The Exercise Pieces Project -- Second Quarter Update

Well the first quarter of 2019 has come and gone, and furthermore, April and nearly half of May have flown by. High time for an update on my multi-goaling project, The Exercise Pieces Project. If you haven’t been following along here or on Instagram, see my prior journal post, below, and if you suddenly get a bee in your bonnet, please join in and let me know what you’re up to. The more the merrier!

Although I devised this project to motivate myself to pursue a few fitness and artistic goals over the course of a year, my broader hope was that it might somehow motivate others to hop on board and get after something they’d been wanting to do, for whatever duration worked for them. I was pleased when two others signed on. My daughter, Catherine Freshley who is a contemporary landscape painter, committed to doing 30 small gouache paintings on paper, which was something new for her, And Sarah Roethle, a watercolorist who had taken a break from painting, picked up her brushes again and committed to finding time in her busy day to pursue her illustration goals. You can see their progress on their IG feeds or here: #theexecisepiecesproject. It’s pretty cool to consider that had they not made the decision to simply begin, none of the pieces they subsequently created would exist in the world now. I mean, really!

Halfway through the month of March, I realized I’d better start thinking about whether I wanted to modify any of my goals for the second “quarterly installment” of my project. I also realized I needed to think about the design concept for my second wall piece. But. . . . I also needed to complete my first wall piece, get ready for an April textile event and prepare for a 10-day April trip to Oklahoma and Kansas, among other things. Hmm. . . Guess which of those things slipped? (Hint: the ones related to The Exercise Pieces Project.) But the good news is, I managed to continue my walks and online workouts, though at a somewhat reduced frequency, and I did manage to think about and sketch an idea for my next wall piece while in Kansas.

  • Takeaways from the first quarter:

    • Following Catherine and Sarah’s progress on IG was much more interesting than following my progress of adding a single piece of fabric to my wall piece each day—which is why I only posted progress photos periodically.

    • I realized I definitely want to increase my painting practice over the next several months. (I basically haven’t painted for months.)

    • I want to continue to increase my physical activity, including spending more time gardening through the spring and summer months. (I used to be a fairly avid gardener.)

  • Modified multi-goals and format for the second quarter of the project. (I’m playing catch-up here, it being mid-May already)

    • In order to facilitate my new goal of painting more: Gardening, walking or doing an online workout on a given day will earn me a painting session the following morning. I.e., no physical activity = no painting the following morning. Painting progress photos will be posted on IG. Those same physical activities (or lack of them) will also earn me a piece on my next wall hanging. I.e., every day will be documented in this second wall piece, as was the case with the first piece.

    • Days/evenings with two types of physical activity will be cause for celebration and will somehow be documented on the wall piece—exactly how is still tbd.

    • Linear, decorative machine stitching will be incorporated into the design of the new piece, but perhaps differently than was done on the first piece.

    • Charcoal colored fabrics will not represent days with no activity in this new piece—just because.

That’s where things stand. Hope you’ll decide to join me! (The whole project concept is explained in my February post.)

The concept on the left is the one I’m pursuing (sort of).

The concept on the left is the one I’m pursuing (sort of).

Repurposed fabrics I’m currently considering using for my second wall piece.

Repurposed fabrics I’m currently considering using for my second wall piece.