Tuesday, 28 February 2012

My last postcard is from Ronelle, well worth the wait!

Well the tales and pictures of the wonderful packages that Ronelle sent to everyone was almost too much to bear all year. I knew that I was going to be last and I could hardly stand the suspense of what she might be sending. When the package arrived in my mailbox I was giggling with glee, knowing that it was here!! The beautiful painting on the envelope was amazing, making me completely baffled on what could possibly out do that. I truly loved the envelope painting so much I am going to frame that one, I love tonal papers and paint, wonderful. When I opened the package I was thrilled to see gifts sliding out, candy, paper, postcard but you all know what she sends! She writes that she painted her horses for me since she knows I had horses at one time. She mentions that she would love to sneak a few more onto the property, when she can. I remember the wonderful years we owned and raised horses, it was a magical time! So many beautiful memories with Jennifer, running the hills, exploring the mountain trails with the dogs by our sides. Enjoy this special time in your life Ronelle, may it last forever and be all you hope it to be. Thank you so much for making the end our our International Postcard exchange so memorable!

I also want to take this opportunity to thanks all the amazing artists that participated in this exchange. Each month I couldn't wait to get my postcard, to see the world through your eyes and share a minute in time with each of you. It has meant so much for me to be able to say I was a part of this group and I will cherish the time we have spent together. Also, a big hug and thank you to Ronelle and Katherine who worked together to make this happen for all of us, you are much loved !


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Standing together in Orvieto with Robyn, someday!

My card from Robyn arrived, reviving wonderful memories of the Piazza Duomo in Orvieto, Italy. She talks about the quaint little buildings in the shadow of the church. An amazing church, I remember so clearly as there happened to be a wedding the day we were there and I have wonderful pictures of the bride on the steps. I also bought some of the hand painted tiles that are sold in the village shops. They say that the local children paint them, I don't know if its true but I want to believe it is. We carried home those tiles and some hand forged, iron rings for our outdoor room where they sit today and a reminder of our wonderful trip.Her postcard is a painting of the clock tower that I think we climbed to the top of and took some amazing photos of the surrounding vistas!  Next time we shall meet in the Piazza for a gelato or a cappuccino and sketch together!!

Friday, 24 February 2012

My card from Liz!

My card arrived from Liz some time ago, I have been so distracted with family issues I haven't posted it until now although it brought me much joy! I don't know how she manages, in a few perfectly placed strokes, to convey such beautiful buildings. Ahhh, I am so glad to study the card so I can try and apply Liz's techniques during my next plein air session! If the building weren't enough on the other side of the card were wonderful friends of BB's, Paddo, Peter-Lewis,Palmer-Portland,Hamish-Edinburgh,Llyr-Wales. Looks like the many friends he has met on his many vacations with Liz. Oh I wish I had the life of this bear! Thanks so much Liz, I love my card, and Jenn does too!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Angel Wing Begonias from California

This card reached me in the middle of the winter, when it was extremely cold here in Germany. You can imagine that this sunny greetings from California came at the right time. It's is a beautiful outlook to coming springtime. Desiree wrote about the warm days and cold nights over there, and that the yard is blooming soon. The Angel Wing Begonias are among her favorite flowers. Their color can change from pinks to red depending on the amount or lack of sun, she wrote.
Thank you very much for this precious little piece of art, Desiree. I love it!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Softly rendered perfection of mysterious origin

Vivien Blackburn

Vivien sent me these exquisitely-defined feathers collected by her students on a nature walk.  As there was no sign of the previous owner, they had to guess what birds might have lost them – poor things will be missing that lovely downy warmth, whoever they are!  

In fact Vivien was quite sure an owl and a quail were involved, but I went ahead and did some speculation of my own after noticing this disgruntled cat (I wish I could draw cats as easily and expressively as Vivien!) on the stamp on the back of the card…. I know cats don’t have feathers, but I believe this one suspects Vivien has hi-jacked his colour scheme for that lovely big feather in the middle. This is not a working cat BTW, Vivien’s postcard was carefully enclosed in an envelope, with a regular British stamp, so the Queen did the heavy work in getting this tiny perfect masterpiece all the way from England to Victoria in a record four days!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Warm colour from Cold Geneva

I have been looking forward to seeing Felicity's exquisitely delicate drawings up close and personal, and when I opened the clean white envelope from Geneva (I am very quick to clear the postbox after what happened to my card from Charlene!) there it was, my very own original Felicity Grace botanical. Her artwork looks ready for print in a fine art book - from the subtlest variations of tone and colour to the even splattering of the background, every detail is just perfect. Even the two bird stamps are colour co-ordinated and look quite in their element with the oak leaves and acorn.

On the other side, her trademark little snail, and two daffodils - she's eagerly waiting for Spring to arrive in freezing cold Switzerland. Spring over there means Autumn here, and I'm not at all ready for that, sorry Felicity, I'm selfishly hanging onto summer for a while longer, but I'll have your lovely oak leaves to remind me of what there is to look forward to!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Barrier Reef

Alison's Sketchercise took her for a swim near the Great Barrier Reef. While spending time in this uniquely beautiful place she took the time to paint and send me a postcard. I feel very special. You can see by the intense color that this is deep clear and clean water. Not something you see every day. I have lived near the coast all of my life but this is not color you see in my part of the world.  I think you have to be under the water for this kind of color. My camera has not done the colors justice but still it is a remarkable painting.  I will treasure this beauty, thank you, Alison.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Cold cold snow and warm pools from Charlene

Upper Hot Springs swimming pool by Charlene

Charlene says this is the pool where she learned how to swim.  It's above Banff  (not of course our original Banff, in Scotland - hypothermia would be the result there!  but it's namesake in Canada) . The water is 40C, which she feels is the only temperature to swim in  .   Warm water in the snow - amazing.

I remember seeing a film of monkeys in Japan lazing in hot pools in the snow - with blissful faces :>)   - it must be a heavenly experience, swimming in nice warm water and seeing that view.

Charlene's marks are kept so simple and uncluttered - but the grandeur of the scene and the activity of the swimmers comes across so effectively.

Thank you Charlene :>)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Warmth from South Africa on a snowy day

Cathy Gatland - trees she regularly passes

This lovely study of warm sunlight with its contrasting deep shadow arrived from South Africa, bringing some lush sunshine into my day. :>)

And more sunshine on the reverse with delicately observed fallen blossoms and pretty stamps of wildlife.

There's a lovely, unfussy use of watercolour to catch the growth, the flowers and the light with the drama of contrasts handled beautifully.

And such  lovely neat calligraphy - unlike my illegible scrawl!

The splash of warmth was extra welcome as our garden is currently under a few inches of snow.  The house tiger is on the bedroom windowsill watching, fascinated.

My last cards go off on Monday - so sad that it's all coming to an end.  The time has simply flown by.   I now have a collection of delicious cards from all over the globe :>)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Azure Seas off Australia

When I saw this sparkling card from Alison, I thought, Wow, do they have such turquoise seas in England?... but reading the other side I found that she'd done it from a sketch on her recent holiday on Lizard Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef!
It sounds quite idyllic, fringed by coral and with shallow waters so the colour of the sea changes constantly, not surprising that Alison sat and watched it for hours. I love the way she's allowed the watercolours to blend freely, suggesting so subtly 'things' under the surface and the movement and breaking of the waves.
Its a lovely, uplifting card that reminds me of a few perfect holidays at the coast where I've been lucky enough to occasionally experience such gorgeous sea colours.

I loved the Roald Dahl stamp too, in spite of the P.O. smudging their stamp of officialdom rather carelessly.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Monotype Beauty

Ink sketch on monotype - Martin Stankewitz

Martin created this beautiful postcard from a monotype.  He called it 'scrap' but it only took a few magical pen strokes for him to turn it into a wonderfully evocative landscape.  

This card is particularly precious to me as Martin's monotypes have long been an inspiration and he is so generous in sharing his knowledge.  The bonus is the characteristic penmanship that picks out the details of the scene with the little village and church steeple on the horizon.  Do you get the impression I am delighted?

Flip the card over and there are two beautiful floral stamps with their promise of Spring.

This is my second last card.  How sad it will be when the postman again brings only bills!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

My last card - Birdies from Robyn

Robins and a blue tit by Robyn

I have a folder on my computer and inside it are all the scans of the postcards I've received over the last twelve months from A Postcard from my Walk project.  It's a mini gallery - as this blog is - of all the postcards from this wonderful project which I have enjoyed so much - even if I've been a little late with my own postcards from time to time!

This image has just joined them and, if my reckoning is correct, this makes it the last card that I'm due to receive from this project.

How appropriate then that that my last card should be Robins by Robyn!

She tells me that her exercise during winter is climbing up her garden steps in Castiglion Fiorentino to fill the bird feeders which apparently the local cats think is the new locale of a brand new restaurant for them.  It's so tricky getting bird feeders located where you get at them easily but the cats can't!

It must be even trickier now that the garden in Castiglion Fiorentino has had snow and expeditions by manly blokes are required to bring home the bird seed!

Robyn has sketched her birds in fluid acrylic - which surprised me as I initially thought it was watercolour.  I'm still trying to work out how she managed the splendid spattered background without getting it all over the birds too!

Thank you so much for my Italian birdies which will always remind me of Robin!
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