Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Eighty Three – Half-way through

Can you believe – the challenge – for me – is now half-way through. For those of you who haven’t been following this blog here is an update of the story so far.
After issuing the challenge (you can read it in the side panel) a few people joined me, but we’re now down to a core of three one-milers.
Alison in Canberra and Penny in rural South Australia are still manfully walking and drawing with me on a daily basis. Hashi, Katherine, Wendy, Tami, Felicity and Jana together with many others are cheering us on.
Rain has been the bane of my sketching, whereas Alison and Penny would, I’m sure, welcome a few rain-soaked sketches. Alison has entertained us with her night time walks, her drawings of quirky sculpture and the surroundings of Canberra and so much more. Penny has battled with technology and sharing her computer to draw us into life on her farm and the nearby coast. She’s delightfully and funnily negative about her drawing skills (which she really must stop doing) and those little asides about keeping on top of tidying her house make me think that she ought to see mine to really appreciate mess.
More than anything our children and our mothers have been a large part of the story. My own mother died in July. The complicated and difficult relationship I had with her spilt out onto these pages. Alison’s mother was frighteningly ill at the same time and Penny helped her mother move into a retirement home. Soon after my mother died, Hashi’s mother in Canberra was rushed into hospital. Alison took flowers to her. Sadly she didn’t get better and Hashi flew back to Australia to share the last days with her. To my joy, Alison and Hashi met and walked one of Alison’s favourite walks.
Xavier, my delightful three year old, (together with his tantrums and toilet training) has been a regular feature of this blog as he has often accompanied me on my walks and ‘helped’ in the creation of art. The other walkers and supporters with their own experiences of motherhood have joined in with their own stories of children and grandchildren.
So it’s been a great ride so far. Just don’t ask me how much weight I’ve lost – put it this way, I’d be a lot fatter if I hadn’t done this.
Now if anyone else wants to join, let us know.
The drawing was done in Langley Wood (the Bluebell Wood) in my large watercolour Moleskine. Colour was added at home as Xavier had had enough of me drawing once the ink lines had been drawn.


Blogger Katherine said...

Great summary Julie - I'm mentally there with you everytime I pull back the curtains and it's raining! ;) I'm sure you;d miss the walks now if you gave them up.

Funny, isn't it, the way the walk+draw blogs haven't quite caught on in quite the same way as the daily painting to sell on e-bay has!

12:37 am  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Julie, I have been an occasional reader here in the last 6 weeks because of ...well you know how it goes. Life got really out of hand. but I'm writing to say how much I have enjoyed your art work, your posts and this last one gave me such a great feeling. I'm with you in spirit. I love to walk but sometimes need to leave everything behind me on my walks. You inspire me and I just love seeing all the experiments you have been doing. So sorry to hear about your Mom. Please keep us up dated about your walking sisterhood and such. YOur blog is one of the many reasons why I like to read and keep a blog.

1:34 am  
Blogger Penny said...

Julie, Half way through already! I will try to stop being negative but its a bit hard when I have you and Alison to follow.
I hadnt really realised how much we have shared, what fun. Two here and you over there where my roots began. I feel a bit as if Xavier is my grandchild (I would dearly love to have one that age again) and I do so love your paintings.

6:21 am  
Blogger Penny said...

Oha nd I forgot, the clean and tidy house was ingrained into me by my mother, and I HATE house work, anything to not do it! Bits are tidy but my textile stuff is gradually taking over all the spare bedrooms and there has to be a massive clean out when guests come!

6:24 am  
Blogger Tami said...

This is so beautifully written, Julie. I feel honored that I have been reading along and cheering along on this journey you all have been on. Keep up the good work! As always I adore your drawings!

6:38 am  
Blogger Jen said...

Hi Julie,

I may not be walking and drawing with you every day but I do read your blog every day and have lived your half year with you. Thank you for your beautiful drawings - your home area is so beautiful and green and wet and we are sweltering in drought. I do walk to work every day but that doesn't allow for drawing unfortunately. Keep up the good work - you have to feel good for all your exercise, don't you?

7:38 am  
Blogger Alison said...

6 months! well done! Yes, the sharing of all the 'bits' along the way has been lovely as well as the trail of English glimpses so beautifully portrayed, today's included. I can't believe you are well into Autumn already.

11:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I can't join you in the walking cause of health reasons. But really enjoy the drawing ans stories that come out from these walks. So if I can't walk I'll come hear and join just with you go girl.
Really like your blog.

3:00 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Katherine - maybe it's because there isn't any money in walk and draw.
Lindsay I have to admit that at the end of this I might rather enjoy setting out for a walk without having to decide what art materials to take with me!
Penny it is amazing how quickly it's gone by - though drawing in the winter may drag for me.
Alison autumn has only just arrived - the weather is unseasonally warm - which I like. A t-shirt at lunch time but cold this evening, so I think it is starting to get as cold as it should be. The dark is here now which I really find difficult to bear.
Tami, Jen and Linda thanks for being there for us.

8:24 pm  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

Your art walks are a constant source of inspiration to me and since I keep thinking how much I'd like to join you in doing them, today I asked myself why I'm not...and after working through all the silly excuses I realized that it was perfectionist, all or nothing thinking that was stopping me: that if I don't have the time for a long walk into the hills AND a full-fledged painting then why bother.

So...maybe a short walk and a quick drawing from my funky urban neighborhood might be OK. My waistline will thank you, and learning to make a quick drawing other than on the subway will be good too! I'll try it today and see what happens.

Thanks so much for including me in your cheering section!

8:55 pm  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

I forgot to say congratulations on being halfway through and also how much I like this painting! It's beautiful and the trees look so happy soaking up the bright sunshine.

8:58 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Jana, that's fantastic - I'm so pleased. And yes with daily plein air you really do have to throw perfectionism out of the window. It'll be great to see a different kind of neighbourhood.

11:08 am  
Blogger Marilyn said...

Magnificent, Julie. I love your journaling as well. That's one heck of a challenge!!!

12:22 am  

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