Monday, 31 January 2011

Introducing Martin Stankewitz

the wanderer, monotype print,landscape
Hi, I am posting from the South of Germany,where I live in a small town named Maulbronn.

First of all I want to say thank you to Katherine Tyrrell, who kindly invited me to the Sketchercise group and to Ronell van Wyk, for starting this postcard project and organising us.

Being a member of Sketchercise is not totally a coincidence for someone with a life long preference for loafing in the woods and then to read comic strips or illustrated books at home afterwards. I tried to do my own drawings from early years on with varying zeal and success.

To spent time at a quiet place somewhere in a beautiful landscape with observations and sketching, drawing or a little painting is a necessity for me and a luxury at the same time.

Forest diary, gouache study, sketchbook

My preferred media are pen, ink and opaque colours like gouache and oil pastels. I would love to do more charcoal drawings, but unfortunately I have not enough and proper space to store those. That is one of reasons why most of my work is in sketchbooks.

Apart from the outdoor activity I am very interested in monotype printmaking.
My website: my blog:

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Introducing Liz Steel

Hi I am Liz from Sydney Australia - also known online by the alias of Borromini Bear. I sketch anywhere, anytime but especially enjoy sketching on location. I thrive on sketching in outdoor conditions that can’t be controlled – hot, cold (not that we have real cold in Australia!) glary sun or rain, wind, insects, curious onlookers or uncomfortable seating arrangements. It is these variables that often lead to a more exciting and dynamic sketch than I would produce in the calm and controlled environment of a studio.

Sketching on Location

I am happy to sit down anywhere in order to get a sketch... But naturally prefer the comfort of a good café (I do try to walk off my cakes - particularly when I have a high tea!!!)

I don’t care for perfect finished pieces of art, I am more interested in capturing the moment. I sketch compulsively when I am travelling but often find it hard, particularly during the week, to get out and sketch out of doors.

Being part of the online art community world wide is very inspirational but it has the tendency to increase the hours I spend sitting in front of a computer screen. This is very bad for my neck and subsequently increases my also chronic headaches. More consistent exercise is something that I need to maintain in my daily life as it really eases the frequecies of those dreaded headaches. I am a member of a local gym which I often find rather boring and would like to supplement it with more walking which has the advantages of fresh air, interesting things to look at(and sketch) and my own choice of music!

101009 Big Trip - Sydney Day 2_03

Joining the Sketchercise gang has been a wonderful way to combine these two goals! Realistically I am not sure if I will be able to fit regular serious walking into my busy weekly schedule but the prod to get out of the office at lunch time is a start. On weekends when I go out sketching, I always try to fit in a degree of walking of 2-5 miles during the day (such as walking into the city across the Harbour Bridge rather than driving into the downtown). There are so many spectacular walks in Sydney so my plan is to explore them over the next 12 months. So for me it is more a case of walking during my sketching rather than sketching during my walks.

Current sketching Tools {Explored!}

I mostly work in ink and loose watercolour washes in sketchbooks – it suits the quick spontaneous nature that I am striving after. I carry my sketchbook and sketching kit with me everywhere...this is what is contained in my kit at the moment. (Clicking on this image above will take you to flickr where I have listed all the items.)

Looking forward to this project so much – to receive original works from this very special group will be a real treat...but also a great challenge for myself to get more exercise and start doing work outside of the comfort of my own sketchbook.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Introducing Felicity Grace

I'm delighted to be a part of the postcard project and I'm hoping it will be the incentive I need to make sketching a routine when I'm out walking. I love to walk and I'm very lucky to have lots of beautiful scenery here in Geneva. I've been living here, with my husband and two teenage sons, since 2006 and before that we were living in Kuwait. After five years of living in a country where everyone drives and walking is seen as a little odd, more than anything else, I missed just being able to go out of my front door and walk!

I've been drawing since I was a child and considered myself an artist for as long as I can remember. It wasn't encouraged though, so I'm self taught. I used to draw detailed pencil portraits and sketch very occassionally until 2005 when I discovered an online group of artists and set up a blog. I was living in Kuwait at the time, and active in a very creative quilt group. Quilting brought out a love of colour I'd forgotten I had, and my confidence really grew once I started sketching. Having a blog to update and taking photos around Kuwait really opened my eyes in a new way to the inspiration all around me and I stopped drawing from photos and magazines and started recording my own life. I set up another blog, Sketches by Fiz, just for my drawings. In 2008 I started using colour pencils for portraits such as this one, of my brother

Last year I began using watercolours, and I'm very much a novice, but I've found them perfect for representing leaves and flowers. One of my first memories is of a lupin and it's leaves and I remember how perfectly designed it was and how beautifully the colours faded into one another. So I feel I have come full circle, trying to do justice to the little marvels of nature I collect on my walks. These leaves were collected in my garden

I'm sure my postcards will be mostly things I've collected, but being a part of this exchange with such an inspiring and supportive group of artists, I feel sure it will help me grow and push me even further in my own artistic journey!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Introducing Desiree Habicht

I am fortunate to live in Southern California with my husband and daughter, where the weather is almost perfect year round. I love to be outdoors gardening, swimming, walking, running, sketching or painting. I find that I do several types of sketch books and sketches. One is to document my travels, another is for sketching things that inspire me and yet another to record ideas and designs for future projects. My supply list is a pen or pencil, a water brush and some paint tucked into a backpack that I can carry where ever I go. If I am going to an indoor event I often just tuck my sketchbook into my purse. I usually always carry it with me so that when the opportunity arises I have it.

I have been an artist all of my life, doing murals, faux finishing and fine art. Today I work in fiber, pastels and watercolor. You can view my art on my website or follow my adventures on my blog. Mostly self taught I didn't start to sketch daily until several years ago when I read the book "Everyday Matters". That is when I started adding sketches to my journal pages.

When I am walking or running I seldom stop to sketch but often I will return to a particular area to sketch something of interest that had caught my eye. I have also collected things on my walks that I will sketch once I get home. Something special happens when I paint things from life, I really discover it! I get to record the details most people passing by never see. It becomes imprinted in my mind's eye and it is not  quickly forgotten.
I find when I look back over my  sketchbooks it takes me to the memory of that day.

One of the things I like most about sketching and recording my thoughts about the events of the day, is that it is a personal record of my life's journey. These sketches and notes are for me and although they aren't always perfect or beautifully done, they are a small glimpse into what I was doing or feeling on any particular day. I hope that in years to come my family will enjoy them long after I am gone, seeing where I was, what made me stop along a trail to sketch, what inspired me and what I was thinking.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful group of talented artist from around the world. We are joined by a love of exercise, the outdoors, nature and painting.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Introducing Charlene Brown

I started painting as a teenager, growing up in the Canadian Rockies, and those mountains are still my favourite place to paint. More recently– especially while we lived in Dubai and during the years since we retired – I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had the chance to travel the world and paint in just about every country I’ve ever wanted to visit. I always try to paint some postcards on these trips, and complete larger paintings when I get home.  Some of these are on my website Paint Every Mountain and my blog 1150 Words

Occasionally, I take my grandchildren along on my painting adventures (one at a time – I’m not that adventurous!) but I'm really nowhere near as intrepid as I was hoping these pictures would have you believe. I think all the warnings being in English kind of gives that away. I wouldn’t dream, for example, of striding over anybody’s balustrade.

But I do love to walk or hike, if that’s what the terrain requires – every day, if possible.  And that’s a good thing, because I have found that, with just about any other repetitive exercise program I’ve tried, I’m always aware of exactly how many minutes I have to go before it’s over.

So it’s great that walking and painting or, more likely, sketching go together so perfectly. I’ve enjoyed participating in Sketchercise since its inception, and am really looking forward to our postcard project. I have no travel plans before July, so the first few postcards I send out will be painted right here in my very paintable home city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Introducing Cathy Gatland

I'm lucky enough to live near beautiful botanical gardens in Johannesburg, and have been walking around here for the last 15 years, off and on. I've discovered that the more I walk, the better I feel in body, mind and spirit. Sometimes the spirit is willing, but the mind and body want to stay plonked in front of the computer, so Sketchercise has been a great motivator to get off my blogging chair and outside, later to share, encourage and discuss what we've been up to.

I've been sketching regularly since starting my blog over three years ago, before that only occasionally, perhaps on holiday or in my garden. I regarded drawing mostly as work, which it was for many years as a renderer and part-time illustrator, until I came across the wonderful world of art blogs and people who sketched for fun.

Though I do have a small portable sketching kit, when I am walking regularly, I like to have a good workout, so don't always break my rhythm to stop and sketch.

But it's a joy to take note of my surroundings, the birds, trees and changing seasons, and either stroll or drive back later with my sketching things, pick up something along the way to sketch at home, or cool down later in my studio and sketch the birds (and my ever present faithful old pooch) outside my window.

I am excited to be part of this postcard exchange, and to send and receive real live little artworks from my sketching buddies, who have become such an important part of my daily life, all over the world.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Introducing Bridget Hunter

I live on the south west coast of Scotland and I love painting - oils, acrylics, gouache - especially the landscape around my home.

I prefer painting outside in front of the subject but, as its not always possible to do this,  I often sketch. The sketch then becomes a painting resource along with my recollection of the atmosphere and colours.

Above Loch Doon

Sketch - Loch Doon

Landscape, Loch Doon
Oil 2010

I also love walking and I'm lucky to live 10 minutes from unspoiled beaches and 10 minutes from the countryside which varies from rolling hills to rugged moorland, both populated by Blackfaced sheep, grouse, deer and buzzards.

I always drew and painted, but, as others find, working fulltime and being mother to 3 meant ironing and other such necessary activites always came first. Then I was widowed, my daughters became mums, I retired and painting has become much more than a part-time hobby.

But since joining Sketchercise and seeing all the wonderful, varied sketches of the people here and of artists' work found through the blog Making A Mark, I now appreciate drawing as an end in itself once more.

I'm very grateful to the members of Sketchercise for the opportunity to be part of this postcard exchange and look forward to being in touch, in this amazing way, with like-minded people from all around the world.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Introduction Albrecht Rissler

Postcard from Paris, Cafe Fontaine, self portrait, ball pen, 2009

Hi, I'm Albrecht, living in Heidelberg. I started drawing as a child and I haven't finished since then. I didn't have any choices because there was no talent in other fields at all. All my various professions had to do somehow with drawing or art in general. Finally I ended up as professor at a University of applied sciences, teaching drawing and illustration for 20 years. Now, being retired, I can’t stop. I teach landscape drawing at two private art academies. My studio has everyting I need to work on postcards or on huge sizes on an easel.

I try to take my scetchbooks wherever I go. For me they are dieries and a sort of a labaratory in using all kinds of techniques. These days I'm using the thickest pencil (20B!) I can get, it is absolutely perfect for me even in small scetchbooks.

Scetchbook Heidelberg 2010, Castle, Powder Turret, Graphit 20B

Scetchbook Paris 2009,
Tombstone of the murdered Journalist Victor Noir at the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery

Postcard from Mallorca, Cala S'Almonia 2002, pencil and watercolor

Scetchbook Balcony, Ladybirds, pencil, watercolor, May 2 1990

send art postcards for many years. I guess I've started in the sixties. I keep swopping self-made cards with lots of friends all over the world. So I'm looking forward to have my collection enriched by this great project

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....... 

      Friday, 21 January 2011

      Introducing Robyn Sinclair

      I've always loved to walk....
      Trekking in Kashmir - 1980s

      and to draw.....
      Sketching in the garden with my Muse

      Just over a year ago Sketchercise brought the two passions together.

      As an Australian writer and producer of television drama I'd always had the itch to paint but seldom the time even to scratch. That, I left to my Muse.

      Since 2005, I have been living with my husband and our dogs in an old Tuscan hill town. I finally have the time to focus on my art. It is impossible to live here and not be influenced by Italian art and landscape.

      The search for my own style has taken me down many paths, all of them absorbing and exciting. My main focus is watercolour and gouache but I am fortunate to have access to a local printmaking studio and an oil painting group. I've been blogging about all of these activities for over five years.

      Sketchercise finally drove me out of the studio and into the countryside where I discovered the pleasure of making little watercolour sketches along the way.

      Then I thought what fun it would be to exchange these as postcards.

      Wednesday, 19 January 2011

      Introducing Ronell van Wyk

      I love the outdoors
      I love walking
      And cycling
      I love sketching
      I love plein air painting/sur le motif( painting outdoors...on the spot)

      My sketching tools, which I carry constantly in my bag, are very simple. A sketchbook, pen, pencil a little watercolor palette with a water spray and a brush.
      ...sketching tools...

      When going for a longer walk or a bit of cycling, I’ll take my folding chair with backpack where all the tools fit onto nicely, but still it stays very simple with only the addition of some extra water soluble pens.

      ...let's sit a bit...

      For a long plein air session of about 1 to 2 hours, the tools change a bit. I do plein air in oil and therefore will take along my French easel and oils...and oh yes.. very important...a flask of coffee!

      ...painting sur le motif

      To do art en plein air, provides a satisfaction that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether it is drawing or sketching or painting...seating myself in a spot where I am surrounded by beauty and fresh air , with all its motion and smells and sounds, fills me with optimism and enthusiasm and challenges me to a point where I can’t say no. It stirs all of my senses at the same time. Even though I may not leave that spot with a perfect painting or sketch,(which happens more often that I would like!) I leave it nonetheless with a perfect expression of my emotions. Good or bad. It doesn't matter. The more do it, the more I want to do it.
      The process becomes an addiction.
      I don’t mind.
      I just do it.

      ...à bientôt..Ronell

      Welcome to "A Postcard From My Walk" - an international postal art exchange project

      Sketchercise is a group of people - from all over the world - who enjoy sketching from life (no photos!), have already developed the sketching habit AND have found ways of getting out and about and exercising with a sketchbook.

      A postcard from my walk is a project which arose from our group's desire to share our art and outdoor experiences in a more personal way than by simply posting to our online forum.

      ...allé hop..1..2..3..!! sketch by Cathy Gatland...

      Over the next 13 months, 14 members of our group will create a postcard each month from an outdoor exercise, like walking, cycling or kayaking or other, and mail it to another member of the group.

      It is an international exchange and our cards will travel to Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the USA.

      The way it works:
      • Each card is about 6" x 4" to 7" x 5", depending on individual preferences.
      • Each artist decides on his/her own format, media, subject and style for the postcard
      • Each artist sends off her/his card the last week of every month.
      • In the following 13 months, each artist will receive a card from another artist in the group. However, the sender remains unknown until the card arrives!
      • Once received, each artist will share the card on our forum and here on the blog.
      • Which means that every month on this blog, there will be 14 posts or more of illustrated postcards created by artists all around the world

      We are very much looking forward to our postcard travel over four continents with breathtaking landscape vistas, fauna and flora and a full year’s circle of changing climates and seasons.

      We hope you the reader, will join in and travel along with us.*You can find the means to subscribe to the blog in the right hand column.

      Who knows - you might enjoy it so much that you will start up your own version of a postal art exchange!
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