Friday, June 30, 2006

Day 61
A freezing day - not a scrap of blue sky. I cycled to the bank again to sort out some paperwork and got chilled. Then, as I've had my hot chocolate for this week, I sat on a public bench to draw this family ordering their meal and got even colder. It's now 8.30 pm and I still don't feel warm - time for a hot bath.10 km cycle.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 60
Today I cycled into the city, along the lakeside bikepath and over the bridge. It was a gorgeous day, only 13 degrees but no wind. I saw a marvellous exhibition of Clarice Cliff ceramic ware, including preliminary sketches and advertising posters - such lovely colours, straight from her water colour box. On the way home, I stopped by the lake to do a sketch and this was just the best view. A typical Canberra winter's day sky! 10km

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Day 59
I cycled to Woden to do banking, visit the library etc then had a hot chocolate. This young lady, sitting at the adjacent table, was trying to contact someone on her mobile and still had most of her drink so I thought she might stay still long enough to draw her. After a while, she noticed me and we got chatting - she's just visiting Canberra for a few days - funny how lives intersect. Nice meeeting you, Anna. 10 km cycle ride

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day 58
I really like this little porch of an old weatherboard cottage. Originally, the weatherboards were all government houses built to house workers at the local brickworks which spread a pall of smoke over the area making it unattractive to wealthier people. There were about 8 house designs, including this one with the set-in porch. There are very few of this style left as they are very small but on large blocks which are generally being sub-divided and redeveloped. 4 km

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day 57
Tomorrow or the next day we will be woken at 7.00 by the bangings and crashings of this digger knocking down a weatherboard cottage over the road from us. Such houses used to be towed away but it seems to be uneconomic now and none of the materials will be recycled. After sketching this monster, I walked to Hermione's bench in a near freezing evening. 6 km

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Day 56
There are just a few orange lamp posts in Yarralumla and here, where someone has been watering the road, there were some nice reflections off the wet - and a ghostly sheen on the wire fence. 4km after my bath, 2 degrees celcius.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Day 55
I set out at 4.15pm but got waylaid at my parents' house and then 'said "no"' to too many sketching possibilities (including a lovely assortment of shoes outside the yellow door of the mosque - mistake) so getting caught by darkness again. In this view, I thought I saw a smooth transition from night ink, through blue to golden yellow, with no green in between - how can this be managed? - I don't know. Color at night is very confusing. If I paint the colours as I identify them, nothing comes dark enough, but if I add something dark, then it all goes muddy. I'll have to find some examples to study because I would like to be able to do it. And we've already had the shortest day. 6 km

Friday, June 23, 2006

Day 54
No time to walk until after dark again. It's a very strange activity to set off into the darkness 'looking for something to draw'. One is so reliant on a light source - lamp posts, lit windows, car lights, light reflected off clouds. The black and white grid was a bean trellis in someone's vegie patch - very quilterly - so I coloured it at home while listening to a film, The Constant Gardener. I'm really hopeless at watching films. 4km

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day 53
Yarralumla gents out for a stroll. What do you think, Rufus? 5 km

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Day 52
I'm just a sucker for white on red polka dots and I love these old weatherboard houses. 5km Yarralumla walk.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day 51
I cycled to Manuka again and had a hot chocolate in the same cafe where The Writer always sits - in the corner, ever so evenly writing pages in a diary, never pausing to look around. I'm so glad I have no need to be dating - it can be so awkward. This conversation seemed very stiff. 10 km

Monday, June 19, 2006

Day 50
An enormous tree has been cut down - the owners would have had to have a permit as the trunk is more than a metre in circumference. In future, people will be more reluctant to plant trees in their gardens or will consider cutting them before they grow past a metre circumference. Hopefully, at least, they will also take more care to choose a suitable tree for the space. 4 km

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Day 49
Another night time suburb walk when I was beginning to think I wouldn't see anything to sketch. Then I turned a corner and there - graphic design for free! 'The castle' - a long time under construction, at last with with residents but no curtains - ladders and scaffolding in front of an upstairs window, glowing yellow - a red sheet hung on the banistair to dry, and looking through to another window. There's always something to draw! 6 km walk

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Day 48
A friend and I set off for Sydney at 6.00am this morning to see the Sydney Quilt Show (disappointing) and then the Kevin Connor sketch books (stunning) and the Sydney Biennale at the NSW Art Gallery. Here I have sketched Madeleine, Scarlett and Sebastian who were enjoying an art experience by zipping themselves into these 'viewing boxes' and gliding them around the room on deliciously smooth casters. With the viewing slits, they reminded me of burqka-clad women with the elegant movements of ballerinas. The 'pictures' to be viewed were simply small, shiny, black rectangles. Who the artist was or what their intentions escaped me altogether - and I'm not sure I got the children's clothes and hair colour correct - never mind - it's good enough :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Day 47
A lovely cycling day but very cold to sit and draw outside so I cycled to the Manuka shops, along a hilly route which gives my legs and lungs a good workout. I hoped I could draw in one of my favourite shops, The Shearing Shed, which has been supplying lovely wools since long before the current resurgence in knitting. This is just one corner - I love how this shop is so stuffed with delights - one can feel everything and dream about what one might make with this or that. Thank you, Hope, for welcoming me. 10 km

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Day 46
I cycled to the Central Basin of the Lake to meet up for a walk with Robin. It was about 2 degrees. We walked over the two bridges - under the hand-rail of Kings Avenue Bridge, I spied a row of amazing frozen spider webs. Only the strands with built-up frost were visible so it looked as if some bits were just floating free. The contrast between the regular triangles on the bottom right web and the adjacent 'muddle' was interesting. I drew black on white but I think this negative print gives a better impression of the delicate whiteness. 8 km cycle; 5km walk

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day 45
I cycled through the suburb of Redhill, looking over high hedges into enormous gardens. Many of these gardens are watered from private bores which until recently were neither limited in number nor metered. This is a section of a huge scribbly gum - the scribbles are made by a bark-boring insect. 6 km

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Day 44
I cycled around the Lake to the Botanic Gardens which are at the foot of Black Mountain. I wanted to see what was in flower - the publicity boasts that there's always something. There were a lot of paper daisies but I was looking for something more unfamiliar - this was it - according to the literature and its name, Eucalyptus summer beauty, it should not be in flower now but as you can see, it's spectacular. It's cousin Eucalyptus summer red, with smaller red flowers was also flowering. A real treat. 12 km

Monday, June 12, 2006

Day 43
I walked up to where I hoped to get another view of the snow on the Brindabellas - but it's gone already. This is looking down Novar Street into Yarralumla and across to Black Mountain. I love the crested pigeons that (sometimes with galahs) seem to claim the light posts as their own. 4 km

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Day 42
Another 'after bath pyjama walk' - a cloud-free night with a freezing wind blowing off the snow (which we could see on the Brindabellas this morning). There was a full moon and its light was reflected beautifully off some of the silver-grey gum trees. 4 km

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Day 41
Today is Hermione's birthday. She would have been 13 and it is nearly 10 years since she mercifully slipped away with pneumonia. After she died, we planted a lemon tree and to celebrate her life, on her birthday we pick the lemons and make lemon curd and give pots of it to people who loved her. We have lemon delicious pudding for dinner and, as every dinner time, light her candle in her special candlestick. It has been raining solidly all day but at dusk Ralph and I walked to Hermione's bench with some roses which we tossed in the lake opposite Hermione's Island where her ashes are buried. A lovely day. 6 km

Friday, June 09, 2006

Day 40
I walked over to the posher side of Yarralumla to find new things to draw but... hmm maybe posh = uninteresting. Houses were a lot more hidden away/closed off and things were neater. Gardens professionally landscaped within the last 5 to 10 years are often very similar. However, I came across a beautiful garden, mostly native plants, including this spectacular banksia. The owners came home while I was leaning on their postbox and were kind enough to give me a branch with flower. 5 km

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Day 39
Another late walk when no colours are discernable- just a wonderful contrast between dark shapes and a beautiful silvery light on the water. I am enjoying playing with pen and trying to convey dusk and darkness. 6 km

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Day 38
Another late walk - I passed the house which has at least eight black cats (and two bizarrely fluffy black hens). They are all very timid and scurry away if I just give even a tiny hiss at them. 6 km

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day 37
"Oh, ****! Where is it? Is it going to jump out? Walk. Don't run. Walk. Walk." Never walk this way after dark again! 4 km

Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 36
I cycled to the Kingston shops with Tor, then we split and I went off to Manuka. This man was sitting outdoors having a coffee and looking pretty cold, and one hour later when I came out of a book-shop he was still there. He remained, hardly moving, while I sat inside another coffee shop to have a hot chocolate and draw him, and he was still there when I left. 10 km

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Day 35
This morning was a glorious day and I pushed my mother in her wheel chair several kilometres along the lake edge and back again, with a break in the middle for a hot chocolate at the National Gallery. I dropped Mum home then rushed off to meet Ralph and Grandad at the football, having to park the car a kilometre away from the grounds. It was the Swans versus the Kangaroos - a close match with the Swans last minute winners. The girl in the middle, snogging the orange-haired lad turned her attentions to the boy on the left of her when the orange-haired fellow left early! 6 km

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Day 34
Caught by dusk again. I walked the loop - through the woods, down to the Governor General's, along the lake and up home. The light was beautiful, gleaming yellow reflected from the rippling water. I saw a hare in the woods - very rare here, a Chinese fisherman proudly carrying a large carp in a net and lots of birds noisily getting ready for night - including these two swans settling in the reeds. Ink-brush on wash. 5 km

Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 33
It continued to rain until after lunch, by which time I was really keen to get out in the fresh air. After months without rain, I wanted to draw a puddle and found this one on the bike path along the way to Hermione's bench. As well as reflecting yet another pretty, soft sunset, there is the upside down spire of Black Mountain Tower. And already the grass has a green tinge. 6 km

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Day 32
Rain. Rain. Rain. All day. And a sad, unexpected funeral to go to. Afterwards, I drove to the Central Basin of the lake and walked along the promenade and back, finishing at the National Library. I looked at the exhibition inside but it was mostly pictures of places Captain Cook had visited - nothing I felt like drawing. So I wandered outside where there is a bit of a verandah and came across the cafe shade umbrellas, sodden and stark, and one morose magpie - and as I drew, a soft, cloudy sunset appeared. Strange old world, sometimes. 3 km