Eye Rolling…

Contour Drawing Hand

I’m not generally an eye roller but when people say to me, “I can’t draw”, like the ability to draw is something some of us are born with and others are not, I have to mask impatience from showing up on my face. When a coffee shop customer comments on the sketches of the espresso sipping […]

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Spider Gravy

illustrated journals

Today’s post is a Happy Thanksgiving salute to my American friends, who celebrate the day on November 26th. In Canada, we feasted over a month ago, on October 12th. It was a warm 14°C, requiring us to open the windows to release the steamy heat from the turkey filled oven. The story below demonstrates one of my favorite purposes of keeping […]

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Sketching Garlic Scapes

Drawing garlic scapes

Sometimes you don’t have to look far for sketching inspiration.  One day earlier in the summer, when strolling around the Metchosin Farmers’ Market, I came across a big bucket of garlic scapes, surrounded by hand packaged herbs and young zucchini. When I saw the beautiful, looping, snakes of stems and unopened flower buds of the hard-neck garlic, I had to sketch them, so […]

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Choosing to Dust Rather Than Draw

herons scoping the goldfish pond

I’ve been plodding along trying to complete my Canson™ mixed media journal. It’s not my favorite. My pens seem to drag across the paper, it absorbs paint too quickly and the colors don’t mingle the way I would like them to. The paper is fine when I paint small areas but does not perform well […]

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The Colors of Christmas Baking

Drawing vintage cookie cutters

I am not a baker. Christmas is the only time of the year that I fire up enough enthusiasm to generate a double batch of sugar free gingerbread dough and three loaves of braided fruit bread. I’m in awe of some of my family and friends who turn out exquisite looking holiday goodies with names […]

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Full to the Brim…

Beach observations

Some days I enjoy taking a sketchbook to the beach, sitting on a log and simply staring. Gazing at the seaweed, the shells, scrutinizing rocks, observing the birds, breathing in the sea air and listening to the waves is enough. Slowly I begin to relax and look more closely at my surroundings and the desire […]

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On Drawing My Face…

Eating ice cream sketch

I love to draw people in coffee shops, parks, and other places where they can be counted on to sit still for 5 or 10 minutes. The more double chins, bulbous noses, lines, wrinkles and unusual hair they have, the more interesting they are to draw. Until recently challenged in a sketching course I am […]

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The Rules of Art – A Four Year Old’s Perspective

Drawing with children

When my granddaughter comes to visit she is happy to draw, cut, and tape paper together for an hour or so. I love her self assurance. We draw together and she is slightly impatient with me if I ponder too long, studying what is in front of me.  “Just draw it like this, Gram”, she […]

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Delighting in Chaos


I’ve had the privilege of visiting with my daughter and her lovely family this spring. Each day with a newborn and a two year old bustles at a pace that I have not experienced for some time.  Although I once managed three children, aged five and under, I have long since taken my uninterrupted mornings […]

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Winter Blues


I’ve been dormant for a couple of months. Generally, I take pleasure in observing what is humorous and kind and lovely, but at times I am smothered with an illusion of struggle and my focus shifts.  I hardly notice that I’m scrutinizing my life, expecting to unearth chunks of resistance and opposition that I think […]

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Treasure Hunting

Look As Though You Are Seeing It for the first time,

As I walk along the beach, I once again find myself looking for treasures. I’ve always had a hankering to find a precious item of some sort. I think my Grandmother kindled my treasure hunting bug by regularly mailing me Annuals for Girls from England, starting when I was around 6 years old. They’re still in […]

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My Unsympathetic Brush Pen

Sunny autumn morning art by patricia Bentham

In my last post, I mentioned that I intended to limit my October sketchbook by only using a Pentel Pocket brush pen and watercolors. I’m about half way there and am enjoying the bolder lines and added contrast the brush pen produces. The pen is not forgiving. Once I put the slightest pressure on it, […]

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Giving Thanks, Brush Pens and Joseph Low

Happy Thanksgiving

  The sun is shining over Victoria, BC on this wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving Day and the lawn just may dry out enough to get its last haircut of the season. A few weeks ago I was given a present of a delightful pot of orange, ornamental peppers that demanded to be sketched. Since I was […]

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Unexpected Inspiration

Reinhold Wurth Building Rorshach

During our visit to Switzerland in August, my son casually asked if we would like to go to Rorschach to see an art show. “Sounds great,” I replied, imagining a smallish display of Swiss amateur to mediocre artists. The first thing that blew me away, as we pulled in to park the car, was the […]

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The Man in the Moon in Process…

Moon Man

For the last week I have been working on a small book for my Swiss grandson. When we asked my son and daughter in law what we could buy for their new baby, they asked us to create something original for him. My husband, owner of,  made a mobile based on nursery rhymes and […]

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Shadow Shapes

Fisher Price People - drawing by Patricia Bentham

Eight or nine Fisher Price people reside in my house even though my kids have long since flown the coop. Odd objects like these are fun to set up into vignettes, and with the addition of strong lighting, provide splendid opportunities to create  sketches. Squint and attempt to only see simple shapes of darks and […]

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Unearthing Memories

Random Items Drawing by Patricia Bentham

I find that drawing certain objects unearths a stream of memories.  As I draw each item, I try to observe it as seeing it for the first time, in order to notice its lines, values and textures but at the same time, I experience nostalgia, knowing that there is a story behind each piece. When […]

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Easter Fun…

Who picked my daffodils? Easter card by Patricia Bentham

This card evolved from a series of sketches I did after an Easter egg hunt  with my then toddler granddaughter.   The original sketches did not look crisp enough for print and the colors appeared dull, so I scanned them, deleted all but the black lines and colored the rest digitally. Imperfect Action This is the […]

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Dragons and Stars

Dragon and Starfruit Together drawing by Patricia Bentham

Lately, I have been working hard at producing more effortless pictures (now that’s an oxymoron!), trying to make what appears on my pages look more like the images in my head. Completing value sketches before starting in color defined the darks and lights,  made it easier to get proportions right, and provided more time to […]

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Sketching the Negative

Drawing the negative shapes

I love to draw as it is an activity that demands that I be fully present, pay attention, make moment by moment observations of shapes, lines, textures and lighting, and swiftly transfer these impressions on to paper. Since our November weather is chilly, I either sketch outside quickly or photograph my inspirations and draw them […]

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Patricia Bentham
Phone: 250.474.7162

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