Cara Shanley

Visit Dunfermline Resident Local Artist & Writer


I’m Cara and I like to sketch.

Over the years I've drawn, painted and printed all sorts of subjects.

Mostly, I think about sketching... a lot!

(For example, I even feel guilty when I'm not sketching)...

And I love getting things out of my head onto paper fast. For me, working quickly is a real thrill. It fires my creative process too.


Over the past couple of years the main focus has been my new project called 'Sketching Fife'.

In 2020...

'Sketching Fife' started with the plan to do one quick sketch of somewhere different in Fife every single day of the year.


It's rapidly become a new way of life.

Now I have massive, thick folders full of original sketches. A huge growing back catalogue of local artwork I can draw from.

My earliest daily sketches now seem quite tentative actually.

So it’s interesting to see how I've become more confident. Breaking moulds and exploring new ways of working in different styles.

Sketching Fife lets me do that perfectly...

Funniest of all...

Who knew this sketching malarky could turn into a business?

Not me!

Yet now it has and I’m gobsmacked every time another wonderful opportunity comes my way. People really are fantastic.

We've lots to shout about here in Fife!

And working together we're all really excited about getting our area out there.

So yes, I'm inspired by our amazing region.

I love to capture my beautiful hometown of Dunfermline, in my own way.

Take the Maygate for example...

It's just one street, yet I can sketch it endlessly.

Having said that, I don’t like to be stuck in a rut.

So, you can always expect something new from me.

And here at Visit Dunfermline, I'd love to share thoughts about what inspires me with you. I'll be writing about art, sketching, even life itself!

More importantly,

I want to inspire people to really absorb Dunfermline and Fife themselves. To see it through new eyes.

I say that because...

After seeing my art people tell me they see familiar scenes differently now.

They find themselves looking up, or noticing details they hadn’t before. That alone makes me really happy.

The stories that people tell me about scenes I’ve created are invariably interesting too.

Sketches tell stories.

Isn’t that great?!

Each sketch means something different to different people.

And that’s the second big reason that drives me on and makes me think that I’m really onto something here.

So if can give something back to my local community, then I’ll keep going. I’ll keep trying new things, and see what works.

I'd love you have you with me along some of my journey.

I hope it inspires you too.

Cara Shanley.

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