pea green soup

mrak & king from the arboretum
While walking in the UC Davis Arboretum earlier this week, I was greeted with an unbelievable sight. The entire creek and Lake Spafford was a bright, grassy green. It wasn’t the water itself, rather the green stuff floating on the surface. It wasn’t a sickly green, rather a very healthy looking green. It looked like the fairway of a golf course. So I did a quick sketch, which is below. You can see it in the sketch above as well, though in patches the water is visible and reflected the sky. Those scribbly dark areas are shadows.
arboretum uc davis
Just a little green. Or a lot of green. Anyway, the arboretum is a lovely place right now, with leaves turning autumnal colours and the change in the weather (pushing 90 a week ago, pushing 60/70 now). Ok, so back to the top sketch, this is a scene that I’ve sketched many times over the years. I watched this view change over the course of a few years, once per year, until it settled upon the current look, when I got bored and stopped. You will remember, I have been in Davis ten years now, and it’s not a big place, things will get sketched multiple times. This is King Hall, with Mrak Hall in the background. This used to be a view of Mrak alone. Here are the sketches; I really do feel like a sketch historian now…


mrak & king halls

mrak & king halls

mrak & king halls

mrak hall... with the law school ruining the view

mrak hall

mrak, seen from the creek

Coming next: a new sketch of the Bike Barn, which I have sketched about two million times…


Tercero Halls
These are the Tercero Residence Halls at UC Davis. They are colourful, and still pretty new. In the background, the other UC Davis water tower (no not that one, the other one). I stood here one lunchtime and sketched in the shade, the weather still being really warm at this late-October time of year (it suddenly turned cooler this week, at last). Now as you know I like to showcase the changes in Davis, and this is no different, so below is a sketch from the spring of 2012 of these halls’ predecessor, already closed and about to be destroyed forever. Today, it is much prettier.

pierce hall (being demolished)

a davis decade

Ten years ago to the day, we moved to Davis. I remember, because it was the Fifth of November. We’re still here.

It was more than a month after we packed up and left London for California, staying with family in Santa Rosa until my wife found a job at UC Davis. We found an apartment in south Davis, and became Davis people. I started sketching Davis at a Sketchcrawl in December 2005 and while I took until the middle of 2006 to really get into sketching Davis, I haven’t really stopped since. Here are a few, sorted by year…

ten years in davis
A decade is a long time. Seen a lot of changes, and a lot of stay-the-sames. The personal highlight of course was becoming a father in 2008,  and my artistic highlight was I think my solo show at the Pence Gallery in 2011.  So, I shall be popping open the Champagne and saying HOORAY DAVIS! (Actually, no, I’ll be having a cup of tea and playing Disney Infinity, but you know, you get the idea)

such a fine time, such a happy time

2nd St Davis

Not been posting as much this past week, but I have been sketching, and I will post a lot more in the coming week. The AYSO soccer season came to an end last weekend, I was coaching a very skilled team of under-8s, and while it was a lot of work, I’m really going to miss it! And so, back to posting my lunchtime sketches. This one is about a week and a half old, sketched downtown on 2nd Street past G, near the station. This little row of yellow buildings is very distinct, and is also the location of one bar/restaurant that I have not sketched inside, Our House. I’ve only been in there once, for a pre-dinner beer on a night out with other couples. I always thought that Our House would be a better located on R Street, somewhere in one of the middle blocks. The red door you can see here is to a piercing and tattoo place called Urban Body. I’ve sketched this row before from a different angle, years ago, and with its unusual angles it’s a but tricky but quite interesting.