Thursday, April 16, 2015

My favourite place to paint

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Lake O’Hara
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown
 
It’s been almost six years since the last time I visited this glorious hanging valley in Yoho National Park.  On that occasion I painted a series of sketches on the Opabin Plateau (shown at about the midpoint of the right side of this picture) and have been painting Lake O’Hara from time to time ever since – in hopeful anticipation of going there again some day, ideally at that magical time of year when the larch are at their spectacular best...  It is just about impossible to book the very limited accommodation during that period, or even get in on the quota of day-trippers.   

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Catching up with the Virtual Paintout in Bhutan

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Taktsang trail 
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown
 
The Virtual Paintout is in Bhutan this month, not far from Bangladesh, where we were 
just over a month (and one return trip to Greenland) ago. 

My first explorations of this mountainous kingdom at the eastern end of the Hymalayas revealed very little, as everything was pretty well encased in rain clouds... until I chanced upon the Taktsang Trail, north of Paro.  From this location, about as far as the Google camera car could go, the famous Taktsang Monastery (also known as the Tiger's Nest) can be seen, hanging high in the cliffs.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Virtual Paintout is in Bhutan but I’m still in Greenland

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Siaqqissoq
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

I had found a couple of painting locations in Greenland that didn't happen to have icebergs, then decided I’d like to try one that did have some. When I didn't find any really spectacular ones close to shore, I thought I might just try the one Bill Guffey, who puts together the Virtual Paintout, started with at the beginning of March.
 First I went to the Location Link he posted, then I navigated a little way along the coast to this location for what I thought was an even better angle on this very paintable iceberg. The foreground in Bill’s painting is probably more interesting. What do you think?  Check it out at Virtual Paintout in Greenland. (You have to scroll down right to the bottom of the list of paintings to find it.)  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Virtual Paintout still in Greenland

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Playground at Aqqusinertaaq
Watercolour and CP
©2015 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Greenland for the month of March, and I have found it so fascinating that I've painted another Greenland picture and started on a third! It seems the place has captured the imagination of a lot of other artists, and there are a large number of entries.


I thought this northern-themed playground was wonderful.  You can see it yourself and drive around it on Google Streetview to check out the unique details in the play structures.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Draw me a mountain/Dessine-moi une montagne

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Climbing Mont Royal
Watercolour, crayon and CP
©2015 Charlene Brown

My South African artist friend, Cathy Gatland, told me about a call for on-line entries for an exhibition ‘Draw me a mountain/Dessine-moi une montagne’ a show of sketches created on-or-of Mont Royal in Montreal.

In my reply to her email, I mentioned that I loved the ‘splash-sketch-paint’ method she had used to draw people on a street lined with jacarandas, in the book People and Motion.

I added that I’d been trying to think of another subject that would be as well-suited to this lovely technique, given we have so few jacarandas here in Canada. Much later, I put the two thoughts together and it occurred to me that some pictures I took on the steps leading to the plateau on Mont Royal were perfect for a splash-sketch-painting.


I won’t be entering ‘Climbing Mont Royal’ in the show because it doesn't really fit the plein air/urban sketching theme of the exhibition. Not only is it based on those photos which were taken 30 years ago when my daughter was at McGill at the base of the mountain, but I added some buildings that weren't even built then. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Twentieth Century Flashback

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Mt. Kenya
Watercolour monotype and Photoshop™
©1996 Charlene Brown

I decided I’d like to see this originally-vertical monotype in a square format, so I distorted the jpeg image in Photoshop. This is actually a little better representation of the shape of the mountain than it was before the Photoshopping. 

And it’s now quite similar to the outline of another mountain I painted three years ago Mt. Baker – not surprising, given they’re both volcanoes. The main difference is the Mt. Kenya is extinct and sports dozens of precipitous volcanic plugs, left when the rest of the mountain was eroded during two periods of glaciation. The much more recently-formed Mount Baker, still thermally active from time to time, is heavily glaciated and has a much more streamlined appearance.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Greenland

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Kapisilinni Nuussuarmi
Watercolour and CP
Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Greenland this month  – quite a change from last month’s location.

I'm guessing that in the history of intercontinental travel, nobody has ever taken  the direct route from Bangladesh to Greenland. Suddenly now, all the participants and followers of the Virtual Paintout  are making the trek! 
I haven’t yet been to Greenland for real, but I did some painting in Pangnirtung and Auyuittuq National Park 25 years ago.  That part of Nunavut, in Canada, is about 700 km west of, and similarly paintable to, Kapisilinni Nuussuarmi. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reminiscent of Stonehenge

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Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

This sculpture installation in Canada’s Gulf Islands is nowhere near as old as Stonehenge, which is said to have been completed 300 years before the Egyptians built the pyramids, but I found the effect of this spectacularly-situated stone circle just as stunning. At 4 to 5 meters, the ‘babas’ in the outer circle, comprised of 3 to 5 stones each, are comparable in height to the monoliths of Stonehenge, but the figures in the inner circle are built on a ‘human’ scale. And there is a fire-pit, surrounded by a circle of lawn chairs (not included in the painting) the better to enjoy the ambiance in true West Coast style.