Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Day 365
Well, here I am for the last day of this year long challenge! This is our house, one of the old workers cottages, built by the government for employees of the nearby brickworks which supplied the bricks for Canberra houses until the mid 70's. Until the brickworks closed, this area was polluted by the kiln smoke so house prices remained low. Now, the area is rapidly gentrifying and these weatherboard cottages are being knocked down or occasionally removed to the country.
I have drawn the car too small - well, it's use has declined greatly over the last year - even with downsizing to one car for a family of four drivers. All of us cycle nearly everywhere these days. My studio is at far left - a converted carport - too small, but I know I am lucky to have it. It looks onto the road and into the back courtyard where Hermione's lemon tree grows in a large tub.
This year-long 'sketchercize' project has been a marvellous challenge for me. I have got in the habit of looking much more closely and 'seeing' line, shape, colour, texture and pattern everywhere, not to mention enjoying the antics of Canberrans, wildlife etc. I have become far more comfortable with having a go at sketching anything and making the sketch 'good enough' - rather than giving up and starting again. I am especially pleased with my collections of night walk pictures and portraits of men at the library; also that I'm getting better at landscapes. There have been many days when I haven't felt like sketching but often it's been these occasions which have produced the most special sketches.
During the first 6 months of, mostly, walking 6 km per day, I lost about 10 kilos (22 pounds) but found I needed to do more energetic, hilly cycling (and pay attention to portion sizes) to lose the second 10 kilos. My fitness improved such that I was able to do a 3 day, 240km ride along rural roads, stopping along the way to sketch. Now the challenge will be to keep the weight off. (After 5 years, 65% of weight losers are heavier than they were before losing weight!)
Most of all, I have enjoyed sharing this challenge with Julie and Penny and the regular and occasional visitors, sharing snippets of our lives and our local haunts, through pictures and comments. I thank you all for visiting and supporting me along the way.
There is a spin-off yet to come from this experience. I am participating in an exhibition with the theme, 'the art of moving', using ideas and pictures from Penny's, Julie's (with their permission) and my blogs, produced in a sculptural form. My ideas for this are still evolving but will have to be actualized by September.
So that's it for now, my friends. Future artistic endeavours will be posted on my Scribbles blog - please visit me there.
ps. After sketching our house, I cycled to Manuka to stretch my muscles on the hills. 10 km cycle