Friday, October 31, 2014

Artistic license to operate a cable car

(click on image to enlarge)
Peak2Peak at Whistler
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2014 Charlene Brown

The artistic license mentioned in the title refers to the fact that, although the P2P gondola spans the distance between Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, you can’t actually see the towers, let alone the cable, from the spot this picture was taken on the other side of the valley.

I’ve included the Olympic Sliding Centre, just to the left of the centre of the painting. Not surprisingly, it can’t really be seen from that distance either.

I wrote about the Peak2Peak gondola back in 2009 (the title of the post was ‘72 days to go!’ referring to the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics held at Whistler). Here’s the picture I painted at the time – I used to paint more carefully then.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why should oil painters have all the fun?

(click on image to enlarge)
Banff Springs Hotel
Watercolour, and crayon 
©2014 Charlene Brown

My first impression of red underpaintings was that they were something of a make-work project for artists working with oils or acrylics. But then I noticed that there are wonderful effects to be achieved by leaving just the right flashes of an underpainting exposed, and of course, I wanted to try one.

As this technique is not really open to watercolour painters, I decided to try something that might simulate the result… Starting by drawing the picture in a complementary-coloured wax (paint-resisting) crayon. Given the colours I planned to use to complete the painting, orange seemed like a better choice than red for the fake underpainting, and Banff Springs Hotel is the result.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Virtual Paintout in County Kerry, Ireland

(click on image to enlarge)
East of the Leahill Bog
Watercolour and crayon
©2014 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in CountyKerry  this month. I found this lovely scene, looking east toward Bantry, very quickly after a short drive along a promising-looking stretch of coastline. Here is a link to it inGoogle Streetview

After adding a few people and dogs to the small group that was already there, I decided to put in some heather as well.  There wasn't really any heather that close to the water – it came from the Leahill Bog, which is inland a ways.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another great day in the Gulf Islands

(click on image to enlarge)
Saturna Vineyard
Watercolour and crayon
©2014 Charlene Brown

The Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, a fund raising group to which I belong, organizes several events throughout the year. These include an annual house tour, interior design lecture series, fashion shows, antique appraisals and auctions, and my favourite, the art travel program.
Our group has organized two to three week art tours to St. Petersburg, S.E. Asia and India & Sri Lanka, tours of up to a week’s duration to Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco, and day-trips or over-nighters closer to home to Vancouver, Seattle, all over Vancouver Island and throughout the Gulf Islands. Previously I have written about Campbell RiverQuadra IslandHornby IslandDenman IslandSaltSpring Island, and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

On most of these shorter excursions, many of the participants have visited the locations many times previously but enjoy our unique perspective and an inside look at artists’ studios. Saturna Island, however, being some distance off the main Victoria-Vancouver ferry route, was new to almost all of us.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bridging the gulf of mutual ignorance II

(click on image to enlarge)
Multi-disciplinary bridges
Watercolour, marker and Photoshop™
©2014 Charlene Brown

My first post about bridging C.P. Snow’s ‘gulf of mutual ignorance’  included the introductory paragraphs of Chapter 5 of ‘The Fine Art of Physics.'  

Here is the Table of Contents listing for what is currently in the rest of that chapter.

(This could still change. The file containing the book is still labeled ‘First Draft.’)

Bridging the gulf of mutual ignorance         

Educational Institutions
  • Interdisciplinary Programs
  • Applied or Integrated arts and sciences
Private Sector Firms
  • Internships/career assignment programs designed to reward breadth of experience
  • Multi-disciplinary research and development teams
  • Innovative organizational culture
  • The next Leonardo
Individuals: Being the next Leonardo
  • Education
  • Interdisciplinary teams and work-study programs
  • Tangential thinking capability
  • Intuitive abilities
  • Predicting the future of work 

Friday, September 26, 2014

The 'straight-up Lake Louise' view of Mount Lefroy

Sunrise, 13 July 2014
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2014 Charlene Brown

This view of Lake Louise and the glaciers above it doesn’t reveal the near-perpendicular faces of Mount Lefroy visible in the view I painted last week. Nor does this, one of the most inviting scenes in the Canadian Rockies, reveal the totally uninviting Abbott’s Pass (named for the first climber to fall to his death on it) also shown in last week’s painting, between Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria.

‘Sunrise, 13 July 2014, is based on a photo I took from a third-floor room in the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. I took about forty photos over a one hour period that morning, and I think this one and the photo below, taken about a half hour earlier, were the best of the bunch.

Full moon setting on Victoria Glacier
©2014 Charlene Brown

Friday, September 19, 2014

An unusual view of Mount Lefroy

(click on image to enlarge)
Not the $1,667,500 Lawren Harris sketch
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2014 Charlene Brown

This painting is based on photos of Mt. Lefroy taken from the same direction, but at a slightly higher elevation than an iconic 1930 Harris painting.   (A 1929 sketch for this painting recently sold for 1,667,500 CAD – yes! a sketch).

Mt. Lefroy looks quite different from this angle than in the much more famous view of the north-east face of Lefroy and Victoria Glacier framing Lake Louise. I’m going to paint that ‘straight up Lake Louise’ view next. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Virtual Paintout in Gothenburg

(click on image to enlarge)
Watercolour, oil pastel and crayon
©2014 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Gothenburg, Sweden this month and I think this botanical garden is the nicest place in town. 

I first landed here, as I motored about on Google Streetview, right beside the free-standing espaliered fruit trees (seen here just to the right of the greenhouse), and was going to have only the lily pond and these trees in my painting.  But then I decided it would be a real shame not to include a little bit of the rose garden as well...

Here’s a link to the real thing, so you can have a look at the whole spectacular expanse of Trädgårdsföreningen.