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February 17, 2014
Davis CA: My January "Panoramarathon" ("Januarathon?" Januarama?") continued, right to the end of the month (and the sketchbook; not much activity since, except for lots of drawings of Lego). Here are the rest. The first one, above, was done on one of the various Monday holidays we get here, Martin Luther King Jr Day (I'm typing this on another, Presidents' Day). See how sunny it is. It was like that all month, and that's not a good thing; California is in danger of a serious drought. However the rains finally came in February, but probably not enough, though given that my native England is wading under floodwater and the rest of the US is being pummelled with ice, I am not complaining too much. Bah, I'm from Britain, we can complain about the weather for the Olympics. Anyway on this day I sat out for two and half hours (three if you include stopping to eat lunch) on First Street to sketch the scene above, and still had to do a good deal of the colouring-in later at home. Most of these are frat houses for Theta Xi (presumably a fraternity for cab drivers?), with the John Natsoulas Gallery on the right. At least I brought my stool.
This next panorama was sketched at the birthday party of a local musician, David Hafter, and his son Noah. I have sketched his band Wealth of Nations before while out and about in Davis, so he invited me along to his party at Third Space Davis. Of course I brought my sketchbook. I sketched the dancers too as you can see.
This is Freeborn Hall, UC Davis. It’s a big building near the Memorial Union, and from what I understand, this will be its last year, at least in its present form. There are many on campus who will mourn its loss, so I thought I’d better add it to the roster of things I have sketched in this town, though to be honest I’ve never really liked this building much, partly because it’s a pain to sketch, and partly because I went to a gig here a few years ago and, while I loved the music, the venue was terrible. This was drawn on location furiously over one extended lunchtime and coloured in later on at home.
I loved this one, when it was finished. To be honest it was painful to sketch. I stood (standing gives you a better view over the parked SUVs) one Saturday afternoon on Second St outside Froggies and looked north, never having sketched this building from this side before. I believe it's historic, it has been here in this town a long time. Anyway the longer I stood, in my awkward pose clutching my sketchbook, the more it ached, so after doing about two-thirds of it I gave up and hobbled away. But I came back, another furious lunchtime, and finished it off then, standing properly, in much less agony. I love all of these leafless trees, but it really is a rsh to sketch the buildings while they are like this - already by that point, many trees in Davis are blossoming into Spring. Out of interest, to the left of the building is an alleyway called Tim Spencer Alley, which was named after a UPS deliverer, the “nicest UPS delivery person who ever lived” according to Davis Wiki.
And here is the last one, another bar-sketch, the last panorama of the month. This is the Little Prague bar on G St, on a Friday night on the last day of January. I had had another very busy week, so I popped out to finish off my book and have some Czech beer. I have sketched this bar a few times before but not quite from this angle. I raced through it; the music started up after people starting coming in, and I called it a night. And a sketchbook! Panoramarathon done; phew. Back to drawing Lego.