Friday, November 27, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Istanbul

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Firuz Ağa Mosque
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

After finding that good shots at the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are kind of hard to come by on Streetview (I even considered a `streetview` of the Blue Mosque from a ferry)  I had a look at the imposing Galata Tower on the Asian side of town, and almost tried this problematical streetview of it.   Then I just wandered until I happened upon this nicely composed view of the FiruzAğa Mosque as seen from the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Elegant Clean Energy Haiku VIII: Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration

Himeji Castle
t-shirt serigraph

This t-shirt I bought in Japan has a silk-screened design that is either the Japanese characters spelling out the words ‘Himeji Castle’ or a 17-shape haiga painting of the castle. Or both. I haven’t yet finished any of the paintings I started while I was in Japan, so I’ve added this design and the following quotations about haiku and haiga to the series of blog posts on Elegant Clean Energy Haiku I started on July 29 

“Both haiku and haiga translate nature through an artistic language with spiritual immediacy and selfless skill. This is achieved through Zen-like training in contemplation and technique. When the artist has reached the state of wu hsin (no-mind), a plane of mental relaxation and manual dexterity, Tao* can then take control and work through the artist’s hand and eye. This superconscious state is not to be confused with the subconscious swamp in which the surrealists find themselves.”  – On Haiku and Haiga: an essay, by Harold Stewart
 * Tao is a ‘path’ or process rather than a theory – a term used as a convention to refer to something that otherwise cannot be discussed in words.

“Haiku poet and haiga artist alike endeavored to eliminate every superfluous element and to attain an austere beauty, akin to that of abstract art...”  – Haiku Painting, by Leon Zolbrod

When the haiku writer and illustrator is a computer app, these essentially heuristic processes are going to have to be more algorithmic – well, totally algorithmic actually.  It should be possible to get around this apparent contradiction in terms through the provision for some manual input by the user.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Clean Energy Haiku VII: Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration – Plan B (continued)

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‘How to invent stuff’ haiku
©2015 Charlene Brown

I have experimented with the 17-shape design, South American Terraces III, the computer produced a few days ago. The objective was to get some idea of how much adjustment – colour triad, proportion, duplication – as well as a ‘finishing’ application of contour or connecting lines or embellishments  needs to be available in the final step of the Plan B procedure outlined below in order to make the quantum leap.

Plan B for haiku illustration will generate these 17 shapes, rather than deriving them from an existing painting, as was done for this ‘practice’ design.

Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration – Plan B
1.     Define a variety of organic/geometric shapes and display 17 of them (corresponding to the 17 syllables in a haiku) to compose the picture, while printing the haiku.
2.     As with Plan A, placement would begin in one of the Golden Section positions, and proceed according to general assymetric balance guidelines.
3.     Various image manipulations, custom-designed for the 17-shape compisition, would be available (automatic, with the option of manual application)

Will the results be enigmatic but inspirational? Or just bewildering?   …to be continued

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Clean Energy Haiku VI: Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration – Plan B (continued)

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South American Terraces III
©2015 Charlene Brown

How far do you need to go beyond ‘recognizable’ to make the quantum leap?  Further than South American Terraces II... I concluded in my November 8 post.
This picture is the result of cranking Terraces II (after combining the three pictures in it) beyond ‘recognizable’ to non-representational.  Is it now sufficiently abstract to evoke a completely different reality when combined with an enigmatic haiku?

Not entirely coincidentally, the illustration now has only 17 shapes... In my haiku illustration project I plan to have a 17-shape image (corresponding to the 17 syllables in a haiku) appear as the haiku is being printed.

I’m going to try various types and amounts of manual input on this 17-shape design, and will post a sample result in a few days.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Clean Energy Haiku V: Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration – Plan B

South American Terraces I & II
©2015 Charlene Brown

Remember the South American terrace paintings I mentioned in my September 2 blog post? 

In the pictures above they have been ‘abstracted’ by reducing the number and complexity of shapes in their composition. Reducing the complexity beyond the level of recognizability produces a non-representational design.

I hope to show that this design can evoke a quite different reality, especially when considered as a haiga, accompanied by a poem such as this enigmatic little computer-generated haiku:

Less is more for all
Now accelerate

This is where the ‘quantum leap’ I defined at the end of my September 23 post comes in… How far do you need to go beyond ‘recognizable’ to make that leap?  Further than South American Terraces II, I suspect. 

Plan B will continue... 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Clean Energy Haiku IV: Quantum Leap Haiku Illustration – Plan A

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An inspirational ‘how to invent stuff’ non sequitur
©2015 Charlene Brown

Steps in Illustrating Haiku: My original plan for computer-illustrating Haiku involved generating sets of large, medium and small shapes and placing them roughly in Golden section positions as the computer was generating the three lines of clean energy haiku.

The large and medium shapes could be geometric or organic and the small shapes would be in ‘groups’ which could be anything from spatters to groups of people.

Three colours (triad, analogous or split complimentary) would be applied.

When the haiku was printed and the basic diagram is in place, the computer would allow the user the option to adjust the whole picture - shift wavelengths, rotate, mirror, adjust individual shapes - duplicate, change brightness and intensity, expand or contract. Then it would present the option of automatic or manual contour drawing and edge effects.

This computerpainting, 'An inspirational ‘how to invent stuff’ non sequitur' is one of many possible abstract haiku illustrations that could result from this procedure… interesting, but not as inspiring a ‘launching’ point for a quantum leap as I’d thought it might be… Plan B coming soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another road test

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Panorama from Dallas Road
©2015 Charlene Brown

This is the view looking south from Dallas Rd. as it passes Beacon Hill Park here in Victoria.  The photo I used was taken in April when Beacon Hill, and every other Garry Oak meadow on southern Vancouver Island, is bright blue with camus flowers… and the grass is still green. We are in the ‘rain shadow’ of those mountains you can see across the Strait on the Olympic peninsula of Washington State.  Our summers are pretty dry, and grass is only green from October to May.

The panorama format of my new watercolour book is working okay here in Canada… we’ll see how it goes in Japan. (I’m taking some small square sheets as well.)

I have scheduled a series of posts about my Haiku project to be published on this blog while I’m away, and will be back toward the end of November with paintings of Japan.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Road-testing art supplies

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Panorama from Moraine Lake Road
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown
In preparation for my up-coming trip to Japan, I was going through my travel painting supplies, and realized I needed a new Carnet de Voyage (Arches Aquarelle® travel book, containing 15 coil-bound 6 x 10 inch sheets of watercolour paper). I went to the shop where I purchased my last three Carnets and the Millennials in charge had never heard of them, so I settled for a Strathmore® travel book (12 coil-bound 6 x 12 inch sheets). I’ve used Strathmore small sheet paper before, and have no problem with the brand, but found their book to be alarmingly less expensive than Arches, for only slightly less paper... I wondered if the paper might buckle under a splashy wash, or if the surface might not take masking fluid (neither of which I use much while traveling, but you never know)... I also had my doubts about the panorama format.
What better place to road-test my new panorama-format book than on a road? As it happens there is a more panoramic view of the peaks along the continental divide from this point on the road to Moraine Lake than from the lake itself, in the world-famous Valley of the Ten Peaks.  

The book holds up just fine to lots of water and masking fluid too.