davis Art Center to the Library. The Fall colours are very colourful at this time of year and if it gets too cold, the library is a great place to sketch.

DATE: Sunday November 11, 2012
START: 11:00 AM, outside Davis Art Center (F & Covell)
FINISH: 3:00 PM, inside Mary J Stephens Public Library (14th & B)

As always this sketchcrawl is free and open to anyone who likes to draw. I hope to see you there!

Facebook event


all around the world i’ve been looking for you

International House, Davis
A small break from the Portland sketches (many more to come!), to bring you something I sketched on Saturday afternoon. This is International House, aka I-House, one of Davis’s great institutions (for foreigners such as me). I have been meaning to come by and sketch for a very long time, and finally on Saturday I did, and a nice building to sketch it was too. I haven’t personally been to many events here in the past but I really should. A few years ago when my son was a baby we came to a potluck party here for internationals, which was nice. I brought trifle (that didn’t sit there for very long! My trifle is lovely, I’m not kidding) and we chatted with a friendly German couple, but that was it really, I was shy and didn’t speak much. Still, I like being an international. It’s nice and you get to travel.

As I sketched this I listened to the latest History of English podcast, which was about the Greek word horde that has filtered its way down to English, and I was especially pleased because there was a mention of Wulfila (or Wulfilas; it means Little Wolf), the fourth century Gothic bishop whose translation of the Bible from Greek to old Gothic provides us with our earliest example of a Germanic language, and an East Germanic one at that – I loved studying that. Wulfila’s my hero – though his choice of Gothic vocabulary may have been heavily influenced by the Greek rather than what was in general use among the Goths, his work is a massive resource to Germanic philologists. It has been a few years since I read about it all though.

In other news…well done Barack Obama!!!! Re-elected President tonight! Knew you could do it!