Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Fleeting Pink Glow of Spring!

Capturing the feeling of an English Spring

Its raining and grey outside but Vivien's postcard is a reminder of those wonderful, soft Spring days that start to happen more frequently as the days lengthen. I'm so happy to have it for my own.

I'm going to use Vivien's own words about why she chose this view on this particular day as she says it so descriptively.
"This is a country lane just a few miles from me. The Hawthorn leaves are just about to burst and the bushes have that lovely fleeting pink glow. As soon as the leaves open it's gone."
The postcard has a velvety feel due to Vivien's skillful use of mixed media. I think it's done with soft pastels, oil pastels and white acrylic. But I don't really need to know as the overall effect is wonderful.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bolsa Chica - An American Wildlife Reserve

This is a beautiful postcard painted by Pat Reese. It's a glorious view across part of the Bolsa Chica Wildlife Reserve in Huntington Beach California. It looks like a very serene and special place. Pat told me a few days later she was visiting Las Vegas - I can't begin to imagine what the contrast must be like going from a place of such beauty and solitude to the bright neon lights, traffic, noise etc that is Las Vegas city.  I am so glad Pat chose this view for me!   Thank you Pat!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Emmarentia Gardens, Johannesburg

A beautiful card from Cathy all the way from South Africa, and I can almost feel the warmth of that African sun over here in Switzerland! She's perfectly captured the deep, warm colours and intense shadows of late summer and that little bench under the biloba trees looks so enticing!

I have to show the back too because as well as the colourful South African stamps and the stamp Cathy designed for Postcard from my Walk, there is an exquisite little watercolour of a flower growing in her garden. Thank you so much Cathy for this amazing card!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Echium Spring in California

A 4.5" x 6.5" postcard from Desiree Habicht

My mouth has been watering for ages over Desiree's beautiful botanical studies in pen and watercolour. Now it's like a bunch of Echium has been delivered to my door, which just goes to prove if you want something enough it will come.

Desiree's postcard message says 'During my 9 day plein air paint-out I saw this brilliant blue spotting the hills. The bush can get very large and woody so best grown in background or kept pruned.' There speaks an authentic gardener as well as an artist.

This gorgeous postcard tingles with colour. I'm hoping Desiree will tell me what that beautiful blue is because I don't find anything like it in my paintbox.

Thank you Desiree. One very happy fan here.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Springtime at Heidelberg Castle from Albrecht for Desiree!

I couldn't wait to share my amazement as I opened my mailbox to see such a large and perfectly traveled postcard from Albrecht in Germany! It was if he had sketched it during an outing and then cut it from his sketchbook and dropped it into MY mailbox. The corners are not even damaged. The front of the card is the most amazing graphite/pencil sketch somewhat reminiscent of an old European postcard you might have received before color was available, done by one of the masters of the time. The tiniest, most graceful lines make his view of Heidelberg Castle beckon me to visit!  I love the mature tree line that seems to frame in the castle. Then, like a bonus gift I turned the card over to see a beautiful watercolor and pen sketch of the oldest care house in the world built by Carl Benz in 1907 in Ladenburg, very close to Heidelberg. He goes on to say that Ladenburg itself might be the oldest city on the right bank of the Rhine.5000 years old. He also says that is the beginning of spring, finally! It is warm enough to sit here for awhile.

Thank you so much Albrecht for my wonderful card, it gives me a glimpse into your world! I also just love all the stamps that arrived, nicely canceled in the middle as to not ruin anything about this perfect card!

Friday, 18 March 2011

First signs of spring in an orchard in Germany

My postcard from Martin Stankewitz has arrived! Fortunately, it was meticulously encased in cardboard, so is in perfect condition, despite being painted on relatively fragile, softly textured paper. The subtle effects in this little watercolour gem can only be achieved on this sort of paper, which I find quite difficult to work with.

Neither Google (where I checked out Streuobstwiese) nor Martin himself would elaborate on just what kind of fruit trees these are, but aren’t they magnificent!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Winter in Richmond Park; a postcard from Alison to Ronelle

Alison Staite's (Lens and pencil) postcard reached me just in time before I took off to Singapore.

What can I say? Beautiful in its monochrome colours, with a serenity and quietude that captures your spirit. "...but oh, wait a minute...what is that behind the tree stirring this peace...? Oh look, a deer! the right! Oh, and another one,..! Aren't they so beautiful?"

Winter in Richmond Park

A story...this is what Alison's postcard is about. And reading her story in her own handwriting, makes it personal. Gives it life. Movement.
I know you would like Richmond Park.  Some of the old oak trees. like the one I have painted here are so contorted and bizarre they seem unreal.

The park is full of deer who eat the lower branches.  This gives the trees a manicured loo, some of them like lollipops - like the ones in the distance on my postcard.

The rest of the park is covered in rough grass and bracken.  All this surrounded by a huge continuous wall enclosing the area 10km2 - that's three times the size Central Park in New York.  I am so lucky to have this on my doorstep!

Come and visit!
Stirs the desire to look again. Closer.

And simply enjoy.

Links re Richmond Park, London

Monday, 14 March 2011

An expensive painting, February postcard from Katherine

Look what I got in the mail – a beautiful coloured pencil version of Pierre Bonnard’s Terrasse à Vernon by Katherine Tyrrell. She says it auctioned at Christies for a mere sum of 6.4mGBP (sorry I don’t have a pound symbol on my Australian keyboard!)

The colours in this postcard are amazing and so vibrant and a real treat on a very dark and grey autumn Sydney day (yes, we do have days like that – occasionally!)

Thank you Katherine!

[NOTE:  You can read more about why/how this postcard was created in "After Bonnard" on Katherine's blog]

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The bridge and the birds at Montlouis sur Loire

People joke about those who will go the opening of an envelope!  However, if you ever get the opportunity to go the opening of an envelope from Ronelle van Wyk (African Tapestry) you MUST GO!

It's a real treat!  With added extras.  ;)  Ronelle is all about added extras! I oooed and aahhed and generally had a good time when I opened mine

I'm not saying any more than that about "the extras" so as not to spoil the surprise for my fellow Sketchercisers who will in turn get their envelope from Ronell!

Anyway, first off there is the envelope which I have down in the category of "added value" for both me and the postmen who have handled it.   Lovely pen and ink and watercolour sketches of the "muettes"  flying around the Loire

"Les Birdies sur le Loire" - sketch on an envelope by Ronelle van Wyk
Inside there were a couple of more sketches of birds on the reverse of Ronelle's sketch of the railway bridge over the Loire in February at Montlouis sur Loire - which I've been to!  That's a real February sky!

Pont de Montlouis by Ronelle van Wyk
pencil and watercolour

I so admire people who can just touch in watercolour here and there.  I've always wanted to be able to do that but somehow my brush manages to try to cover the whole sheet before I know it.

Here's what Ronelle has to say about the bridge and the birds
Dear Katherine

A loire sketch for you - the Montlouis birdge that has been bombed 13 times in WWII (by the Americans no less!!) and is the only bridge still standing.  How is that for hope and determination?  

The "muettes" are starting to nest on the islands in the Loire and along with all the bulbs peeping through the dark soil, Spring is tickling us with the desire to renew our lives..... our houses, our Sketchercise

I wish you the same... strength and determination like the Pont de Montlouis, renewal like the arrival of the Muettes and a non-stop flow of creativity like "La Loire".

Gros bisous

PS  It is a postcard even if it is a bit big - it has two stamps to prove it!
Ronelle van Wyk sketching the Loire - February 2011
It must be so lovely to be able to walk out of your front door and go and look at and sketch the Loire whenever you want to!

Now I wonder whose postcard I will get next month?

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Bridget's Painting from Scotland, UK

Rozelle House - Gardens & Art Galleries
Watercolor/Colored Pencil on Paper
By Bridget Hunter

This beautiful painted postcard is completely it's own little piece of art.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sidney Harbour Bridge - my February postcard from Liz Steel

Sidney Harbour Bridge and Borromini Bear stamps, postcard from Liz Steel

The postcard from Liz dropped through the letterbox and it's absolutely delightful - Borromini's cheerful face peers out from the stamp - what a fantastic idea!

There is a lovely loose but beautifully observed view of the bridge and opera house - an iconic Australian scene :>)

Such beautiful writing too.

And of course there is talk of cosy cafes and Earl Grey :>)

Gorgeous - and thank you Liz.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Almond blossoms in Tuscany

Today I have the great pleasure to show a beautiful postcard received from Robyn Sinclair (Have dogs will travel), a little watercolor painting in subtle colours and many layers. To find the blooming almond tree on a cold and grey day was a magical moment Robyn tells me on the backside of the card.

I had admired Robyn's little Tuscany studies for a while in the sketchercise group. Now I can say it feels great to own such a nice piece. Thank you Robyn for this special card bringing the first almond blossoms this year!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Looking for signs of spring, postcard from Felicity

Felicity how did you know that I live in an alley of plane trees? What a beautiful card! A masterpiece. The tree and achanes balls are perfectly observed. All the details even the single little achanes on the side of the card are done in a very delicated watercolour technique. Before I had opened the envelope I knew there will be a treasure in it because of the carefully painted snail on it. It is shining in gold and silver and even the trail of slime is glistening. Too bad that the scan isn't able to screen it. Like you I appreciate those trees every day and I'm looking forward to watching how soon the still tiny buds will grow into those typical mighty leaves. The trunks and branches sometimes look like arms and legs of humans including the rinkles, just the way you have painted them so perfectly. Thank you so much Felicity!

Gallery of February Postcards.

All the postcards of February have reached their destinations safe and sound. Each card has been presented in an individual post the past few weeks. Scroll down the blog to see and read about each card.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

High Tea with Liz Steel

This gorgeous postcard is iconic because it is impossible to have a cup of tea without thinking of Liz Steel and her beautiful sketches from tea shops around the world. Now I have one of these to treasure myself and it is particularly special because it was sketched on location in the T2 Teahouse at the Macquarie Centre in my home town, Sydney.

The envelope is a prize in itself with its genuine Australian postage stamp featuring none other than the famous little Borromini Bear.

Thank you, Liz I love my postcard.
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