Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Acqua Alta in Venice

Albrecht Rissler
Ink on paper
Albrecht's postcard is done from the window from his room because it was raining. I feel like I could have been there watching him over his shoulder while he drew this card. I can feel the rain and wind from the pen strokes. Very special! I also included the reverse side with his wonderful hand written words. I thought you would like the chance to read someone else’s mail.
 I always do.
Check out the boots. They make me smile.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

November in Richmond Park

Walking in Richmond Park

Alison Staite
Watercolor on paper

Alison's postcard is from her walk in Richmond Park and the beautiful autumn colors. This is a view of some of the Beech trees that she says have lost all of their leaves now, so the ground is hot with copper color (of course she spells it colour) when the sun breaks through the clouds. The freshness of the way the paint has been applied is a real treat for my eyes. It is just what I want to see when using watercolors. I love the way the chemicals in the paint pull and push away from each other to make the blooms of soft and hard edges. My eyes see shapes that my brain says are distant trees and forest shrubs in a moisture filled misty autumn afternoon.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bridget's Comfy Chair!!

One of the reasons I truly love the people in this group is that we are able to share with each other and always know that there is someone there to listen. Its more than a post card every month but our daily chats online that are so amazing. We have gotten to know each other so much better over the last year and when I receive a postcard it just becomes that much more special. I was the lucky recipient of Bridgets comfy blue chair where she sits to take off her boots after a 2 hour walk with friends. I can just picture her sitting in her chair, thankful for the soft place to rest. We all probably have those special places we love to spend time or curl up with a good book on. I also love her gouache and I am hoping to start purchasing some soon after this! Thank you so much for my card! I am sorry I was so late in posting it.

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Fallow Deer from Richmond Park

A special postcard from Alison arrived last week - something I associate so closely with her - one of the beautiful fallow deer that she often sees along with the larger red deer, in Richmond Park near where she lives. I've photographed it as my scanner didn't do justice to the lovely delicate, free brushmarks that describe the antlers and tail. Alison said she struggled with producing an animal for me, then one day after watching the fallow deer for a long time, decided to paint one directly with the brush, and it all fell into place. She wasn't sure if it was the long looking or the freedom of no preliminary pencil lines - all I can say is that it's so successful, and a lovely addition to my growing collection.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Rozelle Park


Bridget Hunter
Gouache on Paper
Bridget shared her autumn color with me in her postcard from her walk.  This is a view from Rozelle Park a woodlands around the corner from where she lives.   It’s done in gouache on the paper from the sketch book Ronelle sent to her.  That makes it even more special.  Don't you think?  It's like a collaboration of friends bringing me love and joy to my mailbox.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cat and Mouse

Albrecht's cat, Tricocone, brought him a mouse and ate it right in front of his studio door.  'I heard the bones crack. Grrr.........' says Albrecht.

A tragedy for the little mouse but this is a moment of cruel beauty in graphite.  I'm going to treasure it Albrecht. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to know what 'Tricocone' means, apart from Bone Crusher!

Monday, 5 November 2012

More sketches from a day in the zoo - card from Cathy

Today I received this amazing artwork from Cathy on both sides of the card! 
Two "poor beleagured rhinos", safely protected from cruel poachers. They are - like the trees - beautifully drawn by a loose line. I especially like the back of the postcard. The way in which Cathy has composed the watercolors of the five lemurs with the handwriting is very impressive. The design fits well with the lively nature of those primates from Madagascar. I really love them. Thank you so much Cathy for this great piece of art. I'm very proud to have it in my "mailart" collection. (By the way: sometimes I wonder how long our cards are on the way. Cathy's card was stamped on 10th October and it took almost a month till it arrived Heidelberg. ...)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

October card from Robyn

The "Chiostro die S. Francesco" looks like a serene place to relax from everyday life, a marvelous place to draw undisturbed. Robyn drew the cloister in the technique of solar etching print. A technique that I have never tried. I found on youtube some movies that show very well how it works. Thanks Robyn for this lovely card showing how beautiful you have it where you live.

On the other side of the card there is a little extra piece of art: "The watercolour is a beautiful little enemy from our garden« Robyn wrote.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

My card from Albrecht

I'm once again so happy to be the owner of this card from Albrecht. His use of pencil to capture a scene is a joy. You can almost see the pencil dancing across the card - adding here and there a little detail, hatching to achieve the darker tones and leaving the white to show the flash of sunlight.

Turner's painting of the Castle

He's siting on the famous Goethe Marianne Bench at Heidlberg Castle and when I  researched to find out more  I've realised what an important historical place it is and I've added an illustration of a painting by Turner to show it's significance.

Albrecht has also drawn a carving on the limestone bench of Ginko leaves and a Hoopoe. Thankyou Albrecht.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tuscan Black Figs

Look at this totally stunning postcard I received from Robyn this month! Wow! I love everything about it- the wonderful watercolour work, the colours, the composition, the details on the blue plate and how delicious it looks. These are black figs from their garden and was painted using the wonderful Winsor and Newton Potters Pink colour- this is paint colour that Robyn got me onto last year and it has become a standard for me. Thanks Robyn- I love this!

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Art Gallery of New South Wales x Two

It's always interesting seeing the same subject created in different ways. For an artist it's probably one of the best ways of exploring different mediums. 

Liz is well know for her wonderful ink and watercolour sketches. Here though she has tried out watercolour alone, followed by what she terms her 'latest craze' marker pens.  I've not tried pens like this but i can imagine they open up a new world in terms of speed.  No hanging around for washes to dry. 
Thank you so much for the two sketches Liz!  Both different but both definitely Liz!  I love the stamps too - aren't those fur seals great :o)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Dear Pat, yes your card has reached me happily and healthy. Here, too, the summer is over. The green slowly turns into a symphony of yellow, red and brown. The nights are becoming colder. Where we live on the other side of the road chestnuts break every few minutes loudly through the leaves of a giant tree.

As you know I love trees. Therefore, I am especially pleased with your great composed gathering of trees which you've drawn with a beautiful spontaneous stroke. It is another fine card of my growing mailart collection. Thank you so much! Albrecht

Chloe - with a heart as big as an elephant

This beautiful watercolor of a Boston Terrier named Chloe profoundly portrays the best friend of Desiree's daughter,  Jennifer.  Shortly before Jennifer's 24th birthday she was the victim of an accident and through no fault of her own was left wheelchair bound. Though the circumstances of Jennifer's story are difficult to accept, she remains a young woman who doesn't give up, who loves life and who enjoys a very special relationship with her constant companion, Chloe. 
Chloe' s expressions bring joy and amusement as they reflect her boundless love for Jennifer.  This special dog is all of the characteristics that are inscribed around the edge of the card and much more. 
Desiree thank you so much for this very special card mit herzlichen Gruessen, auch an Jennifer and Chloe - the dog with a heart as big as an elephant. Albrecht

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A watercolour to crow about

Alison saw this crow while out walking along a river tow path.  He was splashing around in a puddle.  It was a really bright day and his feathers were gleaming.  She's captured it beautifully.  Hard to believe this is her first attempt at painting a crow.  I bet she was tempted to hang on to this one so I'm doubly delighted it's flown to me.  Alison achieved the beautiful blacks of the crow with W&N Neutral Tint mixed with Indigo and Winsor Blue.  

The painting came with a beautiful card printed with one of Alison's gorgeous photos of deer in London's Richmond Park.  It's close to Alison's home.  I'm really tempted to visit!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

At the zoo

I received this wonderful postcard from Cathy... and all I could say at the time (and now too!) was WOW! Amazing sketches on both sides! I really really love elephants and it struck me that for Cathy they are not foreign animals but natives (unless this is an Asian elephant with big ears!)! The colours of Cathy's watercolour paint just jumps off the page. thanks Cathy!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Ronelle's Garden

I find Ronelle's card totally enchanting. It shows her immediate, emotional response to the beauty of these white geraniums growing in her garden in France. Such delicate work, done in aquarelle, and exactly as it should be to convey her delight in these flowers.

But look at the image on the envelope, done on handmade paper and showing a masterly touch with gouache.

I am so pleased to own these beautiful artistic works by Ronelle. Thankyou.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Castiglion Florentino from Robyn in Tuscany!!

Hi everyone, I was so excited to get this wonderful postcard from Robyn in Italy!! She says that August is there hottest month so she has only walked to her garden. I know how you feel Robyn! It has been a cooker over here too! I have to grab the time either early or late these days. I will be happy for fall to start this year. I love the pigeons that have taken time to either refresh themselves or eat close enough for you to sketch. I so loved Tuscany when we were there, hope to visit with you the next time I can manage an overseas vacation! Thanks you so much for the wonderful card!!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Four students from Albrecht's drawing course at the Swabian Alps.

I am a big admirer of Albrecht's drawings. Looking at his postcards, you will understand why: No fanfare and funny tricks, but good solid knowledge of technique and with a talent to add just the necessary creativity and expression to bring it to life. Not many artists have all these skills in balanced amounts.

If you look closely at his postcard, you will see that one can take away any of the elements and the artwork will still be able to stand tall. I see many sketches which rely on the addition of a second or even third medium to turn it into good art. It is an aspect I strive fro in my own art: the ability to draw a single line so that it draws on all elements of good art making to be able to stand on its own. Which brings me back to my firm belief: to do good art, one has to have a knowledge of drawing. Technique and the basic principles of drawing DO have a solid place in art. Albrecht's postcard is testament to my belief.
Have a look at the close-up to below see the lovely lost and found edges, a technique which seduces the eye of the viewer to "continue the lines and complete the drawing", a great way to get the viewer involved in a painting/drawing/sketch.

This sketch was done by Albrecht during his last drawing course of the year and it is four of his students busy working under the beech tree that he captured. the course took place at the Swabian Alps, "which was about 50 million years ago the borderline of a warm Jurassic ocean". Albrecht and his students were fortunate to find many fossils during this course...something else I love...digging for fossils!

Read more of this course and his other work here.

Thank you for my beautiful postcard Albrecht.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Chamonix Valley - Le Buet

I can imagine sitting beside this mountain stream watching the freezing cold melt water rushing over the boulders. Alison describes it as being crystal clear yet at the same time an amazing blue and I can almost hear the rushing of the water when I look at the card.

I had to include a close up of this small section to show how Alison has used pure watercolour so skillfully.

 It's a place she says is extraordinarily beautiful and very quiet, an area in the Alps near Mt Blanc that she walks every year, a steep, narrow path with the stream alongside leading to The Refuge De La Pierre A Berard. I can see why it's such an attraction.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Peach Jam by Desiree

Peach Jam

The written tale on the reverse of this postcard had visual qualities nearly as good as this beautiful painting of peach jam by Desiree Habicht.

So here it is....
Dear Katherine

With our fruit trees in full production and everything ripening at the same time I am forced to deal with bushels of fruit.  I do love to can and put up things I grow. The weather has been so nice and I have an outdoor kitchen where I sterilize jars and process jams.  It helps keep the house cooler but requires a lot more running for me.  After two solid days of picking, cleaning, processing and sealing I feel it qualifies as Sketchercise!

This year I made peach jam, peach-japaleno jelly, peach bellini jam, peach salsa, peach-cantaloupe preserves and corn relish.  Yummy - 45 jars of goodies!


I most certainly did Desiree - I am salivating at all those wonderful products of your labour - and that amount of work most definitely counts as sketchercise!

Monday, 13 August 2012

A peaceful garden

I received this gorgeous card from Pat on my arrival home from my recent trip. She says” this is a garden I designed. I had a chance to visit with the owner and sketch while she took a phone call.It really loos great and sitting there was just what I needed to have a few moments alone with nature. Ah! Isn’t that exactly what this card expresses?... The lovely tranquillity and rest of sitting in a beautiful garden. As someone who never uses pencil and is addicted to colour, I really love the way that this simple pencil sketch tells us so much about the garden that Pat was in. I am always constantly amazed by all the things that my sketchercise friends do as well as there artwork– including designing gardens for friends! Thanks Pat – your card made my day!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The T2 Tea House in North Ryde, Sydney

This is the famous T2 Tea House in Sydney - scene of many a pen and ink and watercolour sketch by Liz and Borromini

Liz knows how I love drawing interiors - particularly ones where eating and drinking are involved and I was tickled pink to get a sketch of the interior of her favourite tea house in Sydney.

Liz has impeccable perspective as always - even when it comes to shelves of tea and a counter of other goodies. I am so impressed by the writing on the blackboard and I'm hoping there was a little trick involved there with resist maybe?

The T2 Teahouse, North Ryde, Sydney
It was raining when Liz did her sketch so on the reverse I got another of my favourite Liz sketches - what she was eating and drinking.  It looks to me as if Liz was sharing a virtual cream tea with me! :)

I have to apologise to Liz for being extremely late in posting this - it dates from before her recent trips to the Dominican Republic and the USA.  I've got very behind with posting cards received and getting cards sent and am in the middle of a big catch up!

Where to find the T2 Teahouse: Macquarie Shopping Centre, Level 4, Shop 440, Cnr Herring Rd & Waterloo Rd, North Ryde, Sydney, NSW 2113 Australia

Friday, 3 August 2012

Lizard for Borromini / Liz-Art from S.Domingo

Liz spent 3 days at an Urban Sketchers Symposium in the Dominican Republic.

I wish I would have been there too! 

Thank you so much Liz for your colorful July-card. The image shows a warm sunny day in the Caribbian. The nice stamps on the back made me curious to know who this person Dame Melba was. Now I understand the connection with the stamp in the middle... 

Next time downtown Heidelberg I will think of you and her while enjoying the dessert. 
(I hope it is alright using Borromini's wonderful gift for covering the address)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Teaching to Observe - Albrecht in Bavaria

Derwent Graphitint
Last month Albrecht was busy teaching in Majorca .  This month he's been teaching in Bavaria.  I'm the lucky recipient of a card he drew when he and his students were at lake near Bad Reichenhall, not far from the Austrian border and the city of Salzburg.  It's one of his students in the shade overlooking the lake  -  clearly engrossed in his own sketching!

You can see more images from this course on Albrecht's blog  here  Some great photos of his students drawing mountains and various other studies.  There's a very impressive standard of draughtsmanship amongst them.  It's definitely inspiring to see the kind of detailed observational drawing Albrecht teaches. 

Albrecht has a book coming out later in the year.  I am hoping we will be able to obtain copies over here in England! 

Friday, 27 July 2012

A Christmas Butterfly from Cathy to Desiree

Cathy sent me a double delicious postcard, I do love when both sides are eye candy! The painting side, is of a Boy and Fish Fountain in the beautiful Shepstone Gardens that Cathy visited the other day. She says it has stone houses, walls, temples and paths and was built after the Anglo Boer War from 1,000 tons of rock! Wow, what an amazing place to be able to visit and sketch! But wait, there is more! When you turn over the card it reveals yet another beautiful piece of art, a wonderful butterfly that is safely delivering my postcard! I love your whimsical spirit and with my current obsession with butterflies it is an instant favorite over here! Thank you so much for a wonderful surprise in my mailbox! Oh, and all the stamps are amazing!

This is where the postcard was written, I have erased most all of the written letter but you can picture the text surrounding this wonderful butterfly.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

How now, Ayrshire cow?

My second postcard from Bridget, and I'm so pleased to have one of the very appealing residents that abound in the area in which she lives. This Ayrshire calf was spotted in a field on a walk with friends - it sounds like Bridget had to forego the packed lunch to get him on paper! She says she had such trouble drawing the legs that she left them out, but I love the way he seems to have walked right up to her in the quizzy way that cows sometimes do, full of movement and twitching skin, to stare at her with those beautiful eyes, and now staring at me!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Castiglion Florentino

Robyn Sinclair
Watercolor on paper

Robyn sketched this postcard in Paris, France when she was on vacation last month and then she said she painted it in Italy when she got home.  It is lovely and a real treat for me because I was at this shop a gazillion years ago and it seems like yesterday.  This card is also special because some of us in the Postcard From My Walk group helped Sennelier with a study for their new formula of watercolor paint that has now just become available to the public.  Robyn said she hadn't realized it was beside the river, on the Left Bank.  It really was Sketchercise getting there and back.
PS the stamp is very cool, too. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

When yellow and blue make shades of green

My postcard from Vivien is a double delight  -  golden yellow on the front and an array of blues on the reverse.

So what's my meaning in the title of this post? Obvious! When one is lucky enough to receive a postcard from Vivien, you just know that everyone else will be a shade of green. Green with envy.

The front depicts some of the fields close to where Vivien lives. The bright gold is oil seed rape,  now grown abundantly in many parts of England during spring. In huge fields it's visually mind blowing.

On the reverse Vivien's used gouache.  Blue sky and a blue and turquoise sea, done from memory in a 'wish you were here'  right now kind of moment.

Thank you so much Vivien. I love both sides equally -
The fields remind me of my family home ........   and
The sea.... yes, me too, I'd love to be there right now...... !

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Californian Hollyhocks

On a very cold wet winter's day there was a lovely surprise for me in my mailbox.(sadly it was a little wet - but not too wet on the front!) This wonderful card from Desiree shows the Hollyhocks in her amazing garden. These were not blooming when she had her garden tour... what a pity "they are in full bloom now - they must be 7 feet tall and the giant, peony type flowers take turns blooming up the stalk. I have light pink, dark pinks and white". I hope that one day I will be able to visit her incredible garden - see here

This certainly brightened my day! I also love the way it is a page ripped out of a sketchbook - somehow it makes it more personal to think that it once was in Desiree's sketchbook.


Friday, 29 June 2012

A card from Albrecht in Majorca

A postcard from Albrecht in Majorca

This lovely free sketch arrived from Albrecht, teaching a course in Majorca.  It's of one of his favourite places.

Isn't it great?  Such lovely free scribbly marks that evoke the vegetation and scene so well :>)

Thank you Albrecht :>)
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