Thursday, July 9, 2020

The girl from the first generation


Click on image to enlarge
In my recently completed multi-generational autofictional book, The ‘Starting Out’ Years: Short Stories of Six Generations, the first story begins in 1898 in Glasgow, and actually resembles the ‘starting out’ years of my grandmother, Mattie Colquhoun.  The girls in succeeding generations in the book, including myself, become less individually recognizable and are more likely to be ‘composites’ representing more than one person.


Mattie, who was born in 1882 is pictured on the left, as she will appear on the book cover, along with the other five girls.  I have no photographs of my grandmother taken before 1904, so her school uniform is derived from the few references I was able to find on the internet.  She should probably be wearing a hat, but the hats in the internet pictures seemed awfully elaborate, so I just put a ribbon in her hair. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Our expanded 2006 Christmas letter


Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign™ document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of three watercolour paintings the fountains at the Summer Palace outside of St. Petersburg in Russia, mosaic tiles at Cyrene, a Roman site on the Mediterranean coast of Libya, and the Berber village of Ghadames in Libya. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan




Restaurants, libraries, child-care centres and seniors’ centres are operating again here in British Columbia – with restrictions.  So I’m back painting with my Goward House Wednesday morning group, well-spaced in our large studio with the outside door propped open. It’s great to be back – all I did was mess up the kitchen when I tried to paint at home.

On my first day back, I did six cartoon figures for the cover illustration of my book, The ‘Starting Out’ Years: Short Stories of Six Generations.  The girl on the left is Fiona, representing the fifth generation, whose ‘starting out’ years are in progress right now.  I’ve shown her ‘distancing’ from the others, and I’m thinking of adding a mask.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Our expanded 2005 Christmas letter


Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of a watercolour painting of the view from a helicopter over Maui.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Our expanded 2004 Christmas letter

Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign document
©2020 Charlene Brown


Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of an annotated watercolour sketch of the Arenal volcano, a watercolour painting of Costa Rica, and a computer collage commemorating the arrival of my grandparents in Banff in 1904.

The last addition illustrates some of my grandmother’s adventures during the years 1898 - 1904.  These adventures are also the basis of the first story in the book I am writing, The ‘Starting Out’ Years: short stories of six generations

I had submitted a preliminary draft of this book to the publisher late last year and was working on some changes they had suggested, when COVID-19 hit. Before re-submitting the manuscript in mid-March, I made some additions to the fifth story, which is about my granddaughter during the years (2017 – 2021) she finishes high school and begins university (a fairly smooth transition, when I first wrote it).  At the time, I also made some adjustments to the sixth story, which covers the same ‘starting out’ years in the life of my great-granddaughter – as she and her friends in the high school graduating class of 2045 make their plans and reflect back on the weird situation in which their parents found themselves back in 2020.  I have been re-writing those two stories ever since.




Sunday, June 14, 2020

Our expanded 2003 Christmas letter

Click on image t0 enlarge

Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign document
©2020 Charlene Brown


Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of some extra photographs.  

I was going to add watercolour paintings of the Kootenay Burn of 2003, mentioned in the second last paragraph, and ‘Alchemy’ (shown on the right) to tie in with the Medieval Science & Technology course at UVic that I mentioned in the last paragraph. But, as you can see, there wasn’t enough room for those and decent-sized pictures of the kids.

BTW, this is my 750th blog post.  But who's counting.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Our expanded 2002 Christmas letter

Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign™ document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of a third computer collage – of the Torres del Paine in Chile, overlaid on the unfamiliar astronomical chart of the southern sky that we learned about one night on a darkened cruise ship. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Our expanded 2001 Christmas letter

Click on image to enlarge

Screenshot of a 3-page Christmas letter
Adobe InDesign document
©2020 Charlene Brown

Here’s another Christmas letter, with the addition of a watercolour painting of Skagway Alaska.