soccer, lifestyle and everything

Soccer and Lifestyle June2014 smSoccer and Lifestyle, 2nd Street Davis. Click on the image for a larger view. You’ll want a larger view, to get a look at all those lovely football kits – or soccer jerseys, uniforms, shirts or whatever your preferred vocabulary choice is. This is one of my favourite shops in Davis (actually it is my favourite shop), and was the first shop I ever came into when I first visited Davis. I remember chatting that day to the owner, Rami, about Spurs and also Charlton Athletic for some reason. I was just so impressed there was a shop here devoted to my favourite things – football shirts – that I told my wife “we have to move here!” and since I’ve been here ever since that is fairly big. Anyhow, I’ve sketched the window before (in 2010) but never sketched the store itself, so with it being the height of the 2014 Brazil World Cup I figured that now was the right time. I went down there one lunchtime, wearing my recently purchased dark blue France shirt (it is in my opinion the best kit at the tournament) and sketched while watching the first half of France vs Switzerland, a demolition of a match for France out tore the usually pretty strong Swiss up. The owner, Rami, is a friendly guy who knows his stuff (actually they all are, those who work there, always welcoming for some footy chat). I love standing among all the colours of the World Cup shirts; I bought my son the new green Mexico shirt, which he loves because of the little lightning flashes on it. With all the crazy colourful boots (cleats) and all the footballs (soccer-balls) from various World Cups, as a kit-nerd and a footy-fanatic, this is very much my kind of store.

And what a World Cup it has been! The most entertaining yet probably. Certainly the most random-statistic-filled yet. All of which means the knockout stages will be dull tired affairs, but then I said the whole tournament would be so, and I was wrong. England were poor, predictably so, but my adopted team USA has been heroic and will face Belgium in the Round of 16. Then you have the Suarez biting story, which is such a bizarre pantomime villain tale it is almost as if it was all pre-fabricated to give this amazing World Cup a proper bad-guy, to add drama to the plot as we enter the middle act. Who knows. Anyway, of the flags hung up on the wall, the following sixteen are left…

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So it’s “Get on the Plane, Spain”, “Get your Coats, Croats”, “You’re a Gonner, Ghana” (works better with an American accent that one), “Cote D’Au-Revoir” (come on, that’s pretty good), “Here’s the Door, Ecuador”, “Herze Today, Govina Tomorrow Bosnia” (I think I heard that one on the Guardian podcast so don’t blame me for that one, my original pun were “Everybody Herz” or “Who’s the Bos” but I wasn’t sure about either), “Iran Away”, “Export-ugal” (yes I know), and “Russian Home to Beat the Traffic”. Phew. (I actually couldn’t think of a good one for England) That is a very small sampling of what it is like living in the Scully household during the World Cup, or any cup for that, and I can’t apologize for that. There are so many punning opportunities I can’t help it. If you like hearing the very worst scrape-the-barrel World Cup punning perhaps you would be interested in following me on twitter, @petescully. Converseley if you absolutely cannot stand it and it makes your head want to explode, maybe unfollow me until after July 13 when my tweets will be all about sketches of little houses I promise you.

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And football shirts…I have been meaning to do a run-down of the kits at the world cup, and wanted to give illustrations while talking about (complaining about) each one. But that was too time-consuming, so you have to wait a bit longer. In short, I hate them all except France, Mexico and the USA (only kidding, there are some others I quite like). I think I will do that in a separate post. Tomorrow is Brazil vs Chile, and you’d better get your kit on, it’s going to be a great game. It’ll be followed by Colombia v Uruguay, and Colombia are the better team, but I reckon Uruguay will clinch it by the skin of their teeth*.

(*I actually don’t, I think Colombia will hammer them but the time period for using that admittedly feeble joke is running out and I don’t like wasting opportunities like that)

burgers and brew

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Phew, today was a day in the World Cup, huh. Belgium-Russia, meh. Algeria-Korea, whoah! And then the drama of USA-Portugal, well this has been a tournament to remember. I can’t even remember what life was like before this World Cup began. Thankfully my sketchbook offers a glimpse into the pre-Brazil days of almost two weeks ago. On a hot, hot day in early June, I stood on 3rd St one lunchtime and sketched as quickly as I could. It was pushing a hundred degrees so I needed to finish up before I melted. This is Burgers and Brew on the corner of C St, a restaurant with a name that is designed to excite people in an ‘ooh-Burgers-Beer-I-love-those-things-gotta eat there-then’ type way (though in fact almost every restaurant in America specializes in burgers and brews these days it seems). I’ve only been here a couple of times, the last being about three or four years ago, and while I don’t do burgers (at least not the red-meaty kind) I had some nice Belgian Kwak beer once. Not on this day however, this lunch hour was for sketching.This is in the landscape-format Stillman and Birn ‘Alpha’ book, sketched with brown uni-ball signo um-151 pen, with a watercolour wash added later.

bizarro world

Bizarro World, Davis
Bizarro World, Davis. A comic shop that used to reside on 5th St, before moving into its present location on E St when Bogey’s Books closed down. I prefer this location, and I’ve been there many times over the past four years, as opposed to the one time I went to the 5th St location in the preceding five years. Then again, I read a lot more comics now. I mean a LOT. Not all of them physical, mind, but I do buy a fair few paper comics from here (and also from Big Brother Comics in midtown Sacramento and Mission Comics in San Francisco, whenever I am there). See now I have an iPad and a subscription to Marvel Unlimited, so I can read all the Marvel backlog (I have read hundreds since signing up in January). I like this place’s location though because it is right next to the pub. After a long day, it makes a lot of sense to buy a comic or graphic novel and pop inside De Vere’s for a cold brew. Or University of Beer a block away. So on a very hot hundred-esque Saturday afternoon I stood outside and sketched my local comic shop, the sweat dripping off of me. While sketching, a bearded man on a bike stopped in the street and asked me a series of questions (“are you a painter, did you draw that, what building are you drawing, do you have an email”). I had to say, sorry I can’t really chat, I am up against the time a little here, because it really was hot and I wanted to get finished and get inside. But then about fifteen minutes later another guy on a bike, this time with a moustache, stopped and asked exactly the same questions. It was, as they say, bizarre (if not quite bizarro, which as we all know means something else entirely) I’m starting to wonder whether they were in fact the same person in different disguises. I’ve had odd people come up and say odd things on E St before while sketching so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Perhaps I read too many comics? Nah, if that were true I’d believe it was Loki, out to trick me. I finished up all the penwork, the only colour added on site being the red pen, before cooling off with a beer in De Vere’s and finishing the paint at home. I did get a comic too, the Thanos annual, by Jim Starlin. Pretty good it is too.

Incidentally this framed drawing is currently for sale at Art-Is-Davis (222 D St, Davis) until July 6th…

hillel house, davis

Sam Len Hillel House, Davis
Here’s one from about a month ago – time flies when you’re really busy, huh – and I never did add the colour, but I liked it’s pen-only form. This is the Sam Len Hillel house on A Street, Davis, a new building (I sketched the temporary Hillel House just up the road a couple of years ago while they were building this). It was a warm day, you get a lot of those here in Davis.

bohème

Boheme, Davis
And back to the posting of sketches. I’ve been a little preoccupied with the Scene In Davis show, and also that other thing called the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Wow, what a World Cup it’s been so far! A million miles from the 0-0 borefest I had expected (though today there was finally a 0-0 draw). It’s been gripping stuff, and today especially I must so “Go USA!” Which is American for “Come On USA!”, it’s not a slogan for the tourist board. I do intend on posting a full description of the World Cup shirts, but perhaps tomorrow, after everybody has played once. Anyway, this sketch is of Bohème, on Third Street, Davis. I drew it all on site but added the colour when I got home. They sell hip used clothing, which is nice. Probably no old football shirts, though. If I were to wear a hip old international world cup shirt, I would probably go for an old USSR one (with the cyrillic CCCP emblazened across the chest), or maybe a green German away kit from the 1974, Italy’s kit from Italia 90 was cool too, or perhaps – and this is a controversial choice – the USA away kit from 1994, the light blue one with the stars, though I don’t think that really qualifies as ‘hip’. I’m not much of a hipster, unfortunately.

scenes in art is davis

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Many thanks to those of you who were kind enough to stop by and say hello last Friday at the Scene In Davis group show! It went very well, and a lot of people came. I even sold a drawing there, as well as two more at the Pence Gallery next door! It was a warm evening, and was particularly hot inside Art Is Davis, but I met a lot of very nice people. I was starting to lose my voice a little toward the end! The show will be up until July 6th so if you are interested in owning a nice piece of Davis (hint-hint Davis grads!) then pop by 222 D St. Cheers! DSC01349IMG_0798DSC01345

the world cup is here!

football collage
WORLD CUP! The once-every-four-years fest of stadiums not being completed on time, FIFA corruption, corporate greed and hyper-zealous sponsors, dull substandard international football from tired irritable professional footballers, unfettered jingoism, and the world actually believing any of this still matters is finally here, and WE LOVE IT! I can’t help it. For all of my cynicism – and for those of you who don’t know, I am occasionally cynical – my inner ten-year-old leaps out and goes bananas in the build-up to the festival of football. It’s obviously nothing to do with the actual football, I barely remember the last decent bit of football I saw at a World Cup. As an afficionado of football kits and their traditions and trends I am constantly having angry palpitations over the stupid kit regulations and choices at the FIFA World Cup, in fact in global scheme of things very little annoys me more than the idea of Spain wearing red shorts (it’s just WRONG). I do intend, this weekend, to provide you with a long, detailed rant/overview of all of the kits for this year’s World Cup (and if you aren’t interested in my many annoyances about football kits, I might also advise you to unfollow me on Twitter until mid-July). But dspite all of this, I LOVE IT!
IMG_0694Our Panini album is filling up fast, and I have most of my old ones going back to Mexico 86. The drawing at the top as one I did in 2010 during the South Africa tournament. And above, flags of every country taking part, made out of paper mosaics by me and my son, this was a fun project. We’ll be putting them up around our house, maybe taking them down as teams get knocked out.

The World Cup starts today, with Brazil vs Croatia. Most of the games will be on while I’m at work but I actually will get to see this one. And for the record, my prediction for the winning team this year is indeed… Brazil.

scene in davis!

Scene In Davis 2014
This Friday will be fun. I am pleased to announce that I will be exhibiting several of my Davis sketches as part of a group show called “Scene in Davis”, on display at the Art-Is-Davis co-op at 222 D Street, downtown Davis. The other featured artists are Dave Webb, Joe Finkleman and Ben Tuason, and we were all selected by the resident artists because our work is devoted to the subject of Davis. The resident artists at Art Is Davis are Dori Marshall, Seana Burke, Marieke de Waard, Jan Castle-Walker and Joanne Andresen; many thanks to Dori for inviting me to participate. There will be a reception starting at 6pm this Friday 13th June, and I plan to show some of my sketchbooks and talk my usual nonsense about uni-ball pens and fire hydrants. If you are in town and would like to say hello and see my Davis sketches, I’d love to meet you!
Scene In DavisThe show will run until July 6th, and the pieces will be for sale; maybe a nice gift for someone graduating from UC Davis, perhaps? I’m excited to see what the other works on show will be! Always enjoy seeing Davis so well represented by artists. You can visit the Art-Is-Davis website at http://www.art-is-davis.com/.
scene in davis postcardBut of course that isn’t all, as I also have some pieces on display at the Pence Gallery next door as part of the Garden Tour exhibit, in the upstairs conference room. You may recall the post I made about the Garden Tour recently (https://petescully.com/2014/06/07/garden-tour-2014/), and all three of my sketches are up for sale. Here are two of them on the wall:

garden tour sketches at penceNow there was also going to be participation in a third show, the annual ‘Tiny’ Show at the Pence Gallery, which I saw today and has some wonderful pieces (such as an amazing night-time painting of the Varsity). My contribution, drawn and painted onto a 5×7″ piece of canvas board, was of Vesuvio in San Francisco’s North Beach, redrawn from the sketch I did while stood outside there last March. Here it is:

vesuvioHowever…it already sold! I went by today, and the Pence told me a lady from San Francisco, to whom the Vesuvio had special meaning, bought it and wanted to take it with her there and then. So while it won’t be in the Tiny Show, I’m ecstatic that it sold so quickly! I really love that corner of planet Earth myself so I am really happy it touched someone else as well. It was hard work drawing on that canvas board (it ain’t like drawing on paper) but very rewarding.

Anyway, if you happen to be on D Street this Friday evening, come and see some art!

hair today, gone tomorrow

Razor's Edge, Davis
This is my barber shop, the Razor’s Edge on 3rd Street, downtown Davis. I have been getting the same haircut here since I moved to this town almost nine years ago, but I had never ever sketched the place. Well you know how it is, you sketch somewhere, then suddenly it closes down (it’s happened a lot to me), and to be honest I couldn’t afford to have my barber close. I have tried other barbers in town and you’d be surprised how different my hair looks each time, whereas here I know what I’m getting. You know how it is. So not wanting to ‘curse’ it, I never sketched it. Anyway, recently I heard that the building would be demolished to make way for, well a more modern building that can charge more rent, I suppose. So I decided I just had to sketch it, for posterity. Now the last time I did this was The Beat, a record shop in Sacramento, I sketched it last summer before it was to move to ‘another location’. It was definitely not closing for good. Well, sadly it never reopened. I’m glad I sketched it, but the curse had struck again. So before finally putting the Razor’s Edge into my sketchbook, I went in and asked if the barber, Sukh, had found another location yet, just to make sure. He certainly had, and he’d signed a new lease and will definitely be moving into a new spot about a block away in July. “Hooray!” I exclaimed, and here is my sketch.
(And yes even I, with my low standards for cheap gags, cringed before using that title for this post, but it just had to be done. It’s not every day your barbershop closes.)

dans le jardin

pence garden tour 2014
Last month I took part in the Pence Gallery’s annual Garden Tour event in Davis. On the Garden Tour, local Davis gardeners open up their gardens to the ticket-paying public. All of the gardens are specially selected and are themselves works of art – gardening is a whole ‘nother world to me but when it’s taken seriosuly, you really see some amazing results. In each garden there was a Master Gardener, which is an actual person who specializes in helping people with their gardening issues, and to whom visitors could come for advice. Oh, and in each garden on the tour there is a local artists, painting (or in my case, drawing) the lovely gardens.  I was in the garden of the Reinerts just beyond the northern edge of Davis, and it was a delightful place. Lizards roamed the flowerbeds, hummingbirds flitted between the trees, bees buzzed high on nectar, and the flowers were colourful and fragrant.
pence garden tour 2014
Another artist was there for a while, so I sketched her painting with oil at her easel. A lot of people who I had met before came by and said hello, which was nice.
Pence Garden Tour 2014And finally I sketched the house while seated in the arbor, the reverse view from the top sketch. As I sketched, I listened to the Master Gardener advise people about their gardens and was just hugely impressed. Keeping a garden is an enormous amount of work, but really requires years of careful knowledge to get right, so I am just so impressed with gardeners right now.

Anyway…my sketches from the Garden Tour are currently on display at the Pence Gallery on D Street, Davis, in their silent auction so do pop by and see them if you’re in town!