To those of you that wrote in and told me about signs I must sketch in the South Bay, thank you! Here are a few recent sketches, most from your suggestions.
Cambrian Park Plaza with it’s charming carousel. The Plaza is up for sale. Will they leave the carousel where it is or will it be torn down?
This is Babe, the Muffler Man, at 808 The Alameda in San Jose. He’s huge and scary looking at first: maybe it’s those really bushy eyebrows and just how large he is? But as I drew him, he looked more and more benign. Which might be why he looks like he does in this sketch. Besides, it was an overcast day so I got no strong shadows: it’s just a lot more fun to draw something big and scary when there’s strong light and sharp shadows.
So I went back to draw Babe all over again. This time I chose a more dramatic angle, and I got some shadows, which helped. The muffler Babe holds, though, was gone. It had been taken down for repairs.
Another old sign. This one for a business that has long since disappeared. The sign for Stephen’s Meat Products stands near the Diridon Station in San Jose. It now marks the edge of a parking lot by the train station.
To see a collection of my vintage signage sketches, click here.
And if you know of more old signs in the San Francisco Bay Area, signs I can sketch, old theater marquees, drop me a line and let me know.