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.