Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day 123
I cycled around the Lake to the Botanic Gardens, hoping to see a fantastic spring blooming but it is a little early though of course there are some flowers. After wandering for a while, I chose this simple little grevillea because there was a convenient bench in the shade just opposite and I wanted to try sketching some rocks too. Each little flower blob is about 1cm long

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Day 122
There was a lot of noise coming from this house - two children wearing dressing gowns were bouncing a basketball against the left hand end wall and a woman was shouting for them to come in for bed time. The children ignored her for ages, then they noticed me watching and rushed inside. Moments later these feet appeared at the window and the woman was still shouting. Maybe they need Super Nanny! It's interesting that I hardly ever find things to draw in the posh new houses - maybe I'm not attracted to them and don't look, or maybe they are all too closed off or the inhabitants are lost somewhere in the labyrinths inside.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Day 121
A beautiful starry evening, walking round the suburb. What will I see tonight? Usually I reject a few possibilities before the right one 'appears'. This was definately IT for tonight. 4 km walk

Monday, August 28, 2006

Day 120
On the way to spend the afternoon at my parents, I walked the loop and stopped to sketch the wonderful pattern on this birch? tree. There seem to be three sorts of patterns - the 'eye' pattern (my favourite), the diamond pattern and the 'peeling paper' look. I don't know if they are the same species or not - apart from the pattern, they look the same. 6 km

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Day 119
I walked the loop this afternoon and picked a variety of flowering sprigs from trees but by the time I had time to draw them, they had withered - except for this pine flower - picking it released a huge cloud of fine yellow pollen. 6 km

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Day 118
I walked to Hermione's bench and on the way, stopped to examine the bark of a tree. There I found the complete cast-off skin of a Christmas beetle (I think) which I brought home to draw. 6 km

Friday, August 25, 2006

Day 117
I cycled to the Lake to meet with Robin and we walked over the two bridges in rain and thick mist. Later, despite sitting on the sofa under an umbrella, I couldn't work out quite how the umbrella shape goes as it disappears over one's head. 10 km cycle, 6 km walk.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Day 116
I cycled into town today to see a production of The Tempest with the homeschool group. Then I did some shopping and cycled home, stopping at the local shops to pick up a Turkish bread loaf to have with soup already made - an easy meal. The baker was all ready for the evening rush and somebody was about to get a parsely pizza. 12 km cycle

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Day 115
A pencil pine 'hedge' against a cloudy sky reflecting the night lights of Canberra - hopefully some rain on the way. 3 km walk

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day 114
Another night walk and another window - this one with a pane boarded over and a glimpse of plates on a dresser. I also went for a bike ride today but it was too windy to draw comfortably.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Day 113
Well, I'm still looking after Mum most afternoons, so still walking out after dark looking for something to draw and dependant on a light source and things that reflect it well. These ferns are very popular as a garden feature. They have to be properly labelled to ensure that they are not taken illegally from protected rainforest areas. 5 km walk

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I think maybe it's time to move on to some other style if I'm down to drawing the cracks in the pavement but I do rather like the patterns - and I'm getting a cold so wanted something very easy tonight.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day 111
This was an odd sight to find in someone's front garden late at night. I just had to try using some colour - graphite and coloured pencils. 4 km

Friday, August 18, 2006

Day 110
I walked earlier in the day but didn't do a drawing so once again I set off in my pyjamas and coat, this time with a personal challenge to walk around the same small block repeatedly until I saw something to draw, just to prove that there's always something anywhere. And so there is, in fact I found half a dozen ideas with only one circuit necessary. This swing spoke to me of the stillness and quiet of the night - though I could hear a party of teenagers larking in the distance. 4 km

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Day 109
I was sure I wouldn't see anything to draw this evening but all of a sudden there was this little picture on the ground in front of me - quickly sketch the outlines and away home to shade it, sitting by the fire. That's how I do all these night ones so I actually spend only a few minutes drawing outside in the dark and cold - and it doesn't reach the coldest temperatures until the early hours of the morning anyway. 5 km

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Day 108
More peering through windows after dark - I didn't see any people inside or out but thousands of stars in a clear, dark sky. It's going to be minus 6 tonight. 4 km

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Day 107
I spent the morning gardening again, then went over to my parents for the afternoon. My sister started darning a blanket and Dad finished the job. He always wears a Fairisle vest and sports this professorial hairstyle. 3 km ride

Monday, August 14, 2006

Day 106
I spent most of the day in the garden, then my sister dropped by when I was about to go for my walk. So Ralph and I set off after dinner and wandered around the suburb... 4km

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Day 105
I walked to Hermione's bench tonight - cold and starry and no one else about, except for a possum. In a corner of someone's garden, I spied some early daffodils, reflecting the light beautifully. 6 km

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Day 104
Another evening gallop after the afternoon at Mum's. I was struck by the incredible height of these two trees - and the convenience of a lamp post opposite so I could see to draw. 4 km

Friday, August 11, 2006

Day 103
I wandered around the suburb looking for something to draw. I stopped to look at a large collection of blue garden urns and then noticed someone in the house - a sprightly old lady dancing all by herself. After a while she saw me watching and fell about laughing. I smiled and waved. 6 km

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Day 102
I walked up past the brickworks at around 5.30pm - dusk. I stopped several times to look at things and each time I turned again to walk west, the sky had changed completely so I decided to do another little set of 'credit card' sketches. I couldn't make the watercolour behave as I wanted, but the colours are quite accurate. 6 km

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day 101
I did go for a walk/bike ride today but nothing caught my eye to draw and it was very windy so I was quite happy to keep moving. On the way home from Mum's, I noticed a full moon in a cloudy sky. The wind was still blowing and changing the picture all the time so I drew round my credit card and did four views. If I did this again, I think I would keep the moon in the same position. 4 km

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Day 100
Just a short cycle ride today as I spent my 'spare' time catching up on the gardening, ready for Spring. I went to the local park where there are some very large silver birch trees which have these amazing 'eyes' where branches have been removed. I thought this drawing would make a good double page with yesterday's effort. It wasn't a very relaxing time as City Parks were experimenting with a new watering system and sprinklers kept starting up without warning or pattern. I had to be ready to run but I didn't actually need to. 3 km

Monday, August 07, 2006

Day 99
I just walked to Mum's today and didn't have time to do a drawing. So, guess what? Out again in my pyjamas. People's porch lights come on as I walk past and I suddenly get illuminated surprises which are cast into darkness again unless I keep jigging about. I love silver birches at night. 4 km

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Day 98
Another lovely bike ride over the Scrivener dam and around the Lake. This is a view looking down on the dam from a spot about 2 km from my house. All the hills behind and the area where I was sitting to draw were burned during the devastating 2003 fires and the vegetation cover is still very sparse. 15 km cycle

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Day 97
A gorgeous day with blue sky and white fluffy clouds - so it was warm enough at last to sit in this shady spot and draw what feels to me like a cathedral without the oppression of the Church. It's by the lake along my regular loop walk - you turn a corner and there it is - a mixture of tall, strong Monterey pines and weedy birch trees that never get enough light. 6 km

Friday, August 04, 2006

Day 96
I did a long bike ride today but had to hurry to get to Mum's in time for my shift so I couldn't stop to draw. I also walked to the shops and back but forgot my sketchbook. So it was out again after dark. I like these homely little lamp posts - they aren't very tall but are set next to the pavements and shine a comforting yellow light. Gradually they are being replaced with much taller and less frequent posts - not in our street, I hope. They also remind me of the lamp post through the wardrobe in the Narnia wood. 15 km ride; 2 km walk

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Day 95
My day for the car, so I spent the morning doing the marketing, then cycled over to Mum's for the afternoon. She was a little better but very unsettled so I decided to try my watercolour pencils to do Dad's ancient dressing gown. I always used to think he looked very funny wearing it, with his thin hairy legs sticking out below and knowing that he had nothing on underneath - he's not a pyjama man. 3 km cycle - not enough!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day 94
I managed to do a fast walk round the loop this morning - it was so nice to really stretch my legs and blow out my lungs. I didn't stop to draw but collected a few things which attracted me by their colours. I also had to buy a new sketchbook as yesterday I filled the last page - my first ever completed sketchbook. I wasn't going to get a Moleskine but there were no Daler-Rowneys of either of my preferred sizes and no other brands with thick pages. I had meant to make one but haven't had time. I like the change in page shape - not sure about the colour. 6 km walk; 3 km cycle.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Day 93
Mum is still very ill. She has pneumonia on top of Parkinson's disease and is on a drip and oxygen - we have 'hospital in the home' so she does not have to be in hospital which is very unsettling for her, and Dad can pop in and out through the day and sleep by her at night instead of being a visitor which he is not good at. I wasn't going to draw this image but after nearly two weeks of nursing Mum and spending many hours sitting with her as she sleeps, it was time to do it. I wondered whether I should publish it, but I think it is quite delicate and as an expression of love, it is also a gift - to whoever visits this blog. 3 km cycle