Friday, August 31, 2012


Digital arts mag TRIBE has published a spread of my San Francisco sketches, available to view freely here. I'd encourage all my creative blog friends to submit work to Tribe mag too.

All these sketches were made on location around the city over the summer.

The Mission & North Beach


Fishermans' Wharf

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ghost town

In April 2011 my ol' Bristol chum Ash Boddy and I attempted to get to Bodie-an old ghost-town from the gold rush era near Yosemite. However the winter had been particularly harsh and the mountain pass was still snow-bound!
So Ash returned to visit California this summer and we made a second successful trip into the mountains.

From San Francisco it's a 5 hour drive to Bodie so we covered that the first day and stayed overnight in Bridgeport so we could have a full day to draw.  Our B&B was where Robert Mitchum stayed while filming 'Out of the Past' in 1947.

Early next morn we set off up the dirt track towards Bodie- once the most thriving and lawless mining town in the West. 
Reputedly the most well-preserved ghost-town Bodie is a fraction of the size it became in its heyday due to a devastating fire in the early part of the last century.  But the buildings and artifacts that remain are fascinatingly suspended in a state of 'arrested decay'.
Peering through windows is like looking into the past; a poker table abandoned seemingly mid-game; a school class-room eerily still fully equipped; the gym, saloon bar, grocery -store all frozen in time.

The wooden buildings look ready to collapse at any moment; their wind-blasted and sun-scorched walls warped and twisted.  No straight lines or right angles- heaven to draw!
If memory serves the shack above was to store ice!
Some of the buildings looked like they were saved from collapse just in time. The fire-house below is one of the more sturdy constructions.

The old saw-mill is still standing . . . just.
At a 10,000 ft elevation the site is that much closer to the sun and drawing in the baking heat was a trial, even breathing was more of a struggle at that altitude. However it was still a pleasure to try and capture as many of the warped buildings and out-houses as we could.

Life was hard living in Bodie-even going to the toilet would've been arduous, braving the elements not to mention the prospect of encountering rattlesnakes.

Read Ash's alternative account with a whole load o' untruths he just plain made up right here!