London Phone Booth

London Phone Booth Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Landmark” today, I decided to sketch a London phone booth being inspected by a little bunny. I’ve only been to London once in my life, but it was such a fun trip. Big Ben came to mind first actually, but I’d already sketched that one before so I figured I’d try something different. These booths, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, were voted a national favorite for their design, but they don’t have a lot of practical use these days for their originally intended purpose. Some have been converted into little miniature libraries as a way of swapping books, which I think is super cool. It’s lovely to know that visual icons like this get repurposed rather than removed. As beautiful as the design may be, the ornate features would never get made today. Everything now gets a bit streamlined to reduce costs and all of the wonderful ornamentation from the past is removed in the process. Seeing one is like traveling back in time, and that’s a wonderful thing indeed.

Though they look really cool, I have to admit that having a cell phone when you’re wandering around a foreign country is much preferred. I remember using phone cards to attempt to call home, which always felt a bit complex to figure out. Yet, it was actually rather nice to be removed from one reality a bit entirely and only enjoying a new and exciting one. These days, travel isn’t something many of us are doing, so it’s fun to recall past trips. Also, London came to mind because Philippe and I have been watching the newest version of The Adventures Of Paddington and it’s adorable. Sure, it’s meant for little kids, but it reminded me why I loved Paddington so much as a kid. It’s so sweet and kind, but actually comes packed with lovely messages that don’t talk down to kids so its equally sweet for adults. And it firmly established that he’s still my favorite childhood character. Though technically a London transplant since he’s actually from Peru, of course.

As the final hours of the weekend begin to come to a close, I’m grasping them tightly as I always do and wishing there were just a few more! Today was a beautiful day outside and I spent some time just sitting there and watching the birds in the trees. There was a particular woodpecker that became a thing of fascination for me so I got a bit lost watching its antics. And tonight, Philippe and I will enjoy something lovely for dinner. I’m not sure what he’s going to make, but I’m kind of hoping it’s gumbo or chili as I’m ready for some food with a bit of an autumn feel. Our dog Phineas, of course, is just ready for food at the moment and he’s currently staring me down as a way to tell me he’s unpleased to be kept waiting this long. It’s only been five minutes, but that’s quite a lot more in dog minutes. So, I should tend to him while in the back of my mind, I’m still thinking about those lovely memories of a London phone booth.

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London Phone Booth Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
29 Comments
  1. writerleenda 1 month ago

    Awesomeness, Charlie. Today is Spaghetti day which is always special and always the only viable thing on a Sunday.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕 Yay for Spaghetti day! That sounds wonderful!

  2. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Well done, Charlie! It’s so nice to know that these wonderful old “landmarks” are being saved and repurposed. It always makes me sad to see something old being torn down and discarded without any thought to how it could be used again.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Me as well! We need to hold on to the past… we’re going to need those ideas to get us into the future!

  3. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    I haven’t been traveling overseas since I got a cell phone but it definitely made it easier to call my brother when he was living in London and Ecuador. Those phone cards were a nightmare. Once when I was out of State on a business trip, I got trapped overnight at the airport when my connecting flight was canceled due to snow. I needed to let Patrick know. Of course, there was a huge line at the phones, and trying to get all those codes typed in correctly was impossible, and everyone was yelling at you to hurry up, .A good way to make a miserable situation even more miserable!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      So true!! Those codes! They were so hard to type it was we had to actually decipher them first! Yay for cell phones! 🙂

      • Sherrill Taylor 4 weeks ago

        I love that you have so much energy to create everyday !

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

          It’s mostly just a fun habit! I can’t really stop if I tried! hehe 😉

  4. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto tu acuarela

  5. Lisa 1 month ago

    That’s a great painting! When I spent a semester abroad someone discovered one of these phone booths that let people call the U.S. Cheap or free. I didn’t get to use it and in fact I can’t remember calling home at all. I was never one for homesickness anywhere I went. These days I do wish I could go to Door County just for the beaches. Also, I’m stuck at home.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, the booths were available, but it was definitely better to not get homesickness and skip trying for sure!

  6. Marisela Delgado 1 month ago

    So pretty! I want to go to London so bad! I love England! 💜 The phone booth is so iconic of England. I love it!
    I couldn’t get pizza out of my mind so that’s what we had for dinner. And it was goooood! 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 You totally need to go to London! And pizza always sounds good!

  7. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    Great phone booth Charlie! The English one’s where always so much cooler than the one that was in the middle of my tiny home town when I was growing up. We never had the Beatles or Doctor! I use to think it would be cool to have one in my house when I grew up. Random memories. I hope you have a calmer week!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Oh wow! I love those random memories… that’s wonderful!

  8. Gary Middleton 1 month ago

    Great doodle, Charlie. When my daughter and I went to London earlier in the year, we were amused to see tourists queuing to have their photos taken in something, that to us is an everyday object . I live out in the countryside and there is one at the end of our road. You’re right about re-purposing them. Some have been turned into tourist information booths.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s funny to see what becomes a tourist attraction in one’s city… hehe… usually just what’s become so everyday!

  9. Mugdha 1 month ago

    Hello Charlie,

    Thats a lovely London phone booth and the bunny seems to be trying to prioritize who he’s going to call first. And I too love how they’ve been repurposed into book swapping libraries. You’re right, cell phones are great but I miss phone booths sometimes. They allowed one the choice of only being accessible to people when you wanted to be. Cellphones kind of took that away. Also the Bill & Ted movies gave phone booths a magical meaning. I hope you enjoy your lovely dinner and Phineas enjoys his. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 So true!! I loved those Bill and Ted movies! I want to watch the latest one… hehe… but Philippe has never seen them so I’ll have to watch on my own some afternoon! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  10. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Wow! Nice sketch! For a split second, I wondered if they have rabbits in London. Well of course they do, that’s where Peter lives! No fact checking with me, I go to my imaginary mind for my resources. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 haha!! Love that! Imaginary mind resources sound like the most enjoyable place to look for resources!

  11. Iisa Ebenstein 4 weeks ago

    Great work. The adorable stretch of the bunny reminds me of my cat sneaking up on the kitchen garbage. Those were the days when we had such beautiful designs and life was less complicated.

  12. Priscilla DeConti 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for a lovely memory of my visit to England. We went to a museum that held some of the older models of these booths..they were wonderful! and I love Paddington…Another busy weekend for me..not much time for painting or drawing but I will make up for it during the week…Thanks again!

  13. Fanna Turano 4 weeks ago

    I hadn’t realized that London refashioned the iconic red phone booths into book swapping receptacles. We have the book swap program in my area of Washington Park here in Denver, and someone’s taken their woodworking hobby to a delightful wooden house replica, which now contains books to share! I think that’s lovely, and while I’ve only used it a few times (the selections are kinda cruddy), I marvel at the kindness behind these tiny book homes. Another sad reminder that a newer generation is riding the crest of the wave to replace us, our inventions, our happiness and joy with kind, simple things, like the booth, your woodpecker, and the gifts you bring to us each day. Loved the booth and the bunny, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Fanna! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this one! Yeah, I was excited to know that these booths are being preserved. Sometimes we move on in history assuming the next best thing is actually better. Yet, there’s a treasure trove to be found in what’s come before us!

  14. tockwith 3 weeks ago

    Love the phone box sketch

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