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Lynne Chapman

Fine-Artist / Reportage Sketcher / Speaker / Workshop Leader

I was a full-time illustrator for the first 30 years of my working life and illustrated over 30 children’s books (see www.lynnechapman.co.uk) but, in recent years, I have left illustration behind and now work across two different visual-art disciplines:

Reportage Sketching (or urban sketching)
I paint & draw live situations, often alongside academic researchers, working as a fly-on-the-wall, creating a fast and furious record of events. I specialise in speed-sketching people: recording not just how they look, but some of what they say, as well as who they are and what they are doing. In 2016, I won Leverhulme Trust funding for a year-long residency at a Social Science research centre at the University of Manchester and, in 2018, was invited to Western Australia for a 2-month Work Design residency with UWA. In 2019/20, I have worked with the University of York on Cystic Fybrosis and dementia research projects. See www.lynnechapman.net

Fine-Art Textiles
A chance opportunity in 2016 inspired me to experiment with hand-stitched textiles for the first time and I have been producing artwork prolifically ever since, initially in 2D, and then also as sculptural forms. In 2017, Making Ways awarded me a month-long residency Urban Sketching into Textiles at Orchard Square, which incorporated my first textiles exhibition. 

My work is very materials-led. Pieces are largely unplanned and move forward in response to the possibilities and limitations of specific media. I often employ unfamiliar materials, or enforce randomness on my marks, colours or shapes, to encourage things to evolve in new directions. It is this process of harnessing creativity which interests me, and the balance between conscious decision-making and instinct, which drives work forwards. See www.lynnechapmantextiles.co.uk

Over the last 6 months, I have been working on a series which employs waste plastic. I began ‘locking’ plastic within the artwork, as a response to the shortcomings of plastic recycling, combining plastic bottles & carrier bags with textile & thread. I enjoy the playfulness involved in creating unexpected outcomes from these over-familiar, often ugly materials, presenting them anew, either disguised or shown in a fresh light, enhanced by fabric or stitch. 

I have 15 years' experience running freelance workshops with both adults and children of all ages. I have worked with literally hundreds of schools, libraries and colleges across the UK, offering one-off illustration / drawing workshops, or inspirational talks. I have also taught illustration workshops in Beijing, Denver, Barcelona & Valencia. In 2020 I am running children's workshops as part of a week-long residency at a school in Brunei. I have an online children's book illustration masterclass, created by Craftsy and hosted by Bluprint.

I have delivered lectures and taught urban sketching workshops across the UK (working with Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Sheffield Libraries and York Minster, amongst others), as well as in Chicago, Barcelona, Perth, Santo Domingo & Paraty (Brazil). I founded Urban Sketchers Yorkshire in 2010, which I ran on a voluntary basis for 8 years, leading a free, open-to-all day of urban sketching once a month, at locations across the region. In 2017, SketchbookSkool filmed me giving a series of 14 short lectures and an urban sketching demonstration, for their on-line workshop 'Exploring'.

* In 2016, my book 'Sketching People: an urban sketcher's guide' was published by Search Press & Barrons (with 2 other co-editions).

* In 2018 I co-authored, with Professor Sue Heath, the academic paper ‘Observational sketching as method’ (International Journal of Social Research Methodology). 

* Between 1999 and 2016, I illustrated over 30 children's picture books (3 of which I also authored)