Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Warning: Do not use these maps in a moving vehicle, or if actually trying to locate something!

Ranchlands west of the city
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown
The city
 Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown



Even people who live within the area covered by these ‘maps’ may not recognize the city immediately... 

Does the colour of the water in the river and the reservoir help at all? 

No? Well okay, here’s a better clue


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Majorca

Puerto de Valldemossa
Watercolour, crayon and gouache
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Majorca this month. I’ve never been to Majorca, but if I ever go there and find my way to this part of it, I’ll definitely spend some time in the café in the centre of the picture… Surprisingly enough, in the Google Streetview I used, there was hardly anybody sitting there (it must have been really early in the morning or something) so I ‘implied’ a few more with crayons,.

The jacarandas came from a street in Palma, about 16 kilometres south of here, another pretty Streetview I had considered painting. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do you recognize this city?

Ottawa on the Bow
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2016 Charlene Brown

As you may know, Ottawa is nowhere near the Bow River and is actually situated on the Ottawa River…

The Bow is in the Rockies and carries traces of all the glacier-fed lakes that flow into it, whereas the Ottawa is just sort of river-coloured, so I bumped it up – hence the name, ‘Ottawa on the Bow.’


I didn’t have any pictures that included all three of the (in my opinion) most paintable buildings in Ottawa – the National Gallery, the Chateau Laurier –  and the Parliamentary Library, so I used this Google Streetview from Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the river.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I've never lived in this city

Edmonton
Watercolour , CP and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown


Actually, I did live in Edmonton from 1959 to 1962, but the city pictured here was not there at the time. The only structures in this painting that I remember from my university days are the High Level Bridge and Provincial Legislature on the far left and the Fairmont MacDonald Hotel, which is just about exactly in the middle – and it is quite different from the MacDonald I remember. Back then, the hotel had a huge ‘Brutalist’ addition, and the whole structure was referred to as a ‘tiny perfect chateau and the box it came in.’ Anyway, the box has been removed, and dozens of much nicer boxes have been added to form today’s Edmonton skyline.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Virtual Paintout still in Scotland

A Parliament like no other
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

From the outset, the Scottish Parliament building and its construction were controversial. Begun in 1999 with completion planned for 2001, it actually opened in 2004, £400 million over-budget. The design won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize, and, according to Wikipedia, has been described as a tour de force of Arts & Crafts design and quality ‘without parallel.’  It also placed fourth in a 2008 poll on what UK buildings people would most like to see demolished.


I think the driver on a tour bus I was on in 2007 might have been one of the folks who placed this building so high in the demolition rankings the following year. We drove by so fast that, by the time he even mentioned what it was, we'd missed most of it. I like the uniqueness of the look of the place but couldn’t find a Streetview that gave any sort of idea of its overall appearance, so I’ve settled for this glimpse of the front(?) from Horse Wynd.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Scotland

Inverness Castle
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Scotland this month .  I’ve visited Scotland a few times over the years, as I am of Scottish descent, so I went looking for some special locations I’ve seen.  I couldn’t find good Streetviews for the first few I tried – standing stones at Ballymeanoch, Cambelltown  and on the island of Gigha – and knew better than to try a place I’d painted before.  Then I remembered a great view of Inverness Castle from a hotel we stayed in at Inverness... We were there in July, so I wasn’t aware of the spectacular splashes of daffodils all over the lawns there until I found them on this Google Streetview


Incidentally, when I first learned that the Virtual Paintout was to be in Scotland this month, I had mentioned that I might try the Scottish Parliament (and plan to paint it next). One of the people who had heard me say that saw me working on this painting and said, “So that’s what the Scottish Parliament looks like... what’s so controversial about it?” Wait until he sees the real thing!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review of 2015/Plan for 2016

Christmas in Balboa Park
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2016 Charlene Brown

“We tend to overestimate what we can do in an average day but underestimate what can be done over the course of a year. Looking at a whole year in review, you may be surprised at everything you’ve accomplished.” Encouraged once again by this statement by Chris Gillebeau, I’m having a look at what I’ve accomplished with this blog in the past year. Here are some highlights concerning progress on The Plan for 2015.

I’ve excerpted and combined information and ideas from old projects that I haven’t looked at for a while and made some of them part of a new project.  My new project, a compilation of things I have started to write about Visualization, is an offshoot of the Fine Art of Physics book I completed in April of 2015.  I’ve begun with a series of posts about visualizing and illustrating ‘clean energy’ haiku poetry.  Will the results be enigmatic but inspirational? Or just bewildering?

In the area of travel journaling, I painted a series of 15 sketches during and after an Art Gallery of Greater Victoria trip to Japan in November... and I’ve done my usual 'virtual travel journaling' by participated in all 12 Virtual Paintouts this year, PhiladelphiaBangladeshGreenlandBhutanCesky KrumlovEstonia, Santa FeMontereyUtah, The Philippines, Istanbul  and Ecuador.   

The Plan for 2016:
I’m planning to continue travel journaling (and, of course, traveling) as much as I can, as well as continuing to shift from representational landscapes to more stylized paintings and adding some people to my landscapes.

I hope to make significant progress on my new Visualization project.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Japan sketchbook - 14

Himeji Castle
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2015 Charlene Brown

The next day we were off to Himeji to see the White Heron Castle, “the best castle in Japan or possibly the world,” according to our guide. Its recently-unveiled refurbishment is “too white” according to some, but was just perfect against a deep blue sky that day.
We climbed to the top – in stocking feet up many flights of ladder-steep stairs – so I was able to photograph this unique view including a tiny portion of the very complex tile roof.  I decided to paint that instead of trying to capture all of the ornate gables in the prototypical Japanese castle architecture