Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Cave & Basin



The springs above the cave
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada commemorates the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system, which began there in 1885.  Naturally occurring warm mineral springs can be found inside the cave and outside in an emerald-coloured basin.

I worked at the Cave & Basin for three summers when the Parks Department operated the place as a public swimming pool some fifty years ago while I was at university.  At the time, I didn’t give much thought to any water other than the milky sulphur pools people were swimming in – I’d been down to the warm marsh at the base of the mountain exactly once and I was completely unaware of the lovely springs and pools above the cave. 

Even now, although there are lots of warm and hot springs all along the mountain chains in Alberta and British Columbia, most of us don't them much thought. We should be looking at geothermal power potential more seriously, though probably not at any spring that happens to have given birth to a National Park.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A high alpine cirque reached with minimal effort

Ptarmigan cirque
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

I found the ‘minimal effort’ comment I used for the title on a Kananaskis Country website, probably written by one of those sporty Boomers I’ve had problems with before.  He (or she, but probably he) was referring to the already high road access… The Ptarmigan Cirque trailhead is at an elevation of 7200 ft. on the Highwood Pass, the highest driveable mountain pass in Canada. I’ve only been up there once, and I don’t recall the effort being particularly minimal.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Virtual Paintout still in Sri Lanka

Bodhiraja Mawatha
Watercolour, CP and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

Here is another VirtualPaintout Streetview painting of Sri Lanka, this time near Kandy, in the picturesque mountain area in the centre of the country. Here is the link to it.

I was thinking of naming the painting ‘Looking for a hotel along the Bodhiraja Mawatha’ as many of the dozens of signs along this stretch advertise hotels (the Hill’s Edge Hotel is my favourite). Then I realized the day is long gone when I would arrive in a place this full of fantastic things to see and paint without knowing exactly where I was going… or, better yet, being driven in a nice air-conditioned bus by someone who knew exactly where I was going.  



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Sri Lanka

Just south of Trincomalee
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Sri Lanka this month.  This tranquil scene near Mutur shows a thatched cottage on the beach with racks of branches, probably for drying fish, judging from the rows of outrigger canoes lining the shore... or possibly to provide shade for a vegetable garden or for the chickens, should they care to wander outside the basket-weave fence.  Here’s a link to the Streetview the painting is based on. You figure it out…


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Clean and very paintable technology

Pincher Creek
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

For some time I have been fascinated with innovative ‘clean’ technology, and especially how it’s being implemented in Canada. The Pincher Creek area shown in this painting is a particularly windy part of Alberta, the province widely portrayed as the source of the world’s dirtiest oil.


I plan to paint other examples of clean and very paintable technology in the planning stages or already up and running in Canada.  As far as I know, we have nothing as fantastic as the incinerator I painted during a DanubeRiver cruise in 2011,but I’m pretty sure there are lots of beautiful innovations to paint out there.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mount Assiniboine Reflections


The Lake with the Secret Name
Watercolour
©2016 Charlene Brown

This is the north face of Mt. Assiniboine reflected in a very well-known, but unnamed, lake.  And here’s my theory as to why this particular lake has never been named…

It has in fact been named by everyone who has ever seen it! I think everyone has special memories associated with it, especially those who are lucky enough to come across it very early in the morning or late in the evening when everything is calm and the surrounding mountains are reflected perfectly. And these memories are of course secret.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Virtual Paintout still in New South Wales

A glimpse of a mountain
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The first thing I learned when I went looking for a Streetview to paint in Blue Mountains National Park is that the park is heavily forested.  You can drive for miles without seeing more than a glimpse of the mountains.


Here’s my favourite glimpse, and (a few of) the trees it came with, as well as a link to the actual Streetview, including all the trees.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Virtual Paintout in New South Wales

The most recognizable harbour in the world
Watercolour
©2016 Charlene Brown


I was pretty sure right from the start that I’d be painting the Sydney Opera House. However, it seemed likely a lot of other painters would have the same idea, so I thought I’d better find a unique angle, and seriously considered this view from the bridge  for a while, before settling on this Streetview from Milson Road on Cremorne Point.  

Of course, I also had a look around for paintable mountains and found lots of pretty panoramas in Blue Mountains National Park.  Maybe next week…