Monday, 28 February 2011

A Little Gem From Felicity Grace

I knew whatever Felicity sent, it would be beautiful.  I didn't need to open the envelope once it arrived to know I was right.  Even the envelope was lovely, with a tiny leaf carefully painted on it! The card itself  has more beautiful leaves, visually held together by the little border.

Felicity tells me she had been walking in the countryside, not far from her home in Geneva, and she picked up the leaves en route. It's a great way of linking some exercise with ones art. The walk becomes becomes an opportunity to spot things of interest, which can be collected to paint or draw later. Brilliant if it's too cold to actually stop and sketch in situ!

This is such a gem! I really love the colour work, it glows (so much more in life than the scan shows) and the detail on the veins, just super! There are delicate tiny splatters of paint across the paper, deliberately mottling it to give an aged feel, like an old treasured letter or note. I will treasure it - Thank you Felicity!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cathy Gatland's Painted Postcard from South Africa

Pride of India Trees line his neighborhood street
Watercolor on paper by Cathy Gatland

Here is the wonderful painting that Cathy Gatland has painted just for me and sent it all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa.  Cathy covered the card with an overlay and wrote all sorts of notes so I could better understand where she Sketchercises.  Then she popped it all into an envelope so that it would get to me unharmed.  Cathy and I have known each other of a few years now and become dear friends. I found her blog and fell in love with her work, wit and wisdom.  She is a very special lady.

Front with overlay and a portion of the back.

Here is a the back of the card covered with pictures of the front with its overlay on and just lifting.

Aren't these flowers to die for and beautifully painted?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Postcard from Alison Staite

What a thrill to recieve this, my first card, a beautiful and very delicate watercolour sketch by Alison in London! It came with a handwritten note with information about where it was painted (Kew Gardens), the atmosphere of the day and her thoughts on the process. I'm afraid my scan hasn't done justice to all the greens and how subtly they all blend into each other.

Coincidentally, I was over in England a few days after I received it. I was admiring the English countryside as it whizzed past the coach window lamenting the fact that I had no time to sketch it when I realised that Alison had captured the atmosphere of it perfectly! Thank you Alison!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A beautiful watercolour postcard from Martin Stankewitz

Maulbronn, Watercolour, Martin Stankewitz

Just look at the gorgeous postcard that the postman handed me this morning

It's a cold wet day in Germany painted with actual rain water.

I've done my best with the colour matching in the scan, it contains multiple soft variations on grey, hints of colour, perfectly catching the atmosphere and soft grey light of an overcast, rainy day.

Thank you Martin :>)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Postcard from Katherine Tyrrell, London

I was the lucky recipient of Katherine's first post card! She had a outing with other artists to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London where she penned these beautiful butterflies.

Thank you Katherine for such a lovely card. My daughter, who loves butterflies asked is she could have it framed for her room, I think we might fight over who gets to keep this one! I admire all those tiny pen strokes that make up the butterflies, then it seems like you added some colored pencil to complete the masterpiece. A lovely way to start my spring season, thank you so much!!! 

Friday, 18 February 2011

A Postcard from Bridget in Scotland

Bridge over the River Ayr   
watercolour, gouache, pencil   
by Bridget Hunter
I was so pleased Bridget was able to take the time to paint this lovely postcard, as she’s in the final countdown completing 10 large landscapes that have to be delivered February 25 for an Exhibition in the historic artist town of Kirkcudbright.  I love the ethereal misty glow she has achieved here – she’s inspired me to give gouache a try.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Postcards from Ronell

Thank you Ronell!

First I got shocked when I took your envelope out of the mailbox. The people at the post office have had so many other places to stick the labels on but they had to do it right in the center of the image.

But luckily the labels could be easily removed. (before scanning I've put them on my address)

And how surprising there was another card inside in company with some delicious and useful things. One part is already gone... the other one has to wait for proper weather...

I suppose your lovely cards represent some scenes of your home town. You must have a brilliant view over the Loire river. I love the way you sketch and use watercolor. Isn't it great to live next to a river? I enjoy sit on the banks of the Neckar or Rhine River which is a bit further away - always looking for a willow tree. Thank you so much!

Monday, 14 February 2011

A Postcard from Californian Woods

I found myself singing 'Postcard Pat' to the tune of a certain well known children's TV programme as I watched and waited for this card to arrive in the letterbox and before long, there it was, a little gem of a watercolour done by Pat Reese, whose work I've followed and admired for a long time. I'm so thrilled to have this, and see close up and personal the subtle watercolour washes and delicately penned trees of the lovely Californian woods that she walks through with dear Ivy the Greyhound.

Thank you Pat! - I'll leave you with her last appropriate words and the pretty rose doodle on her postcard...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Postcard from Victoria, Canada

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church - Charlene Brown 2011

I got my first postcard from Charlene in Victoria, Canada. Its a lovely sketch done in water soluble inks - a medium I've never tried before - which I think has given it a freshness and captures the colours of the buildings really well. I'm away to Google maps to find Victoria and have a look at that part of the world. Also Charlene says the church had an incidental role in the 'Pig War' - the last armed conflict between Canada and the U.S.A. - such an unusual name for a war - in which there seemed to be a stand off with the only casualty being the poor, unfortunate pig!!!

Thankyou Charlene for adding the Happy Chinese New Year stamp - a lovely touch.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Postcard from Casa Colina

A postcard from Desiree - Casa Colina
This is the beautiful postcard I received from Desiree Habicht in southern California.

This is what she had to say about her visit to Casa Colina on the reverse.
This new rehabilitation hosital is absolutely beautiful.  We are lovers of the spanish and meditaerranean influences in our architecture.  Every street seems to have many subtropicals and varieties of palm trees.  Since we are here several times a week I often will run or walk the area whuch Jennifer has therapy.  Today, as I wait in the outdoor gardens, I am enjoying the sun and the warmth.  The birds of paradise are blooming and the boug. are just starting to open up.  Within a few weeks they will cover the nicely trimmed bushes with a neon pink.
Note: Casa Colina is located in Pomona, California, about 40 miles due east of downtown Los Angeles on the San Bernardino Freeway, Interstate-10.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A Postcard from Robyn, Tuscany

I was EXTREMELY excited to receive a beautiful card from Robyn in the mail. In this world wide land of online art communities, there is nothing so special as having an original artwork in your hand. I think that this has a special charm for me as it brings back wonderful memories of the last few days of my big trip when I actually spent time with Robyn in this gorgeous part of the world.

Thank you Robyn - what an exquisite sketch from a truly beautiful village!!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hoar Frost - Misty Morning greetings by Vivien Blackburn

Hoar Frost - Misty morning by Vivien Blackburn acrylic on paper 

I am the happy winner of a beautiful British winter landscape by Vivien Blackburn. She took the time and effort to do this piece at low temperatures. I never tempted to paint hoar frost. It is so beautiful to see the landscape powdered in white. I always considered it an "impossible" subject for me. This is a great start that fits so well for me because we had similar beautiful landscape vistas over here in Germany just a couple of days before this. Thank you Vivien!

Friday, 4 February 2011

A postcard from Albrecht in Germany.

The last time I can remember being so excited about my mailbox, was two years ago, when I've been doing the Flying pictures international sketchbook exchange.

And once again, like that time, I've been all over the mailbox every day for the last week or two, which is unnatural behavior for me, because I don't answer a telephone and I don't check the mailbox.

And so my post card from Germany finally arrived...a beautiful view on the main street of Heidelberg in Germany. And he wrote on the postcard..."cold!!" With his choices of color he added, it does look cold! (Image to the right)

A week later, another one. This time, a graphite sketch from Ladenburg, at the Neckar river, andIi'm sure it's a willow tree...his favorite tree to draw and paint. (Image at the top)
Both of them, true Albrecht Rissler style.

I also want to show a video where Albecht was interviewed while drawing a willow tree by the Rhine river in Germany. Arte was doing a 4 episode broadcast on the Rhine river and its life and activities..

You can start watching at 8:54 to see Albrecht draw.

For those not understanding German or French,
"Albrecht expressed his love for drawing the willow tree, a robust tree growing on the banks of the Rhin. From the first time he saw the willow he knew it would be a tree he would enjoy capturing, because of its impressive form and shapes and the special balance between the massive trunks and the branches spreading out above."

Follow the link to see his television appearance.

EDIT: It seems the video is offline, which renders it unavailable for the moment. I hope it will be back online soon.

a bientot!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Introducing Vivien Blackburn

sunset, Penwith, oil in sketchbook

I'm really looking forward to this postcard exchange with such a great group. Thank you for the invitation :>)

About me: I can't remember a time when I didn't draw - one of my earliest memories is, aged one, posting drawings (scribbles) to my father when he was in Gibraltar, looking for accomodation so that my mother and I could go out to join him.

In my youth I lived in some beautiful places including Cornwall, Malta and on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland, so, though it may have scrambled my education a little, it almost certainly led to an early feeling for light and landscape.

I went to art college on leaving school, completed my Foundation Year, didn't continue on to the Diploma years - did a few different things - art was on a back burner - then married, had 2 daughters and didn't go back until they were at senior school. I then did my BA in Fine Art as a mature student. It's never too late :>)

This is some of my sketching, the first few are all Cornwall

Sam, evening, silver sea, watercolour/mixed media in sketchbook

Moorland Farm, Penwith, watercolour/mixed media in sketchbook

Lanyons Quoit, charcoal, in sketchbook

Someone commented earlier on about the clean neatness of Albrecht's sketchbook - mine are, I'm afraid, messy ones! I work in all sorts of media - oils, watercolours, lots of mixed media, charcoal, pastel, pencil, acrylic ..... etc etc etc- so loose oils may follow a detailed close up study of something in pencil in my books, followed by watercolour, mixed media, charcoal ,ink - anything goes.

Wild Day, Sennen Cove, oil

Approaching Rain, Mawgan Porth, charcoal and coloured pencil, in sketchbook

Charlestown, Cornwall, watercolour/mixed media, in sketchbook

I particularly like to paint or draw water - the Cornish coast has to be top of the list but canals, streams, rivers tool

Wild Day, Sennen Cove, pencil, in sketchbook analysing the movement of the waves

The Old Packhorse Bridge (very old), Aylestone Meadows, charcoal, in sketchbook

Frog Island, Leicester, in large A3 landscape sketchbook

I don't often do industrial landscapes. This is part of a series of sketches of local waterways that I intend to revisit.

Cardoon seedheads, in sketchbook, pencil

And .... sometimes it's nice to change scale and observe something closely. I found the spiky dry scales vs the fluffy insides of these cardoons fascinating to draw.

I unfortunately have arthritis and asthma. so my walking distance is limited but it is essential to keep moving so sketchercise is great as it will encourage me out walking, sketching and sharing the results :>)

I like to work plein air soaking up the atmosphere, feeling the wind. smelling the vegetation, getting the mood of the day and seeing the colours as the light changes - it is so much better than a photograph, fixing all this in my visual memory, the feelings, smells and memories come back when I look through old sketch books.

Well - my first postcard went out at the end of January so hopefully it's winging its way to Martin. And I'm really looking forward to the first one dropping through my door :>) and following the progress through the months.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Introducing Pat Reese

I have thought of myself as an artist all of my life.  However, I was taught from a very early age that what I did was just a hobby.  My family believed that the best thing for me was an education in any field that would earn an acceptable income.  They believed that art would never provide security of income.  I finished my education, started my career, married, and created a wonderful family.  Eventually, after my family was grown, I retired and started a new life.  I gave myself permission to do what I have always wanted.  I found artists that I had been following and appreciating, and took classes to learn their skills.  I was able to go to many colleges, schools, workshops and studios to gain skills I required to ‘create art’.  About 20 years ago I found that traveling, sketching and painting made me very happy, and I began my first journal.

I have owned a gallery, providing an opportunity for local artists to display and sell their artistic creations.  I have participated in competitions, sold paintings, taught art and craft classes.  My art has been displayed in many galleries and museums, and my art is owned by private and corporate collectors.  Now I have pulled back from the requirements of others and found that sketching plein air, walking with my dog and journaling what I see daily is what makes me very, very happy. I am reminded of a story of a new school teacher who was brought in by a secluded community to teach their children.  The teacher found that the children never ran or jumped or ever let their feet leave the ground.  She found that the adults had trained the children never to lift their feet from the ground because, as the story progresses, the towns people could fly, and if others knew their secret, the towns people would be judged and persecuted.   The quote from Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”, has become my motto for the last part of my life.

Through my blog, I found a group of like-minded artists who have brought a joy to my life that I didn't know was possible.  A little over a year ago, I found this wonderful group of artists, headed by Katherine Tyrrell, called Sketchercise.  With the support of this group of exercising artists, I have continued to exercise, lose weight and sketch daily.  The postcard exchange will be a great opportunity to see, firsthand, what each of our art really looks like in real life.
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