Thursday, 30 June 2011

Vin de paille - greetings from the good side of life in Correze by Ronelle van Wyk

Dear Ronelle,
you really cheered me up with this lovely card and beautiful envelope not to speak about the extra perks I found inside(top secret ;). It seems you have a great time and a good life down there in Correze.

Of course I will try to find a vin de Paille!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Another Cool Cracker - The Comox Glacier

I have always admired Charlene's paintings of mountains, glaciers and lakes. I've never been to Canada but have visited the European Alps many times. Charlene's views always transport me back to that landscape. Bitter cold wind off the glaciers, even when the day is hot, and the sharp pungent tang of pine resin. Glorious!  I was so delighted therefore when this card arrived in the post!  (Not so delighted with the postmen though, who'd managed to print an orange serial bar top and bottom...... grrrr.  Thank goodness it's relatively faint!).

This is a view of the Comox Glacier near Mt Washington.  Charlene tells me they had big snow falls here late into the season and there was still a lot around at the end of May.  I love the colour and shapes Charlene achieves both within the mountain and the fir trees.  It has a lovely rhythm.

London today is overcast and windy.  I'd far rather be looking at this view for real.  Thank you Charlene, I'll look at your card and just pretend I'm there instead!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Winter Postcard from Germany for winter in Sydney

I received my June card from Albrecht a little early....but I put it away till it was June. Now Albrecht’s beautiful actually relates better to what we are experiencing here in Sydney..although we have blue skies and sun, (no snow!) and a fresh 15C (that is cold for us!!). I can feel the longing for spring in the black and white pen sketch with the colours below....just one touch of of spring green on the right hand end! Because we only have a few deciduous trees (introduced species – all native gum trees are evergreen) we always have plenty of green around.

I really love both the front and the back of the card- more lovely sketches and some great stamps too! - thanks Albrecht for a truly beautiful card

Friday, 24 June 2011

A cold, but sunny afternoon-postcard from Cathy to Ronelle

...a bright splash of colour...camelia..

Our postman complains all the time. First it is about the mailbox not being the standard size. We have an old vintage one from 1930.
Then he complains because the rules say it should be locked. I don't care much for keys.
His biggest complain is probably about the narrow road in which he can't make a U-turn, he has to pull back up all the way uphill in reverse.
So when the postman visits and I'm outside, he recites his whole poem of complaints while handing me the mail. I am then depressed for the whole of the day, because I don't want him to be unhappy, but I also don't want to give in to all his boring demands.

But, according to Hartman who received the card when I was in Provence, on delivering Cathy's card the postman didn't complain a single word, instead, he patati patata'd the whole time about the "jolie envelope"! What a delight for both of and my postman!

...une jolie envelope...!

...A sunny wintry afternoon at Emmarentia dam in South Africa...
watercolor and pen on watercolor paper, 25,5x18cm

..and some detail ...

Thank you for a special card Cathy, with all its snippets of typical South African delicacies...rooibos tea from Eleven o'clock....Jungle oats....and redro fishpaste - how I hated that as a child, well, I probably still do, but now I love the memory of that hate!!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Sennen Cove

A wonderfully moody, atmospheric card arrived from Vivien this month. I feel very priviliged to own this as it must have been drawn when she was on holiday with her family in Cornwall and even more as she describes Sennen Cove as one of her all time favourite places. Vivien has painted and drawn a whole series of studies of Sennen Cove on her blog capturing the changing light, colours and atmosphere so it's amazing to have one of these.

I feel, even without reading Vivien's words on the card, that her love of this part of the world really shines through in this image. It's stormy and grey, not the sort of weather most tourists want to see when they come here, but it's still inviting - the lines are drawing us to walk along the path to the harbour wall and take in that sea air. And what view awaits us if we just walk a little further and see what's around the corner of the building?

In the flesh it has some lovely textures but I'm not sure what Vivien has used to achieve this - perhaps pen, pencil and charcoal? Whatever was used, it is a fabulous card and I love it - thank you Vivien!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Robyn and her binoculars!

I'd forgotten that, as well as sketching and posting postcards, I also receive them. So getting a beautiful  watercolour scene from Umbria, Italy was such a lovely surprise today. 

Now, we at Sketchercise know how much Robyn treasures her binoculars, but to use them to see a distant view which she thought I would enjoy, and, at the same time sketch that view is possibly even a first for Robyn! And I do love it - the hillside house, the patterns of fields and trees and the Umbrian greens at this time of year.

Thankyou Robyn for the effort you've made. I do appreciate it. Though, at the same time I have this lovely, quirky mental image of you holding binoculars in one hand and a paintbrush in the other busily sketching and its making me smile - as you always do!!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Deer in Richmond Park

Hidden in the Grass - by Alison Staite

You really need to see this beautiful, subtle watercolour in real life, the scan doesn't do it justice. Wonderful texture in the coat of the deer; beautiful soft green washes and the lifelike expression on the animal as it seems to detect the artist's approach. Alison says, 'In the summer months they often become well hidden in the long grasses. If they choose an area with the tall bracken, one can be walking along and they are barely noticeable'.

Ever since I've know Alison I have envied her the proximity of her home to Richmond Park and her encounters with the deer. She says, 'They are so used to humans one can get very close. People pay a lot of money to go to Scotland to get a glimpse of them. Here in Richmond Park you practically stumble over them - for free!'

Well I hope I eventually get to stumble over them with you, Alison. I couldn't think of anything more delightful.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Private View of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Kathine Tyrrell often reviews major exhibitions in the UK on her highly-ranked art blog Making a Mark, and she sometimes does amazing sketches of the other folks invited to the private viewings and previews.  Although she sketched this nicely nuanced vignette early in May she had it propped up near her computer and “forgot to post it on time because it had become part of (her) office!”  I’m absolutely thrilled that when she finally got it mailed, it arrived in Victoria in just a few days, and now it’s part of MY office!  
Katherine has written many wonderfully helpful posts about sketching on Travels with a Sketchbook and Making a Mark (one of my favourites is 10 tips for how to sketch people) – but to actually sketch so beautifully and with such apparent ease takes hundreds of hours of practice, upon which I’ve barely started… so you can see why I’m so very pleased to have received this 'original’ from Katherine herself.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Zion, a Place for Rest and Refuge, plein air from Desiree

Zion a Place for Rest and Reguge, drama in watercolour by Desiree
 This lovely plein air of dramatic cliffs, reflected in the rushing melt water in  Zion National Park, trees catching the light and a terrific sense of place, dropped through my letterbox this morning.   It really catches the drama and scale of the scene, the cliffs towering above.   Her title shows her feelings for this place that come through in the work.   I know what she means with the title - I have the same feeling at the coast.  It's lovely to see all these places that are special to us, so very different with each country.

Desiree describes sitting in  a cold wind, heroically working on this - It was well worth it wasn't it?   :>)

There are great details on the back of the flowers and even park stamps that she has used as a frame for one.  It came through the post safely with not even a smudge or wrinkle.

Her use of watercolour is confident and assured.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Felicity's Curiosities

a maple curiosity - a watercolour painting on a postcard by Felicity Grace

As I was packing to go to France, I received a delightful postcard from Felicity Grace (Felicity's Philosophies and Other Curiosities).

One of the things I like so very much about this project is how people choose subject matter particular to them and also related to the person who's receiving the card

Felicity Grace knows how much I enjoy botanical art and her postcard for me is a delightful painting of a maple twig.  I love interesting leaves and these are gorgeous.

I'm not sure what she's painted on but it's a lovely warm buff coloured card with little crimson red flecks in - which reminds me of the papers which incorporate petals and leaves. 

She says
Hi Katherine

At this time of year I should be drawing something bursting into life, but this dried up maple twig is what caught my eye.  Below are Acquilegia seed heads from my garden...... 
Acquilegia seed heads from Felicity's garden
The Jet d"Eau in Geneva
and on the envelope, the Jet d'Eau - something "Geneva" for you

Hope you have a fabulous time in Provence!

All the best Felicity
The sketch on the envelope was so effective I thought it was something that had been printed and done specially for people sending envelopes from Geneva!

I'm sat here writing this in London - while having a break from the panic associated with packing and generally getting ready for a long drive across France.

By the time this publishes I should be sat in the sun with Robyn enjoying  the view from our temporary home in the Vaucluse.

I didn't get a sketch done before I left so whoever is getting my sketch in June will definitely be getting a postcard sketch from Provence!

Friday, 10 June 2011

The weather is playing games on our gardens in California

I received this beautiful postcard from Pat the other day, such a surprise to have a hand full of mail and to glimpse the colorful corner of her card. She couldn't have sent me a more perfect card, the garden is my shangri la. Pat tells me that she has been working in the garden and sat down to rest and do her sketch. She says that the grapes are early and the Camilla's should have been all done blooming in February. I do feel your same issues although I am loving this cooler weather. Thanks Pat for such a perfect card!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Toasty Warm at T2 - from Liz

Though Liz and I are experiencing similiar freezing cold weather on our southern side of the globe, her postcard arrived full of the warmth of her beloved T2 tearoom, a place I think I could walk into and feel perfectly at home after getting to know the cups, teapots, decor and even the menu through Liz's sketches. She was sitting next to a South African man as she sipped her delicious sounding tea - "a green oolong base swathed in sublime notes of nougat & almonds to warm the coolest of nights." (and boy, are we having the coolest of nights!) and sketched this card. I love seeing close up her confident lines and washes, and on the other side her amazing architect's handwriting plus the famous Borromini Bear stamp.

I'm so looking forward to meeting them both, and seeing lots more sketches, when we join the Urban Sketchers in Lisbon next month!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Valley Study for the Month of May

Martin Stankewitz, Germany

Here it is....My very own Martin original Gouache.
Very cool!!!

This ideal valley is very near to Martin’s house where he paints his Sketchercise contributions.  I have gotten to know these trees very well and so appreciate his ability to use gouache, design and color to convey these areas of heavenly solitude.  I love how my eye is drawn through the painting by the positioning of tree groupings, placement and overlapping.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Horizan at Cape Cornwall and the Brisons

Vivian’s postcard arrived at just the right time to brighten an exceptionally hectic day.  I felt calmed and loved all at the same time.  Isn’t it special? 

Sunset Across the Bay
Vivian Blackburn           Leicester England

Of course it’s much better in person, holding it in my hands and looking very closely to every colored pencil line that combine to make the most wonderful colors of this remarkable sun set.  Vivian said that she sent me a sketch of the sunset across the bay.  On the horizon are Cape Cornwall and the Brisons.  She said that the weather coming across the Atlantic means that the clouds form over the land making gorgeous shapes.
They are gorgeous aren't they? 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Colourful Autumn – Cathy's postcard from South Africa

This colorful autumn postcard I received yesterday on a wonderful early summer day. Cathy wrote that she drew this great little work of art at the May Day public holiday. Cathy has a beautiful handwriting: "We are fully into autumn now & there are so many colours where I walk round the dam - too many to hit on a postcard! ... lots of people walking in the park. The birds are Hadeda Ibises (because of the noise the make) which graze on the lawn every morning ... "

Thank you so much Cathy! Everything on the postcard, on both sides, fits perfectly together including the stamps and the very well characterized silhouettes of ibises.
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