one of our dinosaurs is missing

boiler building, under demolition
No, this isn’t my bedroom when I was a teenager, this is another view of the old Boiler Building on the UC Davis campus, currently under demolition. It’s the same gaping hole I drew the day before, but I wanted another angle so at lunchtime yesterday I pottered over and sketched away. Sometimes destruction can be beautiful. You can make out the silhouettes of big metal pipes inside the building still, though it looks like the scene of an escaped dinosaur disaster. I can imagine KCRA 3 news now, “Alert on the UC Davis campus as a nine ton T-Rex escaped from the old Boiler Building yesterday, police are conducting a thorough search but have been warned not to use pepper-spray,” or something. That probably is how they would report it, after the weather, and after the traffic reports, which as you know on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is all people care about, the ‘Busiest Travel Day of the Year’. “More on that escaped Tyrannosaur later, now back to Richard on I-80”, “Thanks Kelly, well the traffic has been backed up for hours here, and, oh wait is that a T-Rex? We’re getting confirmed reports from LiveCopter 3 that a big rig has been overturned on I-80 by a dinosaur, well at least traffic will start moving a bit faster…”

And back to the imagination. Happy Thanksgiving folks. I hear T-Rex tastes like turkey (a species which roams freely on the streets of Davis) so if you catch one, there’s meat for everybody.


walls come tumbling down

boiler building, under demolition
And so, demolition has finally come. I have drawn the old Boiler Building on the UC Davis campus several times now over the past few years, with a little more frequency since I knew for certain it was being pulled down. After much waiting, the mechanical monsters have moved in, pulling down the two smaller buildings to the side, and now a large gaping hole has appeared in the main Boiler Building itself. It’s days are numbered. It will make way for a new Recital Hall, as the sign says, which I’m sure will look very snazzy. I will keep sketching this historic old beast until it is a pile of rubble, and then chart the new building as it rises from the, ok I’ll stop with the hyperbole. Buildings rise and fall all the time, like the great Empires of old…

Sketched with brown uniball signo um-151 in the watercolour Moleskine. I listened to a History of England podcast while I sketched, which was actually mostly about medieval Wales, on the eve of the wars with Edward I. Kind of fitting.

still standing

behind the boiler building
Another one from the boiler building, which is still standing. I sketched from the back today, this big old window, full of texture and detail. I don’t know when this building is finally going under the sledgehammer, but apparently it is soon. Still standing…

scheduled for demolition

boiler building
I have drawn this building before, but never knew what to call it. It seemed rude to ask its name by that point. The boiler building, by the music building, has long been a favourite of mine for the rusting boilers and pipes that dot its edges, and its general old but warm feel. A slice of the old campus, a cousn of Hart Hall. Here is my previous drawing (which hung on the walls of the Pence in my show last December; it’s now available in my Etsy store). The one above was done a week or so ago, when I was invited to come and sketch it with Catherine Buscaglia, from UC Davis Design and Construction Management, who had emailed me to let me know that finally this old building will sadly be demolished later this month. I have come back a couple of times to draw it again, and may come back to witness its demise.


Here are some of the rusty boilers I was talking about. I have drawn them before, as part of my ‘pipes and hydrants’ series, and you can see them here. I have looked through the broken window, and inside it looks even more interesting for sketchers of metal pipes, though I may be a little too scared of spiders crawling all over me to sketch inside. Below, one more, done from the front side of the building. The ever changing landscape; I wonder how it will look by the time the new academic year begins?
boiler building (other side)

thank you for the music

TB 195

This big old building on campus, right by the Music Building, has been set for redevelopment for some time now but doesn’t appear to be moving along. It is supposed to be knocked down and turned into something modern and fantastic. I like this building though. I have drawn the rusty pipes on the side before, and this view is the rear, drawn from the path that runs by the Arboretum (Cushing Way).

I just wanted to point out, because it needs pointing out, that Spurs beat Arsenal this past weekend. I just wanted to mention it. Nothing to do with the drawing.

This, as were many other in this ongoing series, was drawn on a piece of 8″x10″ hot press Strathmore watercolour paper, with a micron pigma pen and some watercolours.