Friday, 29 April 2011

Kayaking..... All The Way From Johannesburg!

Words can't express how delighted I was to get home from work and find this card safely delivered!  Cathy in Johannesburg posted it on 31st March and 28 days later it finally arrived in London.  I would have been so upset, had it been lost in the post never to re materialize.  It's particularly special to me, not only because it's so beautifully painted and depicts a part of Cathy's life, but also because it has kayaks!  Kayaking on the River Thames in London is my sport and so i feel and instant familiarity with this scene, not least because the figure on the left has a red vest. That's my club colours- Richmond Canoe Club.  So very apt! 

The view is of Emmarentia Dam, it's where Cathy goes walking and sketching. I can't help wondering who the kayakers are and if they know any of my club friends here. Kayaking is a big sport in South African and many young South Africans come to our club if they have come to London to work for a while.

Whilst spring is bursting out here and everything is bright new green, it almost seems strange to see Cathy's view where beautiful autumn foliage is now very obvious. It still looks warm and lush though, despite autumn beginning to arrive there. 

The reverse is as lovely as the front with it's carefully painted golden honeysuckle cascading down the side.  I love the stamps too! 

Lucky, lucky me!  Thank you so much Cathy!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A delicate spring twig - a postcard from Felicity to Ronell.

To receive a postcard from Felicity (sketches by Fiz), is like discovering a piece of rare botanical art.This is my very first postcard I receive here at Coin Perdu...and what a beauty she is is!!

Felicity wanted to do something with a spring feel and happened to come across this delicate twig from a Cornus controversa(wedding cake tree/table dogwood tree)), just starting to push its buds. with a gentle mix of spring greens and young vibrant browns, the twig seems to be waiting to burst open in all its splendour!

.............a close up on one section for a little detail.

.........on the back of the card, an unusual fir cone was added for extra charm.

.........and lastly, on the envelope, M Snail saw to the speedy delivery from Switzerland to France with his priority mail flag. I'm sure he has all to do with the safe delivery of Felicity's/my postcard.

Thank you for a special post card Felicity, done with your usual care and elegance!


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Small Road to Coin Perdu

18.5cm x 17.5cm Gouache, Pen, Pencil

Every small road leads to big discoveries - Ronelle van Wyk

For my postcard, Ronelle has painted the little road that leads to her mountain home in Correze, France.

In her note on the back of the card Ronelle said:

I've always believed that tiny roads also lead to big surprises. This was how we found Coin Perdu, a secret little jewel at the end of a small road. The hills are very green with stunning spots of white and yellow and orange wildflowers everywhere. The cattle are back in the fields, keeping their young ones close by, the lambs doing their usual mischief, the birds and the bees are busy, busy, busy ... the deer jumping from field to field ... all in all, nature is exploding with life and optimism.

She went on to say, she hopes to explore more of these quiet, small roads this summer and discover with her brush and paint the surprises that await at their ends.

Ronelle is always full of wonderful surprises, some of them not so small. In the huge envelope with the postcard were other delightful gifts and the pen and gouache sketch on the front of the envelope must have surprised and delighted French and Italian postal workers as they passed it along to me.

Thank you Ronelle. I'm looking forward to exploring other small roads with you in Provence this June.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A Field of wild Mustard

I just received this wonderful postcard from Desiree on a grey and wet autumn day – what delicious colours – it certainly made my day. Unfortunately the mail is sorted and bundled with aggressive rubber bands which have left a small tear at the top – but apart from that it is in perfect condition!

“Although considered a weed, in the early spring this when sets the valleys and fields on fire with bright yellow flowers. The hills are still full of snow and the sky was a beautiful blue. A perfect walk on a spring day”

The back of the card also included a sketch – of some Clivia that are in full bloom all around her front courtyard- how I would love to come and visit one day!
Thanks Desiree!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wild Cornish Coast

A Vivien Blackburn original arrived here last week, to my great relief after Charlene's postcard to me didn't make it through the rigours of our postal system last month. I'm still hoping it will turn up so won't post the tantalising virtual version of it until all hope has gone...

So I was overjoyed to find this beautiful, atmospheric Cornwall coastal scene featuring Pendeen lighthouse, inside a cunningly disguised plain brown envelope. I love the storm-laden sky, the wildflower scattered coast and the expressive sea that I so much associate with Vivien, and have enjoyed discovering the many little marks that enrich the surface of this lovely painting. Its a wide 300x105mm landscape so don't know if the details will all show up here, but makes the real thing such a pleasure to have

On the other side Vivien stuck a map to show exactly where she was painting the several studies she made for this card, and not to be outdone by the Bear, the Tiger got his own hand-drawn stamp to add a finishing touch.

P.S. Vivien has done a post on her blog featuring some of the details of the postcard.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The first breath of Spring from Robyn

The first morning that felt like Spring, Robyn Sinclair

Robyn has sent me a delicious card, catching that early spring light, the coolness and freshness of it.

She said  
' This was the first morning that felt like Spring. I was enjoying the sun on the bright moss on the tree trunks so I sat down in the olive grove and sketched it for you'
Thank you Robyn - I love it!

Olive groves have a special atmosphere and you've caught it, the season, the light, beautifully.

I like the way that the branches break out of the frame of lines and I'm delighted that it survived its journey unscathed as a 'proper' postcard.

The mix of drawing and colour washes also gels beautifully.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Richmond Park Mallard from Alison in London

I received a wonderful card from Alison, knowing I love colors she painted me this lovely mallard duck. We used to have mallard ducks when I was growing up and Alison captured the colors perfectly. Getting these guys to pose for a painting is a bit tricky. Thanks Alison, I absolutely love my newest card for my collection. I am thinking of making a quilt out of all of the wonderful artwork from around the world by transfering each piece onto fabric!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A crazy day in Sydney

I’ve received this incredible annotated map of a day in the life of Liz Steel. It makes me feel like a complete slacker, but I love this postcard! Here’s her numbered guide to the whole extravaganza:
1. walk south along/across the Sydney Harbour bridge
2. visit Tara Tearoom with sketching buddy Alissa
3. walk past the building I intend to draw and take photo as the sun is in the right location, then walk through the city to get to the gardens for Sketchabout Week I – after great time sketching and afternoon tea with 8 fellow sketchers, leave garden
4. walk around circular quay, dodge tourists
5. sketch for you (that would be me!) looking into the sun
6. too late for Parker’s Art Store this week
7. back across the bridge, including sketch
Liz describes it as an unusually crazy day, but if you follow her blog, you will know she does this sort of thing ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Trees by the Tate - Greetings from London

During the lunch break I heard a rattling at letter box and I was delighted to find this beautiful postcard from London inside. Katherine Tyrrell had taken the time and effort to sketch some trees at the famous Tate Gallery, London and had posted them to me.

The drawing is in coloured liner pen and coloured pencils I think, on a buff white strong card in a slightly panoramic view (1:2). I like the way how people are arranged in different scale from foreground to the background and it is nice to follow them through the picture. To me it seems like a film still and immediately I began to wonder what the story could be about.

Thank you very much Katherine for this unique piece of mail art.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A sketch, a short note and a face on the side of a flower pot. A postcard from Pat

This is my first mailart postcard that I get from California. Great! It shows a tree-shaded road that leads into a forest. And on the back of the Card Pat sketched an antique head on a flower pot. The beautiful stamp from Grand Teton National Park fits perfect!

Many thanks Pat for this spontaneous drawing that you have probably drawn with an ink pen.

Friday, 8 April 2011

2010 Whistler Olympic Monument

Charlene Brown
Watercolor on Paper

Charlene has been climbing every mountain and visiting every country and reporting about it for all to enjoy through her many blogs.  Go and visit and you will be thrilled as was I the first time I found her wonderful art and words over a year ago.  Her web site “1150 Words” @ a real treat.  However not as big a treat as receiving one of her pieces of art in the mail…..just for me……all mine……but I am sharing the image with you all now.  The computer screen with its back lighting does make it beautiful but not as nice as holding it in my hand.  I used a flash to show off the touches of gold added to enhance the monument.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Spring and a new view from a Handschusheimer garden

Garden in Handschusheimer - finally Spring!

Albrecht has sent me a splash of Spring with this vibrant yellow plant growing in a garden in Handschusheimer - just north of Heidelburg.  It looks very much like forsythia to me and is a real tonic for the eyes.

On the reverse is another sketch and a little map which I found to be absolutely fascinating as I unpicked it but by bit.  This is what Albrecht says (I've added in the links to the places!)
The view from the garden overleaf (over the campus of the university of Heidelburg)

This is a historic moment!  One of the cooling towers of the Nuclear Power Plant at Philipsburg doesn't smoke anymore!  Yesterday one unit has beeen shut down in response to the nuclear problems in Japan.  Finally!  From where we live the distance is only 35km!(21 miles)
Then he has annotated the little map in the bottom left to highlight:
Speyer Cathedral, a basilica with four towers and two domes, was founded by Conrad II in 1030 and remodelled at the end of the 11th century. It is one of the most important Romanesque monuments from the time of the Holy Roman Empire. The cathedral was the burial place of the German emperors for almost 300 years.
  • a place where there are lots of hanging willow trees in a reserve (on what looks like an ox-bow lake) - and we already know how much Albrecht likes willows!
  • an area where there are many natural reserves (nature reserves?) - so I guess these are places Albrecht likes to go to sketch.
Lots of information about Heidelburg

I looked up all the places on Google Maps - like I always do - and was amazed to see the shape of the snaking River Rhine and all the old oxbow lakes it created prior to being channelled. These are so very evident from the satellite view and reminds us of the power of inland waterways to change the landscape over time.

Monday, 4 April 2011

A lesson in gouache from Martin

I've been the recipient of a wonderful example from Martin of how to work outside in gouache despite adverse weather conditions. I follow Martin's Blog regularly in the hope of learning more about using this medium. Seeing his working process step by step there and reading about his struggles to get his wet works home when the rain is still pouring is a great source of inspiration. Knowing that, I'm amazed at the quality of this postcard - and also that it travelled all the way from Germany uncovered and unscathed.

I love the expressive limited palette which creates the atmosphere and the composition Martin has chosen. Thank you for this Martin. I'm going to learn a lot by having it on my wall as a reminder of how gouache can be used whatever the weather.

I love the reverse of Martin's card too with it's paint spatters!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A pelican from Australia!

It was a wonderful surprise to find that my postcard this month came from Bridget but even more so since she painted and sent this beautiful card whilst on vacation in Australia! The colours are so soft and subtle and the subject matter is perfect - pelicans are one of my favourite birds! Thank you so much Bridget!

Here's what Bridget says about it -
'A pelican from Kingscote Harbour, Kangeroo Island, South Australia. Pelicans are fed daily at 5pm - so congregate eagerly from 4pm! I find them strange to draw - almost cartoonish - but very appealing. The eyes are large blackish pupils set in ovals of yellow. This particular bird sat and stared at me as I stared back at him! I was able to capture his image in watercolour before he got bored and turned his back to me.'
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