Monday, April 30, 2007

Day 364
Another of the sketching possibilities I have enjoyed this past year has been sketching at the National Gallery. As it was cold and windy today, I went there for this second last day. These are two 1937 costumes from the Ballet Russe. They employed a number of artist designers, including Matisse to design sets and costumes. The ballet company was in Australia when war broke out and so the costumes ended up remaining here, eventually to be acquired by the Gallery. They have really exciting designs and colours. 12 km cycle

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Day 363
I walked to Hermione's bench again - to look for my purse which I may have dropped on the way home the other day. This tree was beautiful in the moonlight, sharp shadows of leaves falling across the trunk. Ralph found my purse at home while I was out. Done with pastel when I got home as it was raining again - 50ml so far.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day 362
I cycled around the lake in the rain so just stopped to do a quick scribble. The boats look too big - oh well never mind! 17 km soggy cycle

Friday, April 27, 2007

Day 361
Another theme I wanted to revisit in this last week is night views. It was raining and I carried an umbrella and just my small moleskine and a pencil. I stopped under the light of a streetlamp to catch the orange glow of the cloudy sky behind Black Mountain and started to sketch this city view with telephone wires and the tower. Just as I was finishing, a fox scurried past, only a few feet away - he did get a shock when I greeted him heartily :) 4 km walk

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day 360
A cool, grey start to the day. I just have a few walks left to do to finish the year and wondered how I would like to use those spots. First up - another walk to Hermione's bench, this time to include the actual bench in the picture. For blog visitors who wonder who Hermione is, visit the archive 10 June on this blog (or my other blog - archive March 1 to read/see a little of her story. 6 km walk

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Day 359
I cycled to Manuka via some hills and found the bookshop open, though it's a public holiday for Anzac Day. I was sitting at the wonderful long table where people can read, and loved the two reds, not to mention the 'posture' of the book unpacker. 10 km cycle

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Day 358
Shirley has asked how I do bicycle wheels - nothing beats careful observation but here is an explanation of the aspects I consider - if I have time or inclination in the moment. Looking back, I see she particularly asked about spokes - I should have said, I think it looks silly if you do all of them. (There are about 18 to each end of the the axle) And by chance, a bike features in my daily sketch - seen riding back from my sculpture class where I am making some mini gates from Penny's sketches. 12 km cycle

Monday, April 23, 2007

Day 357
I have returned to find autumn full on and the evenings are chilly - it will soon be time to start lighting the fire. After fixing another slow puncture, I had a pleasant ride to Woden to get some long sleeved vests (singlets), though rain threatened on the way home. 12 km ride

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Day 356
At Forum, Trudy showed me her little books of collages done from favourite cuttings from art, fashion and other magazines. She adds to them in various ways. Her collection of books were wonderful and such a fabulous resource - much more perused and useful than old magazines on shelves or in heaps, as mine are. I resolved to have a go as I think my mark-making skills are weak and it will be 'good for me' - maybe even fun. So today, I cycled to the art shop to get a little visual journal and here is my first page. I did enjoy it. It will be part of my next art plan to finish this book within a few months. 12 km cycle

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Day 355
On the last day, all classes have an exhibition of the work they have done, whether it be finished pieces or samples. Our class moved directly from the self portrait to begin on a 'narrative portrait' to take the whole 4 1/2 days. We first laid out a blanket 'sandwhich', incorporating the borders of old woollen blankets, then a smaller piece of calico, not necessarily in the middle and then were directed to "with pen and ink, on the fabric, Just Start - using the information gathered in the self portrait, but not looking at it." Before Forum, I had already decided that, if possible, I would use the week to catch the pleasure and fun I have had in the past year with my paintbox, sketchbook and bicycle - we had to include our face - so here it is - about 20 inches square, fabric, paint and stitch. Hermione's lemon tree appeared (when life hands you lemons, make lemonade), the spotty fabric represents journeys to me, and needing a bit of colour in the bottom left, the organic drawing pins represent life's vicissitudes.
After the exhibition, and enjoying seeing what all the other classes had done, I drove home to Canberra with my friend, Lynne, my bike in the back of her car.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Day 354
On the last evening La Party is held. I am not a party person but it's fun to sketch those who are. They wear 'whatever they feel like'. Below is the shibori class parade. They hung their fabrics samples from umbrellas. The fabrics were beautifully patterned but I didn't try to catch that.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day 353
Here is the huge felt bag Pam, my room mate, is working on - nearly two feet high. It will be too heavy to use as a bag, though.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Day 352
More garden installations - the largest 'tent', on the right, is about 3 feet high. The top installation is about 10 feet long, made from sticks, leaves, sead heads on a ochre painted or chalk background.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is just a note to say that Ali successfully completed her trip to Orange by bicycle. She went a bit faster than anticipated and found herself 40 k short of Orange on Saturday night as dusk approached. She then hitched the last few k, being picked up by a dentist, who both drove her to Orange but also kindly provided accommodation that night. A long journey completed, mainly under pure leg power with wind and bigger hills to deal with than originally thought! I should have posted this yesterday - but a temporary bachelor lives in sloth.

Ralph (Ali's partner)
Day 351
At Forum, garden 'installations' appear - these are fabric 'things' on sticks - the fabric bits are about 2 feet high.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Day 350
Forum days are fully organised with classes, lectures, chatting etc so every day, I do some exercise by cycling across town from the boarding school where I am staying to the other part of the school where the classes are held. The first thing we had to do in class was draw a self portrait, using pen and ink and "gathering as much information as possible". Consequently, everyone drew every wrinkle and we all looked very old, and of course, intense concentration made us appear very severe. I found it interesting to compare this effort with one done a year ago, when I first joined Everyday Matters (see here)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Day 349
Well, that was fun! And I am quite pleased with my sketches though I would have liked to have had more time to stop and draw - I had to allow plenty of time to get to the next place with accommodation for the night. Perhaps, another time, I would take a tent and sleeping bag, and less art stuff. I only used my usual pen and water colour. I've realized there's only any point in taking materials that I am really comfortable with - this wasn't the time to be practising with less familiar materials. Otherwise, I happy with what I took, though the weather and my bike were kind so I didn't need the warm gear, bike spares or first aid stuff. The distances between places are a downside for Australian bike touring but I didn't find the landscape as monotonous as I'd expected. I just noticed more and more detail -probably due to my sketching experience over the past year. My fitness preparation was quite adaquate. I was never stiff, rarely puffed - just healthily tired by the end of the day. Thank you to all my blog visitors for your support in the months leading up to this adventure. I am really pleased to have done it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day 348
I set off at 7.45, hoping that there will be accomodation at Cargo, about 55 rather hillier kilometres away. I have head winds, and several punctures caused by the dreaded organic drawing pins (bindis) - I find I cannot take my bike off the road or the tyres will be spiked. At last however, I see how to sketch hills! - and catch the patchwork feel of fields. :)

Day 348 - Part two
But at Cargo, there is no longer any accomodation! Too tired to manage the last, super hilly stretch, I decide to hitch. No sooner have I found a ride, than we stop at the scene of an accident. Someone has rolled their car, there is sewing stuff spilling on to the road and the car has a Canberra number plate. Another car has already stopped but the emergency services haven't yet arrived. We stop and I discover it is another Forum participant. Astonishly, she is uninjured but stuck in the car so I chat with her until help arrives and she is extricated. She is fine and I continue with my new friends.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Day 347
After taking the wrong road from Boorowa, I ended up doing 92 km along a different road than I'd planned but that meant I found the lovely cafe and I still made it to Cowra by 3.00pm. During the war many 'aliens' were interned in Cowra, including 500 or so Japanese prisoners of war. They staged a break out and over 200 were killed. They were buried in Cowra and over the years the Returned Servicemen's League looked after the graves so well that the remains of all Japanese soldiers who died overseas were relocated in Cowra and the Japanese Government funded a beautiful Japanese Memorial Garden to be built.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ralph sees me off.

Day 346
On my way at last. Just for the first couple of minutes, I feel very alone but there is a bit of traffic and drivers give me a wave and plenty of road space. A lovely cycling day, with no problems. I arrived at Boorowa at 3 o'clock. 46km
Click on images to enlarge them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day 345
Well, now I am all ready. My stuff weighs about 14 kilos including 3 litres of water. I can hardly believe I'm really going to Forum on my bike! I went for a practice ride with my bike fully laden - it was fine. I expect to arrive on Sunday and should be able to post a message that I have - or Ralph will. Back in time to celebrate Julie's Day 365! 4 km cycle

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Day 344
The 'journey' began a long time ago but today I finished making the journal for the actual ride. Tomorrow, as I pack, I will do the first few pages and then it will be ready for Thursday's departure. It has smooth, hot press slightly off-white 180g/m2 papar, opens flat and a double page spread will fit on the scanner. I wasn't able to find any smooth bright white paper - I didn't want to use the w/c Moleskine as it's too long, when open, for the scanner and I wanted a book with fewer pages, just for this trip. I will give it a title later. 10 km cycle into town

Monday, April 09, 2007

Day 343
A morning on and by the harbour. While waiting for the ferry, I sketched the Opera House - I was low down and any boats could only have been ferries drawing in to the wharf, obscuring the Opera House, so the water looks unrealistically empty. We took the ferry to Mosman then walked around Sirius Cove to the Zoo. The Heidelberg group of artists had a campsite in the area during the 30's and did many landscapes there. We saw several of these enormous nests in trees but fortunately, perhaps, no residents thereof.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Day 342
In Sydney for the weekend, we went to the NSW Art Gallery to see the Archibald portrait exhibition. It was poorly reviewed and I think the critics were correct. It was very unexciting with few surprises. The cream of this year's high school art projects were much more interesting. Here I have sketched a sculpture outside the Gallery while waiting for a shower to stop. I forgot to write down any details of it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Day 341
A message from the forest floor? I went for a cycle ride around south Canberra but it was windy and unpleasant to sit and sketch so I collected some lovely coloured leaves and painted them at home. We're off to Sydney for a couple of days tomorrow, leaving just Tor at home. I leave for Orange next Thursday if the weather looks suitable. 15 km cycle

Friday, April 06, 2007

Day 340
Yesterday, I bought a trip computer for my bike so I will know how far I've travelled throughout the day - otherwise, with frequent stops for sketching and very few road markers along the way, I would have little idea how to pace myself. So today, I did two of my regular rides to confirm their lengths and on the way home from the second, stopped to catch the last of the sun on these trees. I walked my bike over about 3 metres of grass and then, to my horror, noticed the tyres were stuck full of those dreaded organic drawing pins. I thought I might just be able to get home before the air leaked out so I sped away - and have just done this from memory. Seven holes in one tube and 6 in the other - it's back to the bike shop tomorrow for another pair of of spare inner tubes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Day 339
I cycled into town to get some thermal wear and several half pans of water-colour. I have refilled my travel set but the cadmium yellow won't dry and the Australian dark green dries very crumbly and all the little pieces scatter around the box - a pity as that colour only comes in a tube. Perhaps it needs to be mixed with some gum? I saw this fellow sitting by the lake near the Cirque du Soleil and stopped for a few minutes to sketch him. 12 km cycle

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Day 338
I found my water soluble ink brush pen while getting stuff ready for my trip so with possible rain brewing, I walked up to the dark pine wood to try to catch the downhill feel. There was a man with a red hat - having a pee probably! 4 km walk

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Day 337
This evening, I cycled to the Art School, arriving 15 minutes early - just time for a quick sketch of the courtyard before the group began. As often happens in classes and workshops, it's a bit different from what I expected. We have the facilities of the sculpture workshop at our disposal and two tutors to teach us new skills. Yesterday, I learned how to braise fencing wire and use an angle grinder. Now there is a two week Easter break during which we are supposed to clarify our ideas. A number of art school students and staff will be contributing to the exhibition but they are not at these evening meetings so it will be a while before I have an idea of what the exhibition will look like.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Day 336
I cycled to Maxine's whose place I last visited, by bike, on the first day of this challenge. On the way back, I sketched these magpies - they are 30-40 cm and have one of the most complex (and beautiful) warbles of any bird. 18 km cycle

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Day 335
After I put the Sunday evening roast in the oven, I nipped on my bike towards Manuka and decided that today was the day to try riding up Redhill. There were half a dozen cyclists on the way up or down. I stopped once, but made it up without walking. We are looking down upon 'old' Canberra - it all suburbs, with 1/4 acre gardens or larger - so you can't see the houses for the trees. 8 km cycle