K is for Keep #AtoZChallenge

Keep Left. Keep 2 metres apart. Keep caring for Peterborough. Those are all sentences that can be found in my Bench Views Revisited illustrations. Mainly from the illustrations done after March 2020. When lockdown hit March 2020 I stopped going out and drawing and didn’t restart till August later that year.

Bench Views Revisited were supposed to be completed in a year as the first benche views had been, well almost. When I started the revisited versions I was so excited to be spending the next year drawing at my leisure, sort of for a year and hopefully completing each sketch in situ as much as I could. By the end of February 2020 I’d got to No 88 and knew I still had well over a hundred more to do. Lockdown hit and I became a home worker without access to my beloved bench views.

Even when I could have gone out I didn’t want to and it wasn’t till August 2020 when I met a friend for a coffee in town that I did another illustration. Keep is such a good word as it can also refer to keep going, keep positive, keep creating, keep drawing, keep having fun, keep smiling and many other positive affirmations which I often tell myself if I think I’m about to give up on something. Thankfully I didn’t give up on my Bench Views Revisited and during August 2020 I drew rather a lot. I’m sure I’ll talk more about that later in the AtoZ.

Bench Views Revisited No.103 August 2020

Whoever was responsible for the signage in town during 2020 did a great job I think. As our behaviour changed with time so did the messages. I started writing the messages into the illustrations so I could remember what they said. Previously I’ve put notes on the back of the drawings with notes of what I overheard but I was overhearing less now so I focussed on the writing I saw on the noticeboards which were cleverly placed if you sat for long enough to read them.

When I look at this illustration I’m taken with the bench. It’s not got a sign on it. I’m sure it would have had and maybe in the process and with time gone by I could have missed it, I painted it 11 April, 2022 nearly 20 months after drawing it. Is it really that long ago? Time seems to have morphed since early 2020. It’s most strange. I hope you like how I chose to paint this and focus on the messages rather than the scene.

My theme for A to Z Blogging Challenge is my Bench Views Revisited illustrations done from benches in and around Peterborough UK which I started in September 2019. I drew No. 88 in February 2020 then lockdown hit. I restarted the series in August 2020 which meant almost half the series were drawn pre-covid lockdown and the rest of the 190 illustrations were done post COVID-19 lockdown.

A to Z Blogging Challenge