This is Davis Arts Center, which is really close to where I live in north Davis. I popped over to the park at lunchtime and drew it from a high grassy verge, underneath a tree, while listening to a podcast about the car industry in Coventry. I’ve drawn a two-page panorama of the Davis Arts Center before, quite a long time ago, when the leaves were different colours and the building was painted differently too. I need a sketching vacation, one like where I’d go to a city for a few days by myself and just wander about drawing everything. It’s been too long. This is also the longest period I have ever had without going home to London. That is tough, I miss London. It’s still not easy to go there from the US, with quarantine and expensive testing when you get there, plus long waits to get through Heathrow. I’m feeling very unrelaxed right now. Drawing helps, though even drawing feels a little stressful at times, if I’m short on time or if I’m running out of things I want to draw; sorry Davis, I need to draw somewhere else for a bit. I finished this at home after drawing all the penwork, I can’t see it from my house but it’s close enough.
So the Davis World Cup took place last weekend. Our team (Serbia / Davis Spurs) didn’t make it to Monday, we won one but lost three, but it was good for at least a couple of the other Davis teams; New Zealand / Davis Hurricane Raptors (10U Girls) won their competition, Namibia / Davis Frostbite (10U Girls) came runners-up in the other 12U competition; China / Davis (U16) won their competition; Germany / Davis Sivad (U14 Boys) lost their final 4-3, while in the U19 category, Austria / Davis Hotspur (U19 Men) won their world cup final 2-1, and France / Davis (U19 Women) won their final 7-0; for many of those players this will probably be their last, as it stops at U19. Very emotional! There were a LOT of games over the weekend. And as mentioned in the last post we had a sketchcrawl. I was only able to sketch one game, another 10U Girls game (Faroe Islands / Davis Riverhawks vs Cayman Islands / Menlo Park). I’ve coached some of the kids on the Davis team before so was pleased to see them win. Now before the sketchcrawl I held a little demo, well less of a demo and more of a talk, well I read from the book I wrote about five-minute-sketching people, and gave out schedules and maps for all the games in the park that day. That was fun.
There are more sketches posted by other sketchers from this sketchcrawl on the brand new ‘Let’s Draw Davis’ Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/383785982124525/
I know, Facebook is Facebook, and to be honest I rarely use it now except for Let’s Draw Davis, but it’s a handy way for people tom post their sketches from the monthly events. We do of course have a page (maintained by a couple of other local sketchers): https://www.facebook.com/LetsDrawDavis/
And if you are interested in learning more about the Davis World Cup, visit: https://www.davisworldcup.org/
Now, we look forward to the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer… I can’t wait to do another post about all the kits. This year they are incredible!
Davis residents all know Rainbow City, beloved playground made of wood and built by the community in Community Park years ago. I remember when I first came here, thinking that if I were a kid in Davis, this would have been my favourite playground, and I know for my own son, it pretty much was. And then, a couple of years ago, they closed it down – several reasons were bandied about at the time: safety, the aging wood, termites, chemicals, hiss-boo-modern-world. I was worried that this would end up as another horrible plastic nothing playground, or even one of those weird playgrounds you get now with the odd shaped climbing bars and make-no-sense seats. Or maybe it would never come back. And then, just recently, the City and the local community started the new building project, which is ongoing, and here it is. I sketched it on Sunday morning, sat on the little grassy mound by the Davis Arts Center. It’s coming along nicely, and while it isn’t exactly the same, it has a lot of similar features to the old Rainbow City, but is just newer, updated. I’m excited for it to open, which should be fairly soon. Not that I can exactly run around on it myself, mind, and even my son is going to start getting past the age of playgrounds soon, but it does look like a fun place for local kids to explore. It’s a nice spot in my neighbourhood. I’m looking forward to the bike path next to it reopening too.
Last week my son had his final t-ball game of the season. T-ball for those who don’t know (and I didn’t, until I was in this world) is baseball for four-five year olds, the lowest level of the Davis Little League system. Little League is played by just about all of the six hundred million kids in Davis, and the games of t-ball (so called because for the first few weeks they use a tee to hit the ball from, until they are used to live pitching) are played on the fields at Community Park. The bigger kids play at the Little League field across the street. Parents have to volunteer for a bunch of stuff, and I did a morning shift recently working at the Snack Shack, which was fun. Anyway, my son’s last game for the Diamondbacks was against the Reds, which means you might not be able to tell the teams apart in the sketch above (in the watercolour Moleskine), which doesn’t matter much since I sketched pretty randomly. Also, there is no scoring in t-ball – all the kids get to hit, and run, and field. Playing first base is the best thing because the kids always have something to do. See when a kid hits, it just gets thrown to first base, and then back to the pitcher. After the game, we had a pizza party for the kids, and they all got little trophies (there it si below sketched in the Stillman & Birn Alpha book). Next year he’ll move up to the next level (‘farm’) where they use a pitching machine. But first, the All-Star Game…
Last Thursday May 16 was the tenth annual “Celebrate Davis” event, held at Community Park, the big park near my house. There were food stands, live music, bouncy castles for kids, a petting zoo, a big zipline was set up, even a dunk tank where kids can throw balls at a button to send some poor volunteer splashing into a vat of water. Mostly there were stands from various different businesses from Davis, this event being organized by the Chamber of Commerce. I did a little bit of sketching: above is Cochon Volant BBQ (“Flying Pig”), which I sketched with the smell of grilled pork wafting all around. I don’t eat pork any more but I’m sure it was lovely. I also sketched an old police car which was parked nearby, the local police were letting kids get in to take photos. This looks very 70s TV cop show to me. I wonder if it ever drove through big piles of boxes on the sidewalk, like they did in the 70s, on cop shows, on TV.
Celebrate Davis 2013 ended with its usual spectacular firework display, which thnaks to out location we can see from the comfort of our bedroom window.
My son is playing t-ball again this year, for the second time. T-ball is little league baseball for the very young. They don’t keep score, play two or three innings, everyone gets a chance to learn. I sketched a little at his second game of the season – he plays for the Diamondbacks. He’s an old hand now of course! Sketched on a sunny early evening at Community Park, Davis, in my Moleskine diary. Not easy to sketch these types of things, especially the bit where he was about to bat, but fun trying to capture it quickly. Fun memories!
Last Sunday was the November “Let’s Draw Davis” sketchcrawl, in the conveniently-located-across-the-street-from-me Community Park. Since it had been prophesied to be a cold day, only a few of us showed up, greeted by crisp autumn sunshine and blazing fall colours. after a very quick ‘people’ sketch or two I set to work on a panorama. The previous Friday evening I had attended a fun event at the Davis Art Center called the ‘Arty Party’, in which there was lots of drawing, some drinking and eating, and I even won a game of Pictionary, a game I’ve not played in a couple of decades, surprisingly. It was nice to get out and be social and talk to people about art, and in fact they will be selling some cards of my drawings in their annual Holiday Sale (Nov 30-Dec 2), including a recent one of the Art Center. I was talking about how I’d never drawn the building before, because it wasn’t an easy one to draw – trees in the way, lots of angles, it had always seemed very difficult. And then almost as soon as I had said it, I said to myself, difficult, huh? Really? So I determined to give it another go. I liked my first version – it says ‘Davis Art Center’ on it – but really wanted the panoramic version in my Moleskine sketchbook. I stood in the sunshine for just over two hours (my wife even came by and brought me a sandwich!) and sketched away. I started in the middle and worked my way outwards.
I didn’t end up doing any more sketches on the sketchcrawl (I popped back home to call my Mum in England and have a cup of tea), but met with the group at the library afterwards, where we all showed off our sketches. In the end I think about eight people came, which was pretty good for a cold day (though it wasn’t cold, really California, really..). Next one will be in mid-December, when it might really be cold…let’s keep drawing Davis!
Finally, here is the drawing of Davis Art Center I started on location before I went to Portland (and finished when I got back), showing the main entrance and part of a sculpture in the foreground. I love this place, they do a lot of good for our artistic community in Davis, and long may they do so.
Yesterday my son played his first ever tee-ball game, and has now entered the big world of baseball. His team, the Orioles, played the Pirates on a lovely March early evening; my Luke, wearing the number 1 (how cool!), made a couple of nice hits and while fielding made a great throw to get someone at first base. Sport at this age is so cute. They don’t keep score in tee-ball, and nobody is really out, everyone gets a chance to run the bases and hit the ball, and it’s all a lot of fun for them. Both teams therefore win (they won’t ever call it a draw!), and they all get snow-cones afterwards. My boy’s growing up; we’re very proud parents!
Last week we held our November 2011 ‘Let’s Draw Davis!’ sketchcrawl, up at Community Park. It was a pleasant Fall day (and I had not yet heard about the previous day’s pepper spray incident), Turkey Trotters were out running across Davis, the park was full of autumnal colours and temperatures were not too cold, at least not for the first hour or so (after which it started to get chilly). The regular Davis sketchers were joined by several new faces, mostly from Davis, but also one, Portland Urban Sketcher Linda Daily, whom I had met up in Portland at last year’s Symposium.
We started off by drawing around the Davis Art Center and the amazing wooden playground Rainbow City. It’s a completely community-built playground, one of the greater examples of epic community work in Davis. One of the other sketchers, Landon, told me that he in fact had helped make it when he was a child. There I am below sketching with the little Scully.
I sketched some people; still practising my people sketches. Below are (top row, left to right): Allan Hollander from Davis (I’ve sketched Allan before a few times), Landon Christensen from Davis, Marlene Lee from Davis (another sketchcrawl regular). Bottom row, left to right, are: Salvador Castio from Stockton, Linda daily from Portland, and Jennica from Davis.
After some more park sketchng (I drew these old playground pieces; perhaps these used to be City and UCD fire hydrants in former lives, judging by their colours), we met up at the library, where we warmed up and chatted about sketching. I also showed off my library display. It’s so great to meet other sketchers, and see their books and their tools, and learn about their approach or reason for doing this. That’s the point of the sketchcrawls! And for me they’re always learning experiences.