Friday, 30 December 2011

An Ethereal Forest in California


I found this splendid painting by Pat Reese waiting for me when we arrived home from our Christmas travels. It's magical the way Pat has conveyed so much detail and atmosphere with each perfect stroke. I don’t think there’s one wasted mark here!
I’m guessing these are eucalypts, and that the card was painted using liquid graphite – Pat didn’t actually say much.  In fact, here’s the entire succinct message on the other side of the card. Isn’t it beautifully painted and just exactly right?



Sunday, 25 December 2011

Pagoda in Katharine's local park



I have not even looked for Katherine’s signature on her postcard. The beautiful drawing of a park in her neighborhood with a pagoda could only have been drawn by her. It is her unique artistc style.

I used a magnifying glass to see what Katherine has used first. The red felt pen. Right? The red lines give the drawing a warm expression as in the postcards that we all cherish.

Even the colors of the stamps are matching those in her drawing!

Thank you Katherine so much for the beautiful card.

Friday, 23 December 2011

A cup of french Earl Grey with Liz.

For some reason I am drinking much more tea since a few weeks back. It lifts many an eyebrow, because it is unthinkable that I would refuse a coffee for a tea.
"What happened? Are you sick?" Apart from a shoulder shrug and a lifted eyebrow myself, I didn't have an answer. Until I received my card from Liz. It hit me. Of course! It is Liz and her love for a cup of good tea!
For quite time Liz had been sketching these colorful tea scenes around a tea pot, a cup or two and yes...a tasty treat, like once again in this card. Now how does one stay on the right path when seduction is thrown so blatantly in your lap!

Thank you for a lovely tea scene, Liz, and I'm enjoying my cups of tea so much so, that now I'll be on the search for your latest discovery...French Earl Grey. By your hand I am becoming a refined lady!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A handful of colour from Vivien

Always exciting to receive art from Vivien. I can simply leave you to enjoy!

...a worked-in etching...

The actual postcard" a little bit of autumn - we've just been toasting at 30 degrees c and Friday we'll have snow! Strange autumn weather"


...a close-up of Vivien's strokes...
And to continue through the gallery of Vivien's handful of colour..
..prints that I've put into a collage, showing her skill in capturing different atmopsheres of the ocean..

Last but not least...I have to show a bit of Vivien's mind...always some notes scribbled on the back of her paintings/drawings...something which makes her uniquely Vivien!Ii experienced it for the first time with our Flying pictures project a few years ago...and it hasn't changed!

...scribblings..

Hope you have enjoyed this handful of colour...I sure did and still am!
Thank you Vivien!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Albrecht's Postcard from his Walk

Albrecht Rissler 2011
Graphite on paper 25cm x 15cm

I received Albrecht’s postcard on a day that was especially long and difficult.  After unloading all the stuff from my arms, schlepping everything from the car to the house, greeting and feeding all my furry animal family members waiting their turn to be given attention, I went over to the mail box and among all the bills I found this wonderful piece of Albrecht’s life.   There in my hand was a beautifully rendered sketch of what Albrecht sees out of his window.


Thank you, Albrecht, for this wonderful gift.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Stunning Autumn Glory at Sheffield Park


This card needs no words.  Enjoy!   I certainly am.  It's genuinely tremendous!!

Thank you so much Katherine.  I have been studying it carefully working out the technique.  The delicate interlace of pen and coloured pencil works brilliantly.

Lucky me!

If you'd like to know more about the wonders of Sheffield Park see Katherine's recent posts on her sketchbook blog:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A warm November from Martin

I received another card from Martin this month. I think he sent me one last month by mistake so now I have two! I love those kinds of errors and hope it continues! This month the postcard shows grey skies and barren trees as there hasn't been any snow until recently. Thank you so much Martin, I really am enjoying your cards! I love the "messiness" of the splattered paint and fingerprints which arrive on the written side of the card! It gives the card a true feeling of being painted on site!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Trees in Scotland - a golf ball catch

Bridget Hunter sent me a nice card with a tree grove in typical Scottish colors. She critically reflects her latest ambitions in playing golf which at present mainly seems to be an excuse to have coffee and a giggle at the club house after a couple of golf balls have been buried between the tree trunks. She calls that exercise.

I think that it is this tabooless exchange of international customs that contributes a lot to the excitement in this postcard exchange. I am impressed by the quality of the gouache which arrived here in perfect condition. Thanks Bridget and good luck with golfing :).

Monday, 5 December 2011

Fresh from Coin Perdu


I'm not sure exactly which month this card was scheduled for - in between Ronelle going through a hectic time, and it sitting unannounced in my local post office - at last I got a notice that this envelope was 'still' waiting to be collected. Addressed to Mme, I knew who it would be from and was as excited as a child to see the brown envelope and the familiar free, exuberant style of the sketch on the front. Inside, it was Christmas come early with another joyous sketch of the old 1840 outside bread oven at Coin Perdu, Ronelle's private paradise, which will one day be converted into her atelier - and the treats hinted at by previous lucky postcard-from-Ronelle recipients - what a breath of warm, freshly baked tourte et pain from France.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

My October card from Vivien

Vivien sent me this wonderful card which she says began its life as an oil painting but then wanted to be mixed media. Well what ever she did to create this beautiful postcard works for me! I love everything about it, the colors, the textures. It is really wonderful to explore all the secret areas in this card, which by the way is huge! Thanks Vivien!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fall colours from Switzerland

My share of Felicity’s lovely botanical drawings fluttered out of the mailbox today! As she has done so beautifully before,  Felicity has highlighted colours in her exquisite drawing with a suitably perfect Swiss stamp.  Thank you Felicity!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Jacaranda blossom viewing at Johannesburg


Thank you Cathy for this nice card with Jacaranda trees in full bloom at the beginning of November. The Jacaranda tree was imported from South America about 100 years ago to South Africa. The pink spot in the background are Bougainvillea bloming at the same time.

The flowers of the Jacaranda tree fall constantly like rain, Cathy says on the card, and gardeners have a hard time to clean their pavements. The whole spectacle seems to last only for a short period of time until everything is green again. I feel very lucky that it was my turn to get a November postcard documenting the bloom of Jacaranda trees at Johannesburg.

By the way: Johannesburg is said to be the city with the largest man made forest with six million trees in public parcs and on private property. It is worth while to google a bit about Johannesburg and Jacaranda trees!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Golden Glow in Richmond Park

A view of Richmond Park, London in the glow of an Autumn sun.

Richmond Park is a very special place for Alison and she says that without it she couldn't survive in London. In her beautiful loose,watercolour style she's put down the "raw sienna carpet of bracken as it dies back and the copper gold of the beach leaves".

She tells me that the park has a path which runs right the way around it and that there are parts that are densely wooded with magnificent old oak trees. That's my kind of place too - there's just something about trees that bring a sense of peace and belonging especially if the trees are as aged and wise as these.

I've never been to Richmond Park but Alison makes it sound and look very appealing.

Thank you for this lovely card.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Alloway Auld Kirk


Today I received this amazing postcard from Bridget. Wow!!!!

It is of the church in the village of Alloway – the setting for Robert Burn's poem Tam O’Shanter. Although I am in love with Scotland and been there 9 times in the past 12 years, I have only had limited exposure to Burns and did not know this poem at all. Of course I have looked it up now
She prophesied that late or soon,Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.
Just wish I had someone with a lovely thick Scottish accent to read me the whole poem!

Thank you Bridget – this card has really made my day and I am going to really enjoy looking at it all month...till the card arrives (this exchange is just so much fun!!!)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

An Indian Summer from Heidelberg


A glorious sun-dappled pathway up the Heiligenberg is my eagerly awaited card from Albrecht this month. I can clearly sense the delight of walking here in this bonus bit of summer, bringing with it a range of colours never seen here before - of which Albrecht thoughtfully drew up a chart for me to 'fill in' his drawing with!! But Albrecht, you forgot to put the numbers where each colour should go... ;-) Besides, the line drawing is quite descriptive enough. On the other side, a sparkling sketch of plane trees in front of his window give me a good idea of the colour version - what a beautiful postcard, I love the touch of the sketchbook perforations down the side.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The coast near Porthgwarra

The sea at Porthgwarra, Cornwall
(mixed media)
Vivien Blackburn

Walks for sketching sometimes have to take second place to other commitments - particularly when a family member has been in hospital as has happened to Vivien recently.

This then is another of Vivien's experiments of sketching from her memories of a scene from a walk in Cornwall along the coast near Porthgwarra.

I thought I'd misread the spelling to start with - but checked it - and it's definitely Porthgwarra.  I wasn't sure where this was despite Vivien's description - so took a look at the map

Location of Porthgwarra Cove (see arrow)

It's where the arrow is on the map (click and open in a new tab to see a bigger image).  That's west of Porthcurno and south of Lands End.  The reason I was confused is that I'd forgotten that Lands End is not the most southerly point of the UK - it's the most westerly point - and is just off the north west corner of this map.

This is how the Sennen Cove website describes Porthgwarrow - and it's definitely a good place for a walk!
A superb, secluded Cornish Cove just under 3 miles southeast of Lands End. Porthgwarra is steeped in history and tradition - one time a busy fishing cove , now just one boat regularly works crab pots from here.
The cliff path leads away west towards Lands End (roughly 1.5 hours walk) , and east towards Porthcurno (45 minutes) - both very scenic and dramatic routes !
Vivien says she was trying to catch the movement and varying depths of the water - with the rocks half seen underwater.  She assures me that the sea around this part of Cornwall really is the colour she's painted it! :)

What I like about it is that look of translucency of the water - I'm more familiar with the water off the west coast of Scotland and it very much reminds me of seas I've seen there.  It's also got that sense of the swirling movement of the water in a cove which is so difficult to catch.

I'm told the art media used for the postcard included gouache, coloured pencils, tippex and a secret ingredient.  My lips are sealed!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Liquid graphite from Pat


Yesterday this beautiful monochrome experiment with graphite watercolour arrived from Pat,  There are lots of subtleties of tone that sadly my scanner is refusing to pick up without overdarkening the darks,

Pat you've caught the light in woodland beautifully with this - it's so much like walking through our local woods with those lovely patches of mystery where you can hardly tell what's going on, and the intensely backlit leaves, silhouetted against darker foliage behind.

I have some water soluble graphite pencils but can see that this is another thing to add to my wish list!

and on the reverse


Sadly these little studies don't scan well but they are really lovely with subtlety and lost edges. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Flying Autumn Leaves from Felicity

These lovely sensitive studies of  flying autum leaves dropped through my letter box last week - an echo of what's happening all around me.   I like the little specks of paint that add to the sense of movement.


and on the reverse


beautiful studies of 'helicopters' and a crab apple.

So evocative of autum.  Thank you Felicity - it's lovely :>)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Another view of Dresden

Bautzener Strasse in Dresden

I'm not quite sure if I'm posting late or in advance as Desiree has also posted a postcard this from Martin from Dresden.  However I think there's a few which are a bit out of synch so I'm not going to worry and will post in any case!

This is a pen and ink sketch of Bautzener Strasse in Dresden where Martin was taking a short holiday.

Martin tells me that the street is very famous for being home to a shop called Pfunds Molkerei (Pfund's Dairy) - which today is a cheese shop (the link is to the website which is in German).  I put the website through Google translate and it came back with an English Translation telling me that the shop is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the "most beautiful dairy shop in the world equipped with 247.90 square meters of hand-painted tiles from Villeroy and Boch".  You can see a photograph of the interior here - it looks truly amazing!  Wikipedia (Germany) also has some good images.  For anybody wanting to visit, this its location on Google Maps.

Thanks for thinking of my taste buds Martin!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Postcard from California


Isn't this wonderful? I never imagined when we started the postcard exchange that I would be getting a leopard! This lovely leopard lazing in the sunshine comes all the way from California where Desiree painted it during a family trip out to San Diego Zoo. The colours are beautiful - the rich, deep greens in the background and the subtle blues and pinks on the rock - and I love the way the light is reflecting off the stone on to his fur.

I love the back too, decorated with a lovely pen sketch and animal tracks! Thank you so much Desiree for taking time out from a busy family day to do this fabulous card!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Postcard from Castiglion Fiorentino





Thank you so much Robyn for this lovely card. The images on the card increase my wish to travel to Italy again. Yes, in fact, it would be terrific if we met one day and sketched together. The quince – including the leaf – you've painted looks perfect in color and shape. I can almost feel the velvet surface. I think your report of your afternoon sketch group and the other information you have written can be read easily here on the blog. Thanks again! Albrecht

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The City of Dresden- from Martin

I received my postcard from Martin today! It is a wonderful sketch of the city of Dresden and one of the famous Castles views and bridge. He says he often comes here to see something? I must say that if Martin wasn't an artist I would think he was a doctor with the handwriting I am unable to read! Sorry Martin, I love the card all the same! It has such a mood to it, as do all your cards. The wonderful values  give the river a real shine. There is even a hint of color in the hills!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Emmarentia Dam with Cathy-my July postcard has arrived

Cathy's postcard from July finally arrived and I am so thrilled. Cathy has a wonderful way of painting people, you feel like you are right there with the crowd. I love the fisherman standing by the shoreline, the shadows are wonderful and my eye just wants to explore all the details.

It has been so long Cathy didn't remember what she sent me. Thank you Cathy for my wonderful card, well worth the wait.

The scene is the Emmarentia Dam and on the back of the card is an orchid, hidden in the shadows of a shady corner. The stamps are also wonderful and so colorful.  I smudged the writing in photoshop!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Charlene in Austria


My postcard from Charlene Brown has arrived and what a surprise, it is from Austria!  Charlene is such a peripatetic artist.  I'm thinking there could be a book in 'Where's Charlene Now?'  Of course she is more than capable of writing, illustrating and publishing such a book herself.  I would appreciate a free copy for the brilliant idea.

Charlene said, 'this is Dürnstein, Austria and the 'Burgruine' above the town is said to be the very castle where Richard the Lion Heart was held prisoner'.  It goes without saying that Super Sketcherciser, Charlene climbed up there and painted the view from the prison.  She confesses that she made the Danube a little bluer and the trees a little purpler than they really are, but I'm not complaining because this is a beautiful watercolour with gemlike colours shining through. 

Many thanks, Charlene I'm thrilled with my postcard from Austria.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Garden Gates

What a beautiful surprise was waiting for me today! Cathy's gorgeous postcard of the entrance gates into her Botanic Gardens. It is a lovely contrast to a similiar sketch that I did last summer. I love the richest of this painting and that it really draws me in... would love one day to be able to enter these gardens



On the back is a gorgeous painting of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow flowers which I am told are in bloom in our backyard garden too (obviously I am not the gardener in the household!)

Thank you Cathy

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Vineyard in Watercolour


Albrecht is busy working on a commission to design various wine labels for a traditional winemaker family. I think the enviable side of this work is having to visit their vineyards and I wonder if tasting the wines is a necessary part of his project!! He describes this particular vineyard as "orbiting an old castle of that family west of the Black Forest overlooking the wide Rhine valley with a fantastic view of the Cathedral of Strasbourg and the Vosges Mountains in France."

I've never been to this part of Europe so find it very interesting to view it through Albrecht's eyes. 

If this lovely, fresh delicate watercolour is a reflection of the area it seems to be well worth a visit. The composition and drawing on the card shows Albrecht's skills as do the beautiful subtle colours found in the shadows. Click on the image to see the cool mauves - beautiful.


And thank you too for this wonderful cat study.



Friday, 28 October 2011

Great Dixter, Sussex


I don't think my words, or my scanner, can do justice to this magnificent card from Katherine. It's a symphony of colour. Katherine has a unique way of blending and layering her colour pencils so that all the colours are visible and appear to radiate off the paper. The reds in the shadow areas have an incredible effect on the greens and how she has managed to capture that soft, warm, hazy sunlight, I will never know!

Thank you Katherine, for this beautiful card!

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Majan ruins of Copan in Honduras

If there is one thing that I find hugely exciting, it is discovering foreign places. If I can't discover it myself, receiving a postcard, is as an exciting confirmation of my intention to visit that place. Standing with a handpainted postcard from a foreign place in my hand, from a friend...thàt is the ultimate experience. I now have a burning desire to visit Honduras. And I have Charlene to blame for this shameless desire.

.. higher residential level of the Majan ruins of Copan - a city with several tree- covered pyramids....

Her postcard took many small roads to finally get to me and it's far and wide travels had clearly left its mark...but somehow it has added to the mystery of Charlene's card...lost civilizations...age...endurance..a card. Do you want me to go on? I can if you want...if you had this pilgrim card in your hand, you would feel the same...
Thank you Charlene, it took months for Copan to reach me, but it is my story card and well worth waiting for!

When even the ground is gorgeous


Alison Staite was inspired by the masses of fallen leaves all over London – ‘a great excuse to play with orange, red and muted greens’ – to paint this exquisite little piece of the landscape near her home. It’s an increasingly rare treat to find actual personal correspondence in the piles of stuff from the Post Office, and jewels like this are an absolute delight!

Thank you, Alison.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

View of the American Mountains from Victoria

This is a view of Charlene's home city of Victoria in British Columbia - and the American Mountains across the border which is the Juan de Fuca Strait.  It's a great vista - just what I like!

The American Mountains from Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Her perspective is taken from Mt. Tolmie - one of the many large outcrops in the city of Victoria and shows the American mountains included are Hurricane Ridge (1,585 m), Mount Angeles (1,967 m / 6,454 ft ) and Mount Olympus (7,980 ft /2,432 m) in Washington State.

As an ex geographer I'm always very pleased to get views of mountains and hills! :)

However I have to apologise to Charlene as the scan doesn't do justice to the colours in the sketch that she's used and I've had no success in trying to get it read better.

For this Sketch I got out Google Maps in "terrain" mode and started having a good look round at Charlene's surroundings - and they're absolutely incredible!  Then I had a good read of the Wikiepedia links......then I started to look at their entries on summitpost!  All that from a postcard!

The area around Victoria

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wee Scottish House in Straiton


Acrylic 14.5 x 20 cm
Bridget Hunter

This is wish fulfillment - to own a landscape painting by Bridget Hunter. What a temptation this must have been for postal workers but thank goodness they delivered it safely to me.

Trying not to gush over Bridget's work because it really speaks for itself. Click on the image to enjoy a bigger version so you can enjoy the brush strokes and the colours.

It shows how much Bridget loves this landscape. Straiton, near the Galloway Forest is where she lived happily for twenty years with her three daughters going to the tiny two teacher school. She says, 'the hills are grazed by black faced sheep and lower down by hardy beef cattle. It's Autumn now and the leaves are turning and being blown off the trees by the squally showers we're getting'.

Beautiful. Thank you, Bridget.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I want to be in this Potager.


Marília   Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen  has now left Coin Perdu for the winter but took one last chance to sketch the potager in all its glorious chaotic state. 
Her description of "all over the place tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, herbs, marigolds, celery and physalis hiding their golden fruits in gentle yet firm lanterns, soon to explode with seductive sweetness" paints such a wonderful word picture. But you can see that from this lovely sketch which captures the scene in the potager at this time of year. I love the way Marilia uses pen and watercolour so spontaneously and lyrically to tell the story of the place.






Then there's the envelope showing the
" white pumpkins stretching their arms in every direction and ruling the garden with dominant huge canopies " beautifully done in mixed media.

I want to be there too - I can almost see the insects scurrying around exploring the new wildness as the garden returns to its untamed state .


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