Peterborough #benchviews 21-25

Yes I’m still sketching.  Must admit, I’ve not completed one for almost a week so thought I’d post these previous ones to see what you think before I head out to find a bench to sit on..

Bench View No 21

This won’t look like it but I was very chilly while painting this. It had rained when I was there earlier so I had to stop since the rain was washing all my watercolour from the page and I was getting rather chilly. This was painted when I’d warmed up a little as Diversity day was coming to a close in Cathedral square.

Bench View No 22

There are some days I paint one sketch and others where I do four!  This day I finished my day by painting the memorial in the middle of Peterborough. It’s rare to have a day when it’s not bustling with activities and I was able to notice the remembrance wreath and architecture of the town hall while a few cyclists passed me. Apparently my sketches are controversial depending on when I do them..

Bench View No 23

During my work to work one day I sat a while in one of the gardens near the cathedral and watched as the summer bedding was removed. This was a job I did annually with my Dad while I grew up. Speaking to the gardeners about their practices and choices of bedding I’m looking forward to sketching their Autumn/Winter bedding which should be in by now. I’ll go take a look today.

You can’t always tell by my sketches but this scene has the Lido in the background and an unmarked police car passing with blue flashing lights.

Bench View No 24

The police also got into this sketch. I sketch over a period of time. People keep moving and what goes into my sketches is a composite of images I lodge in my brain of what passes and what I’m interested by. I can be focussing on one thing and completely miss another. There are times things scream to be drawn and others that try to be ignored. The bike leaning up against the lamppost was an object I didn’t see at all initially although it was right in front of me.

Bench View No 25

Hope you enjoy these. Must go, got a few benches that need sketching.



Peterborough #BenchViews 16-20

They say that after doing something 13 times it becomes habit. Now I’m sketching by habit here’s my bench view sketches numbers 16-20. I hope you like them.

Bench View No 16

I struggle if I don’t have my art bag with me.  I gave a local three minute talk of the first 16 bench views and someone commented on my art bag.  It’s a habit, what can I say.  I’ll have to take a pic and do a blog just about that bag as why I chose it has it’s own history.

bench view No 17

There were so many things I wanted to add into this sketch and found it a bit harder to relax because there was a lot of sky and the people weren’t as close as I like. I also sketched it before and after a meeting held on a bench on a Sunday. There’s something about meeting on a bench in Peterborough that’s food for the soul these days.

Bench view no 18

People who are looking at my sketches regularly have commented how different some of them are. They say that doesn’t mean better or worse just different.. I try to finish them while I’m sat on the bench but some have to wait to get finished later. This means I’m in a different angle and more or less comfortable and have more or less time which all add to how I finish the lines and colour.

Bench View No 19

This was sketched on one of those days where things happen you’d never be able to plan.

Bench View No 20

Winter arrived and it rained on Diversity Day.

I hope you’re enjoying these. They’ve already taken me to Folkestone to view the triennial, more about this on a later blog and when I’ve completed some of the bench views from there. Who knows if they’ll take me anywhere else but regardless, I’m enjoying all the time I’m currently sketching and watching the world go by.

What do you think? Any benches you’re drawn to?




A few #Ourzoo sketches

This week I’ll be watching the last episode in the current series of a TV drama based on the Mottershead family story who started Chester Zoo.

I wanted to say a few words of thanks and share my first sketches of some Chester zoo animals that I’ve done for decades. My family had very close ties to the zoo. Dad was taken in to work and given a home by George Mottershead from the orphanage and childrens home where Dad was living at the time.

elephant family

Growing up I spent a lot of time after school, at weekends and during school holidays, with a sketch book drawing every animal I could as I wandered around the zoo. Unfortunately those sketches weren’t kept so earlier this year I spent a few hours in #ourzoo and created as many pencil sketches as I could.  Many are still to be finished and I’m hoping to return to create more but in the meantime, here’s the first few.


I show them here by way of a thank you to all those involved in the drama. June, who’s portrayed in the programme, has had a wonderful time throughout the whole process and it’s been a fantastic experience to be on the sidelines hearing all about it. June rang me one morning reminding me of which episode was on that evening, it was lovely to speak to her the day the episode with her as an extra was on.


June Mottersheads story which inspired the #ourzoo drama will be out in a book soon. No I’m not in it, but dad is.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these few tasters of my animal series.

Peterborough #BenchViews 11-15

The leaves are starting to fall and there’s a few places I feel I must sketch before the flowers go over and the trees are bare.

Bench view No 11

I noticed more leaves falling on the Autumn equinox, a day I did three sketches. One on my way into work, one at lunchtime and one on my home.

Bench Views No 12

I’m beginning to notice more about what shops and others show from their windows.. There’s a shoe shop who’s stacking of shoe boxes in their upper windows strangely brought pleasure to my eye satisfying my love of order.

Bench view No 13

Since our office moved I’ve not spent so much time near the market, a place I always used to have my lunch. Remembering the benches I went at the weekend and hadn’t realised how much it’s changed and is becoming a food court hub. The towering flower stands add a lovely touch of brightness to what was a bit of a dull corner.

Bench Views No 14

By now I’m starting to notice how much I see and hear. How we all seem to forget others near us when we sit on benches and have personal conversations. Bench view No 15 was done from two places as I felt a need to move away from those talking near me.  I felt just overhearing their conversation was a bit intrusive of me and I found myself listening so much that I struggled to focus on my sketch.

Bench views No 15

There’s something else that happened while I created this sketch.. I decided it was a pink day.. as you do, such is the whim of the artist!

You might, or not, be interested to know I’ve worked out how many different bench views I could do from my walk into and from work and where I go for lunch and shopping in town.. Around 100 so we may be here awhile.. five bench views at a time.. Tell me when you’ve had enough..

Peterborough Bench views 6 -10

Work-life choices, I’ve not had as much time to sketch as I’d like. Isn’t that always the way. I have been out and about a bit and now have done 12 views from Peterborough benches. Here’s the next five.

Bench view No 6

There’s different reactions to what I do depending on all sorts of things.  How much I want to engage with others, where I sit, what time of the day and which days.

Bench views No 7

I’m learning a lot more about myself, others and the town. I thought I’d learn about painting which I must be, but not consciously.

Bench view No 8

Not surprisingly, when I sat in the middle of town at the weekend when there was an Italian festival happening all around me, people were more interested in what I was up to than when I sketch at lunchtime. At the weekend festival, many sat or stood quietly near me for a long time watching how I worked.  Most commented very positively on what I was creating before they moved on. I work very fast and that seems to fascinate people.

Bench view No 9

Mothers brought their children to watch me paint. ‘See how she’s working quick to capture the people before they move away’ it was fun listening to how others see what I do. People veered from their route to pause a while and watch over my shoulder to see what I was doing. People who also paint stopped and talked to me of their work. I was most concerned by those who said there’s no art in primary schools anymore and since I can’t quite believe that, I will look into it.

Bench view No 10

Please let me know what you think.

View from Peterborough Benches 1-5

I sketch outdoors. Wherever I am and whatever I see, I’m always itching to sketch these days.

view from bench No 1

Like most, I’m not brilliant at taking proper breaks during the day and noticed I was only sketching at weekends or on holidays.  I had words with myself ‘Take your spare art materials into work, take them out at lunchtimes and see what happens.’  This is the result of the first five and now seems to be the beginning of a Peterborough Bench project. 

View from bench No 2

The results are pretty rough but I’m amazed at how differently I already feel about the place and what I’ve noticed.  I had no idea how many benches were close to where I work or why. There are about fifteen outside the magistrates court for example and these first five were all done on some of those. We’re talking over 60 benches within easy walking distance for lunch.. This might take me a while.

View from bench No 3

Next week I’m hoping to move to one of the gardens before the flowers and bedding plants get removed so there should be more colour in them.  I’m hoping to continue and do them all and have a few other projects, that have stemmed from this one, in mind.

View from bench No 4

I have noticed that there are less flowers and no hanging baskets where I’ve been sitting.  The hangers are there just as they are the other side of the road but as I move across further into town I should get more hanging baskets to draw.

View from bench No.5

Given that by the time I’d drawn view from bench No.5 I’d been sitting there each day for a week for an hour  I shouldn’t have been surprised when someone came up and said ‘so you’re the artist.’ Then proceeded to see if what I’d drawn looked like what was in front of me.  They thought there was a likeness thankfully!

All of the people are composites as they change in front of me often and each is my interpretation of what I see.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed my daily art routine.

Happily sketching, Lynne


Starling moults

I’m a bit obsessed at the moment. Thoroughly enjoying my little flock of starlings taking their breakfast and morning baths on my patio at 6:30 each day. 

It’s got me thinking, about friendships and moving and moulting, shedding our old ways and developing into fully fledged adults. I’m still not sure when that will happen to me.

This Starling gang I have the pleasure of watching, jostle for position on the fence and into the bath. They like to eat first then bath later. They’re not quite as jumpy as they were and seem a bit more relaxed about landing and feeding.

I’m assuming the moulting of feathers must be a bit itchy since they’re constantly washing and preening.

Whilst I’m good at keeping their water baths full I’m less good at sketching them and taking photos of them. No doubt there will be a Starling sketching blog post soon.. In the meantime here’s my best pic of a few juvenile starlings showing the different stages of moulting.


I’m turning into an illustrator

Been here just not, here.

ox-eye acrylic

I tend to take a bit of a blogging break after each April.  This year I’ve been carrying on with my sketches and paintings and am really loving doing them.

Gold echinacea

I kept away from writing another novel in July and instead have been sketching.  Here’s a couple for you to consider.  I’d love to hear what you think.


Thanks for popping by.


Thinking of you, Lynne xxx

Reflections #atozchallenge

Adventurous, ambitious and alive started me off

the co-hosts and pals did an amazing job as always, many thanks

only participants know why we do this challenge

Zebra-like was my celebratory finish to my AtoZ


Ready as ever, I thought

Early sign up got me number 18

Fearlessly, I decided to pre-schedule all posts, yeah right!

Lethargy took over as sickness triumphed

Easy did it, with half drafted by April 1

Caricatures appeared from nowhere and became cartoons that were loved

Tried to visit 5+ others each day with some success

Incoming visits dipped, but they were quality visitors

Over now, missing you, hope to blog weekly or monthly at least

New blogger friendships forged as hoped

Sketches and ‘show don’t tell’ examples were my trademark and here’s todays


She told him she didn’t like her painting.


She said nothing, he explained ‘Think about it, when people look in the mirror they see a reversal, so when they look at a picture of themselves they don’t see the person they think they are, the one they see every day. The face we think we have, is reversed of our real face that others see daily.’

Looking again at the cartoon he’d drawn of her, she still screwed up her face.

Zebra-like #atozchallenge

We’re here. All l could feel was celebrating. The sketch came first this time, now I have to write a post to fit it.

I don’t care what the show don’t tell is, I’ve sketched my Z and uploaded it so here’s to all of us who’ve completed this year’s AtoZ regardless of any challenges life threw at us along the way.. Mine included sickness and a job change. Let’s have a party!! I’ll provide the zebra-like patterned bunting..

What are zebra’s like? Powerful, chunky, black and white striped, beautiful, bizarrely well camouflaged until they aren’t. Many things one could link to the blogging from AtoZ challenge now I come to think of it.


Show don’t tell

He was zebra-like.


She made some zebra striped bunting and put it up for his party. One of her friends blurted out the likeness “Bold, black and white and chunky just like Geoff.” He hid his reaction but she never heard from him or saw him again, it was as if he’d disappeared into the patterns of everyday living.

Thanks to everyone who’s been here with me along the way and congrats to all who blogged their way through 2014’s AtoZ’s.  Now we party!!

Lynne’s AtoZ blogging challenge theme in case you couldn’t tell:

Linked to thoughts of emotions and behaviours, my theme is ‘I feel….’. Writers among you will be familiar with the phrase show don’t tell, for others it’s what every novelist tries to do. Authors want to show you the emotion and behaviour without telling you it. Trying to practice showing not telling, I have included an example in each post. I may have got it right, I may not have. Please let me know.

Here’s who else is doing the AtoZblogging challenge.