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


Julie Oakley said...

Dear Alison
What a wonderful post. I've so enjoyed clicking on the links and being reminded of all of your wonderful drawings over the year. Congratulations and thank you. I must warn you it feels a bit odd the day after. It's lovely to see your home. It looks to me so much an Australian house as I imagine mine looks like an English archetype.
I look forward to the art exhibition, such a great idea to take the project forward.

Anonymous said...

It is unsettling saying goodbye to Julie's and your walking blogs within a week of each other. You two and Penny have inspired me to sketch on a daily basis, myself-- there is something contageous about all of this.

As I already said, I'll be following you on your other blog, but I had to thank you for this beautiful year that you have given us.

Hashi said...

Yay Alison! A wonderful challenge completed. And I'm very impressed with your exercise-induced weight loss. Way to go!

Hil said...

Congratulations, Alison. I'm so glad I was able to read along for the last little while. I've heard of the Art of Moving through my son, and have intended to make contact with them, so I'll look forward to seeing your exhibition.

Penny said...

I agree with Julie, what a wonderful post. interestingly my house is weatherboard too, you will see it in due course.
I have loved your wanderings, a bit worried about your night walks, and your lovely people sketches.
Gong to miss you both so hurry up and post on your other blogs.
hey Hashi, here we go!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It's sad that the daily walk and chalk exercise has ended. I've peeped into your life often - also Penny and Julie's blogs, but couldn't catch up myself with all that exercise you all did! Keep up the picture-making and posting please.

Jan said...

You are such an inspiration, Alison. What a year you have had. Congratulations! You certainly deserve all you get because you actually went out there and got it yourself. It feels a sad goodbye, but I'm greatly relieved your beautiful sketches and writing style will continue on your other blog.

Katherine said...

Alison - I want to thank you for showing me Canberra and for your intrepid cycling/sketching (I've started talking to 'he who must not be bored while I sketch' about us buying bikes!)

I'm also most grateful for you showing me something of Canberra where my sister lives. There are also plans afoot for another visit out there so maybe one day we'll actually meet up. I have a vision of you being slim and lithe of limb in spandex cycling shorts - it just won't go away!

Emma Pod said...

Congratulations on completing a year of wonderful work! It's amazing all the things you've done and drawn. I hope you had a big party or something to celebrate!

caseytoussaint said...

What a wonderful adventure you've been on. This is such an inspiration, thank you for sharing your experience.

shirley said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON A FABULOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT! Somehow I missed the completion of your 365 days and I'm so impressed - I don't exercise!

I finally sketched and painted my pedicab without spokes after seeing a beuatiful tandem bik painting at the Met that didn't have spokes and no body missed them.

littlemithi said...

Oh my goodness! Its finished??!!?? I sure haven't been paying attention ... So inspiring how you've managed to keep this up for a year - and so beautifully too. Hope you can find some other wonderful challenge to throw yourself into ;)

Sherry said...

I am impressed - I can't k eep up with my written journal on a daily basis, much less sketch every day, al though I am drawing much much more since I've been doing the EDM challenges. All your bicycling is impressive too. My husband rides all the time, weather permitting. His goal is 1500 miles this year. I'm feeling inadequate here... Anyway, thank you for visiting my blog and inviting me to be inspired. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I've been so impressed by the Exersketch project (my work life wouldn't allow me to do it yet). I can only imagine how much fun it is for you to look at all 365 days and enjoy the extraordinary benefits for your health. What are you planning for 2008?