Saturday, 22 January 2011

Introducing Katherine Tyrrell

Sketches in London by Katherine Tyrrell
My involvement with the Postcard from my Walk project dates back to 2006 and a small group of bloggers who were all taking their sketchbooks with them as they took regular exercise.  It was the sketching version of a painting a day - with walking a mile thrown in!


What became very clear to me was that they kept going because of the mutual support.  That notion of mutual support was the main reason I founded Sketchercise in June 2009 - see

Why A Postcard from my Walk is important to me
    A Postcard from my Walk is a project/blog for regular contributors to the Sketchercise Ning Group.  The idea is to produce sketches which we can see for real as opposed to on our screens in a digital format.

    The other main reason why I need a group and the discipline of walking and sketching is that I have a disability in my feet.  I've experienced cycles of tissue contraction/falls/tearing tissue which leaves me on crutches for 6 weeks plus very poor balance and constant pain in my feet.

    I've adopted a strategy of trying to manage risks better.  In 2009 I decided to try and exercise more so that I could lose weight, reduce swelling and hence reduce the risks of more falls/tissue tears/etc.   Walking is also the best way for me of exercising my feet and strengthening the soft tissue which, after many falls and tears, is fairly mangled.  My physio has commented in the past about how much simpler it would be if I broke bones rather than tearing tissue!

    In 2009, I gave up all the naughty calories (eg alcohol, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, cheese and anything else which was packed full of calories for relatively little nutritional value) PLUS vowed to do a lot more walking. As a result, in fits and starts (largely related to things like flu and how active I was) by the end of the year I had achieved a weight loss of very nearly 3 stones. 
    8 reasons to exercise (my personal memory jogger!)
    1. Exercise strengthens and stretches muscles which helps to prevent pain and being pain free means being able to draw and paint and do other activities for longer!
    2. Exercise improves balance, which prevents injuries
    3. Exercise builds bones
    4. Exercise reduces stress!!!!
    5. Exercise lowers cholesterol
    6. Exercise creates endorphins which make you feel great both during and after exercise
    7. Regular exercise rebuilds the habit of regular exercise
    8. Exercise leads to weight loss and looking better
    It also helped me work on my Ecology Park Pond series

    Last year, I was working hard for my local residents association.  A major local redevelopment caused me a phenomenal amount of work in getting to grips with planning law/regulations and lobbying hard on pre-commencement planning conditions.  This meant I first took a break from exercise and sketching and then took a break from the Sketchercise group as the workload on the planning front threatened to swamp me.  As a result of a very sedentary lifestyle in 2010 the weight piled back on!  I don't in any way regret the commitment I made but I now need to get back to walking again as it's very clear that this is the key to my weight loss - and keeping it off!

    Which means that A Postcard from my Walk comes at a very opportune time for me. I'm now more than ever convinced that:
    • regular long walks help me lose weight and maintain weight loss
    • I need the virtual company and encouragement of others to make sure I keep going
    The nice thing about this project is that I've got to achieve the production of a postcard each month - so I need to get out and about again.

    My travels with a sketchbook
    When I travel I sketch and when I sketch I record the stories behind sketches from my travels in my blog.  
    I'm a great devotee and promoter of the value of sketching and you can:
    Travels with my sketchbook
    You'll find that most of my sketches are:
    • local places in East London
    • trips to places - often parks and gardens - in London
    • generated while walking around major galleries and museums or my local branch of a huge supermarket if surfaces are wet or slippery
    • often involve a stop for a cup of tea!
    The major challenge for me will be sketching as small as 7" x 5"!  I usually sketch much larger....... 


      Alison Staite said...

      Your set of travel sketch books is such a fantastic thing. How wonderful to have such a cohesive set of works.

      renatabarillipainter said...

      Very interesting project !!!!
      Bravi Bravi Bravi
      I've just posted a comment on my blog
      It's in Italian so that everybody can read it.
      I explains:
      what the project is;
      what sketching is now and was in the past;

      We say " in bocca al lupo" to wish all the best to this new marvelous blog and to all its partecipants

      Katherine Tyrrell said...

      Many thanks Renata

      Desiree said...

      Beautiful sketches, great information, thank you so much for starting the group and for encouraging us to do both exercise and sketch!

      Albrecht Rissler said...

      Many thanks Katherine for inviting me and for all the work you have done for this group. I'm very impressed of your great work done at so many different places....

      Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

      I finally am oing to own a piece of your sketching Katherine! I could only drool over it in your sketchbooks when you were here and now...I'm so excited!

      Charlene Brown said...

      What a great introduction -- not just to you, but the whole concept!

      vivien said...

      A great idea and I'm really looking forward to taking part :>)

      Pat said...

      Wonderfully and masterfully done. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful creations.

      Bridget Hunter said...

      I admire the way you capture people's attitudes in all these different locations - you show that really there's practically nowhere you can't sketch !

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