SIMPLIFY — a word written on Ted Wale's wall in the small art studio at the back of his home in Cabramatta.
It is not only his guide in art but also his key to longevity.
Mr Wale turned 103 on August 12 and still mows his own lawn and cooks his own meals.
"I don't eat a lot of fancy foods," he said.
"It's plain food.
"I might have a drop of wine but beer makes me fall asleep. And I gave up smoking well over 40 years ago.
"I say everything in moderation."
Mr Wale works as hard now as he's ever worked but has learnt to pace himself.
When he feels exhausted, he takes a break.
Friends, family and neighbours come to him when they need electronic items fixed.
This gift for electronics can be traced back to the days he helped make engines for Commonwealth aircraft during World War II and was part of a team that installed the first computer at Sydney University.
But it is sketching that keeps his mind sharp.
He draws charcoal, pencils and an eraser from his shirt pocket and begins to sketch.
"From the time I look at your face and look at the page, I've got to remember what your face looked like," he said.
"Your memory can fade in that time."
Mr Wale sketches most evenings using homemade charcoal made of jacaranda wood — the secret is in cooking it the right length of time. He's also used barbecue charcoal.
Art has been a lifelong passion for Mr Wale. He had a similar dedication to his marriage to Alice which lasted 72 years before she died.
They met in Lithgow and together raised Jim, Alen and Olive.
Mr Wale's artwork can be seen in the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and in archives at Fairfield City Council.
He had an exhibition at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery just before his 100th birthday.
Despite losing his dad when he was three and mum when he was 15, Mr Wale has fond memories from his youth.
"We used to have bread brought to the door and a man used to bring live rabbits in a cage on a horse and cart," he said. "If you wanted a rabbit for your dinner, you'd knock the rabbit off, clean it and skin it. It cost three pennies.
"Kids used to milk the cows before school, bring the milk around then go to school."
When he arrived in Cabramatta in 1956, there was gravel on Cabramatta Road and mud near the railway station.
"The kids used to come around with the newspaper and whistle," he said.
"The milkman came around and the baker came around — you could buy the food off the cart."
Mr Wale is still celebrating his birthday — for the past few years he has usually spread the partying out over about eight weeks.
He prefers to simplify it by having small, intimate gatherings with his friends and family rather than a large party.
"We call it the Ted festival," his son Alen said. "At 103 he deserves it."