slip inside the eye of your mind

de veres, davis
At the end of a busy and interesting week, a Friday night trip downtown was in order. The hundred degree weather has cooled into low 90s and mid 80s, a sigh of relief from me for one. Davis is too hot in the summertime, you just don’t want to be outside doing anything. Summer makes for nice evenings though, so I biked downtown after dinner and walked about. Popped into Newsbeat, the Avid Reader, Bizarro Comics, and then went to De Vere’s Irish pub to spend the rest of the night drawing the bar and drinking the beer. It was as super-crowded as on previous visits, though it got busier later. I read the comic I bought (one of the new DC ‘Before Watchmen’ prequels, this one based on the Comedian; it really wasn’t all that, to be honest) and got out the sketchbook to draw this bar one more time. I have often thought about organizing a ‘Drink and Draw’ group in Davis, perhaps going to different Davis pubs each time; I think it’d be a good idea, though I have had little time to work on it. So I occasionally get out to draw the bars myself; it’s good practise, all those bottles and shapes and light, and you get to sample the local beers. I intended to do the whole thing in dark brown but I had picked up the purple instead, only realising after drawing the beer pumps. The light wasn’t bad, but it was hard to tell between brown and purple. Once I realised, I decided on a two-colour scheme which I really liked. Purple and brown reminds me of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk too. It took a while to draw this, about 3.5 beers (someone did ask me how long it had taken but I couldn’t remember what time I came in, I had been in Bizarro Comics next door for quite a while). You might be able to spot my reflection in there somewhere. The level of detail tails off a bit towards the end, on the right, because of the larger movement of people, the darker light, and the effects of the Sudwerk Aggie ale (not my favourite Sudwerk beer by quite a long shot, but it’s nice enough and only $4 a pint). I chatted to some people at the bar while I sketched, watched the Giants win at the baseball, and made the long walk home through dark Old North Davis (they don’t like streetlights there; apparently they want you to be able to see the stars. Be quite nice to see the street as well though, I would have thought). Passed the bats that live under the bridge at Covell too, squeaking and flapping about. Summer is nearly done, and Fall is coming in, but the warm weather and balmy nights will be with us for quite a bit of time yet, and it’s nice to get out every so often.

(Click on the image to go to a bigger version)

PS: here are my previous sketches in De Vere’s Davis:
DeVere's pub, Davis
de vere's, davisde vere's at lunchtime

a hatful of silo

silo uc davis
Sketching has been sporadic lately, but I have been doing a little. Above is a quick lunchtime sketch at the Silo, UC Davis, where I often eat my lunch. On this day I sketched; other days I just eat, read, listen to podcasts, or in the case of yesterday I spent my time writing hilarious captions against photos of hairy pretentious bands in a local free magazine. That was fun. But anyway, this got me thinking about how many times I’ve sketched at the Silo – a LOT, I’ve worked at UCD for six and a half years now, blimey. So here is a selection of sketches of the Silo area from over the years.
sooner or later, one of us must knowno colours any more
(Above Left: March 2008; Above Right: April 2008)

silo um mittagsilo

(Above Left: Feb 2007; Above Right: July 2009)

yer bluesblue silo
(Above Left: Feb 2009; Above Right: Oct 2007)

the silo
(Above Sept 2010)

through the windowrainy silo

(Above Left: Feb 2010; Above Right: March 2012)

in the silo
(Above May 2011)

lunchtimesilo lunchers

(Above Left: March 2008; Above Right: July 2009)

silo on an envelope

(Above: Feb 2012)

at the silo, in purplepurple pen at lunchtime

(Above Left: August 2007; Above Right: Jan 2008)

taco bell at the silohalal truck at uc davis silo

(Above Left: June 2011; Above Right: May 2011)

carl's jroverheard conversations

(Above Left: March 2009; Above Right: Sept 2007)

the silothe silo oct 2011

(Above Left: Sept 2011; Above Right: Oct 2011)

Thanks for sticking to the end! This isn’t even all of them, and doesn’t include all the South Silo, Bike Barn, Outdoor Adventures ones, the whole Silo Complex. This represents a helluva lot of Grill’d Stuff’d Burritos.

it was a sunny january day…

sketchcrawl 30

Yesterday’s “Let’s Draw Davis” Sketchcrawl in Davis was quite an event! We had glorious weather, warm and sunny, and an amazing turnout – I met lots of new sketchers, plus some familiar faces, it was a great sketchcrawl. There were at least twenty-five of us, maybe more. We were even joined by Aggie TV, who filmed us sketching and interviewed me about our sketchcrawls, and that this was part of the 30th worldwide sketchcrawl happening in cities across the planet. We were also joined by ‘Walking Bob’ Schultz, who wrote a piece about us in Davis Life magazine on Friday. You can see that article on Pretty cool!

We all met at the E Street Plaza at 11, and sketched about the square in clusters, sketching in different styles and sketchbooks. Above are actually three separate sketches which I drew attached to each other. In the middle, the sketcher with the orange hat is Cynthia Sterling, who drove over from Napa. After a while, some of us stopped and went for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Mansion Square, just off E St. I sketched a few fellow sketchers below…

sketchers eating at thai recipes

More to come!

sketching rita

Rita Hosking and her band

So here are the sketches I did at last week’s Friday ArtAbout, during Rita Hosking’s performance at Armadillo in Davis. I was amazed at her music, it reminded me how much I love country/folk music. She is a singer-songwriter from northern California, who lives in Davis. She plays all over, though, and in fact toured the UK last summer. After a very busy week, I found it really relaxing listening to her and her band, Cousin Jack, while sketching (and as you know I’m trying to practise sketching musicians, as I’ve always found it tricky). People were coming up to watch me sketch as well, and because some of the younger audience couldn’t see what I was sketching, I sat on the floor. From that angle I was able to sketch looking up at the fiddler, Andy (see below).

Andy the fiddlerRita Hosking at Armadillo

Check out Rita’s website and Facebook page. Her music’s great!

By the way, my prints are still on display at Armadillo Music for the next few weeks, so pop down and have a look at them.

i’ve got a lot of songs but they’re all in my head

a corner of musicWhen massive storms are swirling outside, you need to stay in, and draw your home. This corner of the apartment is where we keep the music. Why is it that no matter how many CDs I have I only ever listen to the same few ones? I used to listen to a lot more music than I do now, years ago, or at least it feels like that. Maybe it’s because I don’t spend my weekends jumping about to the crackle of records as I did when I was a teenager, or fall asleep to the repeats of a CD, or commute for an hour plus to the hiss of a tape deck, as I did for too many years in London. I have an mp3 player now, everything on random shuffle. My two-year-old likes music. When we get up together on early weekend mornings we put on some top tunes and rock out with air guitar to our breakfast. He likes ‘Formed a Band’. And ‘Yellow Submarine’. He’s a budding little artist too – that’s one of his finger-paintings on the wall there.

When I was a teenager, it was all about the records, Never Mind The Bollocks, full blast. Not really any feeling quite like it. It’s what teenagers do. If I listen to it now, I swear I can still hear my mum or dad shouting my name up the stairs (not usually to turn it down, funny enough, more often just to come down and make a cup of tea). I guess I have all that to look forward to.

purple faces

Here’s a treat, a guest sketcher in my Moleskine; while at the pub in London (The Ship no less), I met up with Tamara, an old friend from university who I’ve not seen in several years, and she insisted I sketch a quick portrait in the pub (my weak effort, which looks nothing like her, is at the bottom there – this is why I don’t do portraits while out and about!). In return, she drew a very nice one of me, and one of my friend Adrian, and here they are (I’m the one with the glasses obviously). Vielen Dank Tamara! A fun outing for the purple micron pen, and a very nice time was had by all.


home again

mum's kitchenI just got back from two weeks in London, where the weather was changeable and there was Match of the Day, trifle and turkey rasher sandwiches to look forward to. And now the scanning and posting begins in earnest! I sketched a lot in London. There was a lot to sketch. But it was cold, very cold, sometimes wet, very wet, and the sun went down at about half-past three, so it was dark, very dark. I loved it. I do miss my home town sometimes.

However, by being across the pond we were missing Thanksgiving, so my American wife cooked my British family a lovely Thanksgiving meal of roast turkey, mashed potaoes, green beans with caramelized onions, gravy and amazing pumpkin pie to finish it off. Thanksgiving is my favourite of the American holidays, by far, so it was nice to share that with my family in Burnt Oak.mum's living room

I got up very early (jetlag) and sketched in the kitchen, pre-meal. I also drew a slice of the living room. I wasn’t involved with the cooking; my job that day was to entertain my son, so I took him out and we explored the town where I was born (well, the suburb), the park, the shops, the library. This is the house where I grew up, drawn quickly in purple micron pen.

It was nice being back home in the UK, though it was only for a short while. I enjoyed Match of the Day (Lineker and his banter with Hansen), I lapped up the trifle (especially my brother’s, he has a secret recipe), and I ate a lot of turkey rasher sandwiches. Bliss.