in the warm california sun

santa cruz beach boardwalk sm
More from our Labor Day weekend away: the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a hive of happy holidaymakers on a Saturday afternoon. It was warm and sunny, right by the Pacific Ocean, and we had spent the morning up on the cliffs watching surfers and out on the pier (or wharf) enjoying some very yummy ice cream and very tasty clam chowder. I do like to be beside the seaside. After the rest of the family headed back for a nap, I pottered down to the funfair on the Boardwalk and found (after some searching) a place in the shade to sketch. It was pretty busy, and that famous old rollercoaster rattled and screamed. It’s funny, staying in Santa Cruz you regularly hear the sound of girls screaming ringing through the night but in a wierdly normal (and clockwork) way, knowing it’s probably the rolloercoaster of that big thing that shoots people into the air and then drops them suddenly (why anyone would go on such an unholy contraption is beyond me). Perhaps it’s all the vampires. Below is a nice (and quickly sketched while waiting for pizza) view of the Boardwalk from the end of the street where we stayed. I liked this motel sign (that’s not where we stayed, we rented a small house).
Santa Cruz Motel Sign

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come up to my lighthouse

Santa Cruz Lighthouse

Santa Cruz Lighthouse, on the cliffs overlooking Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the city of Santa Cruz itself. this little lighthouse is home to the Museum of Surfing, dude. There is a plaque outside explaining how three very dapper looking Hawaiian princes brought the royal sport of surfing here. I didn’t have time to really look around, as I was still in agony from sunburning my feet the previous day, but wanted to sketch it; last time I drew it was on our previous trip here in 2007. This is a beautiful spot. Huge waves crash right up cliffs to the left, and surfers young and old dance about on the crests and currents, while pelicans and seagulls fly overhead. Sealions pop their heads above water too, to see what all the fuss is about, and sometimes you can spot whales in the distance.

santa cruz hydrants

Santa Cruz HydrantSanta Cruz Hydrant
Labor DSanta Cruz Hydrantay weekend, and we spent it in Santa Cruz, in the warm California sun. Well, quite a bit cooler than the usual super hot sun we have in Davis, so that was a nice change. I love being by the sea. Santa Cruz is a cool city, and we stayed near the Boardwalk. The hydrants here are different than in Davis so I managed to sketch a few of them. I am sure I look a right plum sketching these, but I don’t care, it’s more for the catalogue. Most are yellow (one or two were orange) but there was a greater variety in the ‘trim’, and I sketched a couple of orange ones, a red, a blue and a green. I don’t think I have drawn any of these models before either – very similar ones, but not exactly. Well maybe the blue trimmed one is similar to one I drew in Santa Rosa. Oh, I don’t know. I feel like one of those mad 19th century explorers sometimes, searching for and cataloguing new species of flora in the deep urban jungle. I really should make an effort when I find these new specimens to write down the manafacturer name, maybe the year if its legible, but it’s too late now. I’m not so methodical, I just draw the things.

Incidentally these were all drawn in my watercolour moleskine (moley #10) in uniball vision micro pen with watercolour. All were done on location, sat crouching in the street hoping I don’t get run over or weed on by a dog. If you want to see a whole load of fire hydrants (and other metal pipes that come out of the ground), then here is my Flickr set, “Hydrants and Pipes“. Or perhaps you thinks it’s a bit barmy. But hey, as they say – “Keep Santa Cruz Weird”, right?

Santa Cruz HydrantSanta Cruz Hydrant