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
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