Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 275
I cycled round the lake this morning and whilst head down climbing a hill and listening to a new chinese lesson, I glanced up, and for a brief moment thought I saw two dinosaurs rushing at me. In fact, they were enormous ride-on-lawnmowers! By this evening, still lacking a drawing, I was going to sketch them but then the night was so lovely and cool that I went for another ride and sketched the beautiful moon instead. 27 km cycle

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Day 274
Outside the library, just as I was arriving - cabbage chopping, Shaolin warrior style - first you strip off your top, then puff up all your muscles, then swiftly chop the cabbage, slicing towards your lower abdomen, then pick up all the pieces from the floor. Life will be so much more exciting, now I know how to do it. I just love these daily excursions - there are so many surprises. 12 km cycle

Monday, January 29, 2007

Day 273
I had a lovely evening ride today, though it was very windy and consequently difficult to hear my chinese lesson - but it is satisfying to be doing another activity at the same time. I just took my small moleskine and a pencil. I don't know the name of this sort of eucalypt which sheds bark in such a profuse and messy manner, nor of another eucalypt which had this beautiful text 'etched' into it, though it was me that put in into rows. 17 km cycle

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Day 272
This afternoon, I cycled to Manuka to meet a friend - we had a coffee and caught up on the past few months. This lady looked very imposing with her super-curly hair, huge wrap and red bag. 10 km cycle

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Day 271
Sometime in my blogging life in the past year, I was directed to a wonderful site for downloading free audio chinese lessons and I have been listening for a while. But it isn't very convenient to have to sit at the computer so for Christmas Ralph gave me an MP3 player, not something I ever thought I would want as I don't listen to music when on the move. Today I used the player for the first time while out cycling - on my 17 km ride, I listened to a 15 minute lesson 4 times through, still not enough to catch it all as, at the level I chose, all explanations of grammar etc are in Chinese - but I must be 4 times closer to getting it. However, I was unable to simultaneously 'see' anything to sketch so I have sketched the player. 17 km cycle

Friday, January 26, 2007

Day 270
Well, I know this is pretty terrible but I can't think how to quickly do fireworks against a night sky - this is wax and watercolour. Anyway, no cycling today so I left exercising til the evening when we went to see the Australia Day fireworks over the lake. We parked several kilometres away and walked so we didn't get caught in a jam afterwards. During the walk back, we saw the McNaughton's comet which Ralph said was huge and spectacular. 4 km walk

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Day 269
I set off for a ride around the lake and halfway round my foot slipped off the pedal and I fell heavily, my crotch thudding onto the cross bar. Very, very painful. Had to sit down while I considered whether to walk or ride 8 km home. After I'd done this drawing I felt a bit better and rode most of the way home, standing up. Now my thighs are killing me. 17 km cycle

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Day 268
After a hot cycle ride around the lake, which is getting smelly in places due to low water levels and exposed rotting vegetation, I went to see the exhibition of the Egyptian treasures of the Louvre. There were lots of amazing pieces, none looking anywhere near 2500 years old. I especially liked the beautiful hieroglyphs, particularly the pieces combining text and pictures of everyday life - they were so like the journalled moleskine pages I see on people's blogs. The piece I have sketched does not have text - it reminded me of sampler embroideries but is in fact ink drawing on papyrus - from the Book of the Dead of the Lady Taperonir. Sketching it was a lot of fun - like being a student of the original artist - constantly asking, "how did you do that bit?" as I looked closely to see. And copying his mistake - in the top right border - some 'waves' in the wrong direction. He must have been annoyed with himself! 20 km cycle

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 267
This is looking down the hill a bit towards our local shopping centre. We are lucky to still have a post office, bakery, chemist and butcher (which saved itself by becoming Halal) as well as a supermarket, newsagency, hairdresser and 4 restaurants/cafes. Many suburban shopping centres have died as people desert them for the malls. 17 km ride

Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 266
Sometimes, when I'm cycling along a certain route and the sun is low, I see myself rushing on ahead on the side bank. I had a quiet day at home, just going out for a quick ride before cooking dinner. 6 km cycle

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Day 265
Busy all day taking Mum out and cooking 'family dinner' so I went for a hilly cycle ride in the evening when the temperature has dropped such that I needed my cardigan - lovely. The sky was glorious - pink caused by the bushfires, now dying down in the mountains and grey storm clouds from South Australia which seem to be skirting Canberra and we are going to miss out :(
10 km cycle

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day 264
Our server is having problems today. And we are having another scorcher - too hot by 9.00 am to consider cycling. I sketched these youngsters down by the lake where I stopped for a quick stretch of the legs before going to the fruit markets. Tor has a unicycle and looks very dashing on it and Finnian can stilt walk. 3 km melt

Friday, January 19, 2007

Day 263
I cycled into town to look for some shorts - nothing that will fit me at all - the waists, if they have them at all and aren't just 2 inches either side of the crotch, all gape a mile. I'll have to dig out an old pattern and make some with elastic. I guess these three are going to be best men - I wonder who is the lady who is marrying into this mob! 12 km cycle

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 262
Looking north, across the lake to Regatta Point and the Exhibition building for the design and development of Canberra. A map of Australia, painted on the grass ready for Australia Day on 26 January, and the fountain. I cycled round the lake before it got too hot and stopped in a shady spot to do this view. Then back to a closed-up, stuffy but cool house. 17 km cycle

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day 261
I cycled to Woden today to do some shopping. I sat at a coffee shop and sketched this very thin, sad-looking old lady. She sat very upright and kept her hat on the whole time. On the way home, I got another puncture and had to walk 4 km home.
Somehow some HTML-looking code got into one of my posts yesterday and caused the side bar to disappear, and I couldn't post. I was pretty pleased to be able to fix it 'all by myself'! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Day 260
This evening we cycled to Manuka to watch The Queen. I sat on a bench and sketched the queue while Ralph waited in it. I wish I could catch the shapes faster. We thought the film was marvellous - I especially liked all the children's artwork in the Blair's home and office. 12 km cycle

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 259
I cycled to the art school library and back before it got too hot, and stopped on my return to sketch these sunflowers in a pensioner's garden. The flower heads were the size of dinner plates. The king parrots or cockatoos will notice the seeds soon. What a feast. 12 km cycle

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Day 258
The usual cycle ride again but no time to stop and sketch as I had to take Mum for her Sunday morning outing. I did these two little girls while they played power games over some nail glitter and Mum had a nap on the lawns at the Botanic Gardens. 17 km cycle

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Day 257
Yet another ride around the lake. There was a brisk wind and the windsurfers, who lauch from the Point between Hermione's bench and her Island, were scudding along - a para-sailor too.

And here is the best photo from our recent trip to Sydney - Reflection

17 km cycle

Friday, January 12, 2007

Day 256

I cycled round the lake but set off too late - between 10.00am amd 11.30, the temperature rose from 26 to 33 - it's like cycling along in a hair dryer. I had my sketching stuff but thought I might do it later when it's cooler but then I couldn't resist this row of youngsters fishing. The baby has chickenpox.

As I neared home, I saw, for the first time in my life, a dog wearing a life jacket. He was supposed to be following his owner in a canoe out 'to sea' but wasn't keen to set off. Maybe he has epilepsy or similar or maybe the lifejacket will support him if he suddenly gets tired? Anyway, I had to do another sketch.
17 km cycle

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day 255
The hottest day of summer so far - 38 degrees C (100.4 F) so I cycled early to the library to sketch in the comfort of air conditioning. But I got waylaid by browsing and reading and then had to cycle home in the heat. However, by closing all the windows and curtains first thing in the morning, we can keep a 10 degree difference between inside and out, so it's not too bad at home.
20 km cycle

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day 254
I rode around the lake, stopping off in town to do some banking. The street furniture in the pedestrian precinct is all blue metal. I was looking for something interesting to sketch with a suitably shady place to sit when I noticed a very odd arrangement - I think it's clearer in my sketch, but it took me a few moments to work out that it's a lounge room scene, complete with poufe and magazine! 20 km cycle
Which brings me to Sculpture - there is an opportunity here for me to apply to be part of a gallery show with the theme 'Art of Moving'. Applicants have to apply to be part of a 'course' which is subsidised by the Health and Environment Departments of our local government. I'm not sure what we might learn in the course as you have to apply with a pretty clear proposal of what sculpture you intend to produce and how you will do it. Anyway, it seems to me that my/our (nearly a) year's worth of effort is great source material for a show which aims to promote the health and environment benefits in non car transport/movement. I've been trying to dream up a way to make it in to a sculpture. The aspects of the experience I am most keen to catch are the small pleasures such as noticing things more, feeling the weather and the seasons, slowing down, nodding hello to people, sharing the experience through the internet with the two other walkers and the blog visitors, improving drawing skills. I think it would be nice not to lose/move too far away from the sketches and their accompanying texts and to somehow incorporate quite a few of them. As a sculpture - lets say, broadly defined! ? Any ideas? Would you, Julie and Penny, like to be involved/have some of your sketches included? One idea I had was to make simple rag dolls sitting/standing sketching representing us and have a 'postcard rack/show'. Any thoughts, anyone?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Day 253
More portraits - the library is a good place to find people sitting fairly still. 12 km cycle

Monday, January 08, 2007

Day 252
A brown, smoky day as south westerlies are blowing smoke hundreds of kilometres from the Victorian bushfires which flared up badly again yesterday. So I just walked to Hermione's bench and stopped to sketch this family sitting by the lake. 6 km walk

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Day 251
During the train journeys into the city, I had fun sketching other passengers - and was lucky to choose people who sat for several stops. We went on the ferry to Manly and then to the art gallery but I didn't manage any more worthy sketches.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Day 250
Beautiful weather for the zoo. I sketched all day, aiming to be quick rather than polished - necessary anyway as the residents rarely stayed still. The orangutan had wrapped herself up in a sack and peered at me from time to time. I am quite pleased with my efforts - I never could have managed this a year ago.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Day 249
In Sydney, Ralph and I walked for miles. We heard so many languages and saw a wonderful variety of dress styles. We ended up at Chinatown for dinner. As we waited for our steamed meat balls and hot and sour soup (my favourite from my months in Taiwan), I sketched the girl chopping shallots. Then, as it was a beautiful balmy evening, we wandered the streets some more and I sketched some street artists.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Day 248
I rode around the lake and stopped off at the Gallery to visit the Ladies. This old fellow was reading in one of the comfy chairs next to the bookshop. After a while he took off his hat and put it on his knee so that bit remains un-drawn. 20 km cycle
And Ralph and I have been resealing the kitchen floor so are going to Sydney tomorrow for three days while it cures. We plan to go to the zoo and now have little sketching stools so we won't have to sit amongst the ants anymore. Tor will still be here, communing with the microwave in the sitting-room.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Day 247
Another less than meditative drawing session as ants attacked again and the flies were out in force. I nearly abandoned this drawing in frustration with the way the graphitone pencils seem to resist the watercolour paper I had but I decided to wash over it with water and it looked better so I continued - I quite like it. These pears are in front of the National Gallery - they are about 5 feet high, a dark brown metal. Amazingly they never seem to get grafittied. 12 km cycle

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Day 246
Another lovely grey day, though I put off going out or even hanging up the washing as I thought it was going to rain - it didn't. So I went for a walk. The damp brings out such lovely colours in the tree trunks. This effort was cut short when I realized I was sitting on an ant nest. 3 km walk ps.Ralph thinks I should mention that he has fixed my computer - I might also mention that he admitted to 'adding things' the day before it started playing up! :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Day 245
I'm still having computer freezing problems and Ralph says there is nothing else he can try - he will have to reinstall windows and all the extras. I walked the loop today looking for interesting texture to sketch. But somehow, on this first day of 2007, despite the lovely rain and consequent greenness already, I have sketched the 'bench with no view'. The trees have grown up and there is not a glimpse of the lake. 2007!