there’s no telling who that it’s naming

E St Davis

This was sketched on November 4, seems like a lifetime ago now. This is a house on E Street that was an orthodontist the last time I sketched it, but is now a hotel. That big head sculpture wasn’t there before. It’s quite interesting looking. See how the leaves have changed colour. I’m starting to see a pattern, as that happened around the same time last year as well, weird. I’ll have to remember and watch out for it next year too. I’ve done a LOT of sketching this week past (good therapy) and it’ll take me some time to scan it all in, but after a fallow mostly sketch-less October I’ve found a rich vein of form again, and ain’t stopping any time soon…

as the present now will later be past

South Silo UC Davis
More campus construction. This is the South Silo, which is being totally remade into “the Market” I think, I have seen the images but I will just see it when it’s all done. There used to be a small Law bookshop here which sold snacks, where I would come and buy a Sobe and some mint M&Ms.I’ve been here on campus more than ten years now, which my 30-year-old self would see as a surprise I’m sure. So, it’s nice to track the changes when they happen. Hey look! Clouds! This was a day of fluffy clouds. We had a fair bit of at the end of October, washing Halloween out, and our final AYSO game of the season too. The sun is back now though, but the weather is decidedly cooler and more autumnal. This was the first day of November. With the upcoming presidential election, I prefer to call this month “OHGODNOOOOO!!!!!vember”. Two more months of this bizarre 2016 left, maybe two very long months. Keep on sketchin’…

sing me something new

Institute of Religion, Davis
I do have two exhibitions going on right now, and have even given talks about sketching, organized a sketchcrawl (in the rain), oh and just had a book published a few weeks ago, and I know you all did Inktober and so on, but I gotta say, I didn’t sketch much in October. It was a busy month, working, coaching soccer (Go Quicksilvers!), doing all the art stuff, but for some reason my sketches were few and far between. I did do a few though. This one above, of the building known as the Institute of Religion in Davis, I think its where the Mormons go. It’s on Russell, right opposite campus, I cycle past here every day thinking, oh I should draw that sometime, those triangles are pretty triangular. So I sketched it one lunchtime, when I was in an all-day training for leadership (or something, I’ve done a lot of all-day training workshops lately). Always feels good to be out sketching, listening to the Football Weekly podcast. I have a few more recent sketches to post. I drew another of the Manetti Shrem Museum, and of the construction going on at the South Silo. Spoiler Alert, that’s not finished, but the Manetti Shrem, it’s nearly open! Just another week! I’ll do a retrospective of all my in-progress sketches once it’s all open. I’m very excited.

video at the sketchbook show

The kind folks of Letters and Science at UC Davis created this nice short video about my current exhibition at the UC Davis Design Museum, which by the way has been a lot of fun. Many thanks to Amy Tran and Michael French for producing the video, and also to James Housefield for the very nice things he says in the clip. If you’d like to see the exhibit, which has been curated by James Housefield and Tim McNeil and covers ten years of my sketchbooks, the UC Davis Design Museum (located in Cruess Hall) is open Mon-Fri 12-4pm, and on Sundays from 2-4.

(The URL to the video on YouTube in case you cannot see it here is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygeACxokMV4)

Let’s Draw UC Davis!

Let's Draw Davis! November 12

Join us for another sketchcrawl in Davis, California! This time we will sketch around the exciting area of Vanderhoef Quad, on the UC Davis campus. This is home to the UC Davis Welcome Center, the huge Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, and of course the brand-new Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, which has its grand opening the very next day. Not far from here is the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Sciences, an interesting place to sketch with its Good Life Garden (Jerry and Margo live next door), and of course the UC Davis Arboretum and Lake Spafford are just a couple of minutes’ walk away, a peaceful place to sketch.

START: 10:30am, middle of Vanderhoef Quad
FINISH: 3:00pm, same place

As always this sketchcrawl is FREE and open to anyone of any age/level who just wants to get out and sketch, and meet other people who like to sketch. All you need is something to draw with!

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1589040501405221/

sketchcrawl sunday scavengers

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Last Sunday we held the latest “Let’s Draw Davis!” sketchcrawl in downtown Davis, starting at the Amtrak Station and finishing up at Mansion Square. This one was, unlike the other ones I’ve organized in Davis, a “scavenger sketch-hunt”. I provided everyone with a list of things at the start, things which could be found in that section of downtown Davis, and they had to draw between 8-12 of them to win a sticker at the end. In truth, just getting to the end meant you got a sticker, but it’s a good fun way to explore and have ideas of things to draw. I think everyone really enjoyed it! I was told it helps some people get over the “what should I draw” conundrum, like Inktober or Every Day Matters – little prompts, totally optional. I’ll do that again.

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The list is as follows:

  1. The Amtrak Station (or part of)
  2. A Fire Hydrant
  3. A Bicycle
  4. A Piece of Public Art (sculpture, mural)
  5. A Giraffe
  6. A Public Pay-phone
  7. A Musical Instrument
  8. Another Sketcher
  9. A Barber’s Shop
  10. A Bottle
  11. A Street Sign
  12. The Varsity Theatre (or just the sign)

For the record, I managed eight of them – numbers 1, 2 (obviously, come on), 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Here’s why I didn’t get all 12 – I draw fast, but not that fast. No, not just that. IT RAINED ALL DAY! Unusual for Davis. But I spent some of the summer sketching in Manchester so it felt a little familiar. It wasn’t raining when we started, and we had quite the turnout (around 25 sketchers) despite the threat of rain. A lot of people set up across from the station to sketch it, and I sketched some of them – and then the rain came, and it didn’t stop until, haha, right after the sketchcrawl finished. Like, immediately afterwards, blue skies. Ah well. So, here are my sketches of the sketchers Jesse, Omar and Emily:

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As you can see, splotches of rain started slowly splashing onto the page as I sketched Omar and Jesse; I had to duck under cover when adding colour to Emily’s sketch.

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Here is my sketch of the Amtrak Station, sketched in a dry spot next to the building opposite. Most sketchers had ducked for cover, but there is one with a brolly (a few others held umbrellas and sketched too but didn’t last as long as that sketcher!).

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Yeah it was raining hard when I sketched this bike. I was stood beneath a shopfront awning and the rain was still getting to me, so I just painted it quickly. I had wanted to sketch either the large giraffe statue or the giraffe bench opposite this on F Street, but the rain was too heavy to get a decent vantage-point.

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I did have a nice dry spot to sketch the Davis Barber Shop though. I have never sketched this place before, and should really sketch inside some day. I was glad they were open on Sundays. The barber was kind enough to let other sketchers in to sketch, and I think he liked my rendition of the outside. I kept it simple and didn’t add paint, as I wanted to move on.

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I have sketched the Varsity a million times before and this day was so rainy and grey that I didn’t need to worry about that blue sky bringing out the white building or the shadows cast beneath it, however the pink and blue of the neon sign was too cool to pass up. I added a blueish grey marker to the foreground tree.

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Right, a few items to check off the scavenger hunt list. The street sign, obvious. The bottle, that was at De Vere’s though I had included a bottle on the list just to advertise my show at Putah creek Winery, basically, in case people went by there. And the trumpet, fulfilling the ‘musical instrument’ sketch. Actually it is a coronet, and I sketched it at Watermelon Music on E St, which will be vacating its downtown spot at the end of the year and relocating to West Davis, due to the new landlords downtown forcing all these local businesses to close. Yes, some tough times ahead for downtown. Well, I like Watermelon, and bought some guitar strings as I am inspired now (after seeing Paul McCartney live in Sacramento recently – wow that was awesome! My 12 year old Macca-obsessed past self was smiling down on me that night). Several other sketchers had been in drawing stuff, they didn’t seem to mind too much, and I asked if it was ok if I drew too. I’ll miss them; I probably won’t cycle out to West Davis, see, kinda far for me.

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Yeah, the rain was getting a bit much so time for an interior, and where else but De Vere’s. This time I drew the familiar bar but played a bit with the colours and I LOVE it, that blue and yellow. I’ll do more of that. I had a nice stout, good choice on a drizzly day.

And then we all met up at the end, well about a quarter of those who had started, and I gave out more stickers such as those ones below. I hope everyone had fun! The next Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl will be on Saturday November 12, at Vanderhoef Quad on the UC Davis campus, starting at 10:30am. I’ll post a poster soon!

an evening at the winery

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Last Friday I opened a month-long show at Putah Creek Winery, with an artist’s reception (well, meet-and-greet) as part of the Downtown Davis 2nd Friday ArtAbout. I’ve done some of those before. This one was in the narrow tasting room on F Street, with my sketches hung at slightly different heights all along the wall. I have ten pieces in there, two from London and eight from Davis, covering buildings new and old (or in a few cases, gone). There was a decent turn-out, quite a few popping in to see my art and many more to taste the wine. I am not a particular wine buff myself, I know there is rputah creek winery show oct2016 greged, and white, and there’s rose, and green (in the green bottles), and sparkling and still, and dry, and wet, I guess, but other than that I’m a bit of a novice. I never tasted any of the wine at this winery. “Don’t mix the grape and the rain”, they always say, for it did finally rain last Friday quite a lot, which might have affected turnout, or perhaps everyone was out watching Pajamarino, the Aggie tradition being held at the same time just a block away. It’s where people dress up in pajamas – sorry, pyjamas, I forgot myself there – to welcome back the Aggies for their Homecoming Game. The Aggies is the college football team. Anyway. while chatting art, I did sketch the scene with all my drawings on the wall (above), and I also sketched the wine pourer Greg (right).

I had a few of my other bits and pieces on display, my two books, fliers for my sketchbook show and the sketchcrawl on October 16, as well as several mugs featuring my Davis sketches which were for sale. Sadly nobody bought the mugs. Not one, not a single bunny. Ah well. Here are some photos, including me in my lovely Sampdoria shirt.

Someone did buy a sketch though! The rest are on sale now until November 9th.