Napper Valley

UC Davis Quad
A lovely sunny Monday lunchtime. This is the UC Davis Quad. You will notice on the right there are blue hammocks set up with people taking naps inside. This is very much encouraged in Davis (also in nearby Napper Valley). Taking a nap is good for you. What do you call it when someone is pretending to be asleep? Fake Snooze. I haven’t tried the hammocks myself, they are usually all occupied. Ironically they didn’t have these when people were camping on the Quad years ago in the ‘Occupy’ protests. Back then, UC Davis was put on the map of infamy by the ‘Pepper Spray Incident’. Did you hear about the peanut who was pepper-sprayed? He was a salted. Peanut. Ha ha, ha ha. It’s very peaceful here now, though we still have protests and a number of marches, as you would expect. This for example was March 18. Sorry I appear to have been possessed by the spirit of Tommy Cooper.


feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away

silo, UC Davis
I eat lunch almost every single day. Sometimes that lunch is eaten at the UC Davis Silo. If you’ve followed this sketchblog foir some time you will alreayd know this and you are probably as bored of the fact as I am, but it is close to the office. The food has changed over the years. Gone is Taco Bell, gone is Carl’s Junior, in are the food trucks, in is the home-brand bicycle-part-themed ‘Spokes’ which serves burgers. The Crepes place is still here but has moved into Taco Bell’s old spot. I never eat there though. Once years ago I got a crepe from their stall at Picnic Day to share with my young son who was about five or six at the time, and I asked for a second plastic fork for him, and they refused, saying I had to buy a whole second crepe to get a second fork. Really dude? They have a Peet’s Coffee in there now instead of the Starbucks, so that people who like standing in long lines for coffee can still do so. There’s a bit more seating now. On these two lunchtimes I was listening to some podcast or other and just needed to sketch away what was left of the lunchtime. These represent a need to sketch more than anything.
silo interior

the wizard’s tower

the silo

As I said before, lunchtimes are more crowded now that the students are back in town (such exciting daily reporting from Davis, California! Tune in tomorrow when I tell you whether there were any chocolate croissants at the coffee shop or not) Anyway, seating being limited I sat out in the shade with a different view of the Silo, and one that I could not resist putting into the sketchbook. Yes, that’s ivy covering the Silo tower. With a few more windows that would be a brilliant place for a fantasy-story wizard to live. The Wizard of the Silo, sounds like a mystery novel already. Well, NaNoWriMo is coming up, why not write it? Here’s the plot: in the hot, hot valley there lived an old wizard, who despite the heat always dressed in a long thick robe, and wove ivy into his long flowing beard. (I know what you’re thinking, ‘another bloody hippy’, but let’s carry on with the story). Anyway, this wizard had grown tired of all his magic and all his crows (that’s a thing, there used to be loads of crows in Davis but you don’t see them any more, where are they all? Sorry, back to the story) and … actually you can finish the rest, I’m bored of this epic tale already. Never mind NaNoWriMo, I’ve given up before it’s even October. Well, I have a lot of drawing to do for my December show…

taco bell du jour

taco bell at the silo

Taco Bell at the UC Davis Silo. I eat here every so often (though one time they mistakenly charged me 16 times for the same item – oops!). I’ve been sketching my places-of-lunch lately, so here it is, in dark blue micron pen in my wh smith sketchbook.

at the delta of venus

delta of venus

I drew the outside of this cafe, the Delta of Venus, about a month ago or so. Last week I actually ate there, and of course sketched there, while having a very interesting lunchtime meeting about possible art projects with Shelly from the Davis Art Center. While sketching I noticed some of local artist Laura Kelly’s amazing artwork on the wall, she has been on a couple of the sketchcrawls. Davis is a town full of artists.

shah thing

halal truck at uc davis silo

There is a truck outside the Silo at UC Davis these days that produces the most incredible lunchtime aroma of middle-eastern food, Shah’s Halal Food. I don’t eat there very much, because the line is always really, really long. One time I ate there too, there was a bone in my chicken. But let me tell you – it’s the tastiest and I mean tastiest food on campus. Yes, it beats the Thai soup, just about. Anyway, though I didn’t have the patience to wait in line to eat there last Friday, I did sit outside and sketch the truck as hungry patrons waited patiently.

lunch on

in the silo

Another lunch-place sketch. Every day this week I have sketched a different place I’ve been eating lunch (all with a fountain diet coke in the foreground). This is in the Silo. I had Taco Bell. I don’t usually sit downstairs on the big long tables with the other people. Ok, it’s because of the overheard conversations. I left out the chattering folk in this one. Thankfully Silent Bob was at the end of the table. Or is it Silo Bob? Where will my lunchtime adventures take me tomorrow..?