Last week I was invited to lead a sketching event at the Sudwerk Taproom in Davis. Now I used to go to Sudwerk in its previous incarnation, as a restaurant and beer garden, and I sketched it a few times. The restaurant is closed now, and the current owners operate a popular tap room with am interesting rotation of beers, but still keeping the old Sudwerk classics like the Marzen, which I always liked. No longer sold in big litre glasses though, but my diet (see previous sketch) probably means I should lay off those anyway. We had a number of other sketchers there with us, it was a nice relaxing evening, I gave some tips on sketching places like this, and I drew a few of the things that I saw about there. It was a nice evening!
Last Friday I went out to the far western edge of Davis, to the fourth annual Stonegate Art Fest. It’s an exhibition of artwork – paintings, sculptures, photography – put on by the residents of the Stonegate area. I went to see the work of my colleague Rahman Azari and his wife (both are excellent artists), and do some sketching, and also spread the word about the upcoming Davis sketchcrawl on October 16. I met some interesting local artists and spent a lot of time talking, so only managed two sketches. I drew the guitarist (Kit Sodergren), who played an acoustic set; he was playing “If I Fell” by the Beatles as I sketched this. The other drawing is called “Stradipearius”, a piece by Eric Nelson which was part of the ‘box project’ the stonegate artists were invited to do. Each was given a small wooden box and asked to create something from it, with diverse results. Afterwards, I cycled home, through a Davis which is now full of people and new students, past frat houses which are ‘rushing’, and a downtown full of music and the excitement of the new school year. Summer is over*, and Fall is here at last.
(*when I say Summer is over, I say it while it’s like, 95 degrees outside)
He stands outside Chipotle and Peet’s Coffee n E Street, busking on his twelve-string at lunchtimes when I am there, sounding like Dylan, Nelson, Haggard; his music is very nice. He has one of those harmonicas you can play while guitaring; no cymbals at the knees though. Very distinctive with his long white hair, moustache, sunglasses; he has a long feather in his hat. One of the characters of Davis. He was singing a song about watercoloured wine while I was drawing this, munching on my burrito. It was cold outside; November is really kicking in. The Fall Colours have just exploded all around us, the trees have suddenly turned the colour of flames, and there’s no way I’ll keep up with them.
Okay so here’s what I want, a black rickenbacker guitar (12 string would be nice), and you can get it from this shop, Macari’s. Ok, fair enough, a nice pair of socks will do. Anyway, I was out in Central London having a wander and I stopped on Charing Cross Road to draw the shop itself. It was here that I bought my acoustic gitar, the one I still play, 12 years ago.
So, Christmas. How many mince pies have I eaten this week? I’m eating one right now actually. As Santa’s representative on earth I get one on christmas eve. What’s going on in the UK? Woolworths, now that was sad, going in there today to look at empty cleared shelves, people rummaging through nothingness while the former best place to buy christmas gifts rolls over and dies, and as of today it takes zavvi (formerly virgin megastore) with it, which is an utter disaster for me. That big store on the corner of Oxford Street was a home away from home for me growing up. This downturn is just hitting so hard here you don’t know what will collapse next.
On that cheery note (what am I, the new Eastenders?), from a country where although you might hear the names Jordan and Peter Andre too often, you never hear the name Sarah Palin (and that is such a good thing), I wish you all a Happy Christmas.
(incientally, i drew this with a new pen I’d not discovered before now, a uni-pin fineliner 0.1, bought from paperchase – bloody god it was too)
This is my illustration friday for this week, theme “strings“. Pretty obvious.
I absolutely hate stringing the guitar. It’s my least favourite thing. It takes me hours, and it is torturous. I am constantly afraid of one snapping and cutting my lip, or ripping a hole in the fabric of the universe or something. It’s almost like my fear of bunsen burners, but more stupid. I’ve considered just giving up the guitar for good while restringing in the past, it’s been that bad. The guy in the shop when I bought these offered to string my guitar for me, but it would mean bringing it in, I just don’t have time. He did also try to sell me some really swanky looking guitar strings called Elixir, but I decided against them because they sounded too much like a packet of condoms.
I spoke before about my dead Ibanez. It sat, headless and broken, in the corner of the room waiting for the return of the king or something, gathering dust (but not cobwebs, spiders would not dare). I finally laid it to rest, by beating the townshend out of it, and here you can see how it was done:
I’ve never destroyed a guitar like that before. It felt pretty good. I taught that chair a lesson too. That was the last day of moving out of our old apartment. Incidentally the soundtrack was made with this guitar’s shiny electric replacement.
Next week: pete destroys a moleskine.