Tuesday, 23 August 2011

San Francisco part 13

Right a little over a month later here is my final San Francisco blog entry which can most probably be summarised as pizza, records, illustration, pizza but I'll expand a tiny bit for old time sakes.

On Friday (July 22) we drove into the city to take a look at the Margaret Kilgallen exhibition at Ratio 3 in the Mission district of San Francisco. It proved to be a bit of a slog trying to find the venue in a car but eventually we arrived. As expected the artwork was beautiful - folk art inspired simple line work combined with striking colours and textures.

We drove out to Ocean Beach but inevitably the fog rolled in upon arrival so we drove back to Orinda for some deck beers in the sun. It never fails to amaze me how the weather can be so different from in the city to out in Orinda.

I spent the next day drawing on the deck in the sun. Using a photo I'd taken of a Victorian house around North Beach for reference I did the pen and ink illustration below. I finished up with some water colours but probably over-egged it a bit. Not sure about the bit at the bottom either but I was just experimenting really.

On the Sunday we met up with our friend Donnie and his little girl Rue to try our luck foraging for treasure at the Oakland flea market. Aside from the usual array of fat children and a couple of stolen fixed gear bicycles there wasn't too much to see. By which I mean there were no records. In the evening I learnt to play Dominoes ghetto style.

Monday was to be our last foray into the city so we started good and early, getting BART in and meeting up with Annie's friend in Dolores Park. A couple of beers later and an emotional final trip to Escape From New York Pizza in the Castro we then wandered over to Molotov's for a few happy hour beers before heading back on BART to Oakland for a Kurt Vile and Thurston Moore gig.

Fucked Up were playing in the city on the same night and I was really torn as to which gig to go to - Annie wanted to see Fucked Up more but I think the double whammy of Kurt Vile and Thurston Moore swung it in the end. In hindsight I wish I'd gone to see Fucked Up - 'David Comes to Life' is my favourite lp of the year (thus far) followed closely by 'Smoke Ring For My Halo'. That said Kurt Vile was brilliant and we had the added bonus of a Hush Arbors support slot too. Despite releasing a decent (if samey) Beck produced new album Thurston Moore drifted over me a little and we had to leave before the end of the set to get the last BART home. Weird seeing Keith of Hush Arbors playing guitar for Thurston Moore as well - bit of a step up from playing bass for Voice of the Seven Thunders at the Llama festival last year. I know which gig I preferred though...

And that was that - my just-shy-of-three-month visit was over. We squeezed in one final trip to Berkeley for me to use some vouchers at Moes book store and had a delicious sushi dinner. What did I learn from my time there? Escape from New York pizza is aces.

I also managed to motivate myself in an illustration sense more than I have ever done before in my life. Not sure if it was the different surroundings or the available free-time but it really worked. And three weeks into being home I'm working every day on illustrations for around 6-8 hours at a time, something I couldn't have possibly imagined before going. So there you go.

Still fucking skint mind...

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