A quick reminder.. all rights reserved, they’re all my own work.. There’s something comforting about posting five of my bench views. It means I’m still enjoying doing them and am slowly heading to my target of sketching from each and every bench I walk past to and from work and those I encounter during my normal shopping routes.
When there’s something different in front of a bench I’m more drawn to sit there and see what the view looks like. On this day there were works taking place. While I was there a van left and another returned parking perfectly to not change my view of the church for which I was grateful. There’s something about the church. I though it would be easy to sketch but it isn’t. I think, one day, I need to draw it ‘properly’ not just a quick view done in minutes. The thing is, as someone pointed out to me, there’s a lot of sky. Hmm.. There is a lot of sky when you sketch that church.
I wondered what was going on the day I drew this. I was sketching later than I usually do and there was quite a different feel about who was walking or cycling through. Apparently my sketches are ‘controversial’ due to the cycling cyclists I put in them. What can I say, I interpret what I see and I think this was the first time I saw cyclists walking their bikes since I’d started the bench views. Later, I found out that I drew this on World Mental Health Day and what I’d been watching was the Council Leader being photographed signing the ‘stop suicide’ pledge.
I’m not sure what to say about this sketch. There are a number of things I noticed, choosing this day, this location and facing this direction all have their own stories. These buildings used to be overshadowed but now they’ve got benches in front of them and, when faced on a sunny day, give an amazing reflection of the church in the middle of town (in case you weren’t sure what I’d drawn).
Then, just as the leaves on the trees started turning colour the shop windows all went orange and black..
I don’t put too many words with my sketches here and will try not to bore you, other than to say I’ve heard and seen a few fall outs while I sit. The next sketch has three motorised wheelchairs (two are hiding..) and two motorbikes in it and it was another passing motorised wheelchair that got shouted at as they nearly caused a scene. It’s also a good sketch to discuss what an artist leaves out.. as the area’s for motorcycle parking it has large black railings right in front of the bench that the motorbikes park up against.
A friend recently asked me how I manage to make Peterborough look glamorous and exciting. I don’t think I do but will happily take that as a huge compliment and remind you to look around you. What do you see? Why are you there? What’s good in the places you live and the people who live there with you? Once you get used to seeing the good and beauty in everything the negative stuff seems to melt away a little. Afterall, you’re there and you, your family and friends are all good and beautiful, aren’t you?
Maybe I wash things out and the hue I put on my sketches is much paler than the city is to others, lighter where there’s perhaps grime and you can’t tell the cheaper shops from any others betraying the financial and social issues in the city. I notice the circles in the paving which adds to the views and pick out bits of architecture I find interesting. Sketching what I see in the hope that most of the people in my bench views are unattributable, meaning I don’t have any illusions to my ability to sketch people and the sketch look like them!
We all look at the world differently, due to our upbringing, experiences and general views and interests on life. What do you think of when you look at my Bench Views? What do you notice when you sit for a while? Where does your mind wander?
#benchviews was started on 28 August 2014 when, due to increased signs of stress, I grabbed my spare art bag, left work at lunch time, sat on a bench and sketched. My work seems to have captured the imagination of the people of Peterborough who’ve seen them and I’m still enjoying sketching them which is good.