Thursday, March 26, 2015

Virtual Paintout still in Greenland

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Playground at Aqqusinertaaq
Watercolour and CP
©2015 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Greenland for the month of March, and I have found it so fascinating that I've painted another Greenland picture and started on a third! It seems the place has captured the imagination of a lot of other artists, and there are a large number of entries.


I thought this northern-themed playground was wonderful.  You can see it yourself and drive around it on Google Streetview to check out the unique details in the play structures.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Draw me a mountain/Dessine-moi une montagne

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Climbing Mont Royal
Watercolour, crayon and CP
©2015 Charlene Brown

My South African artist friend, Cathy Gatland, told me about a call for on-line entries for an exhibition ‘Draw me a mountain/Dessine-moi une montagne’ a show of sketches created on-or-of Mont Royal in Montreal.

In my reply to her email, I mentioned that I loved the ‘splash-sketch-paint’ method she had used to draw people on a street lined with jacarandas, in the book People and Motion.

I added that I’d been trying to think of another subject that would be as well-suited to this lovely technique, given we have so few jacarandas here in Canada. Much later, I put the two thoughts together and it occurred to me that some pictures I took on the steps leading to the plateau on Mont Royal were perfect for a splash-sketch-painting.


I won’t be entering ‘Climbing Mont Royal’ in the show because it doesn't really fit the plein air/urban sketching theme of the exhibition. Not only is it based on those photos which were taken 30 years ago when my daughter was at McGill at the base of the mountain, but I added some buildings that weren't even built then. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Twentieth Century Flashback

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Mt. Kenya
Watercolour monotype and Photoshop™
©1996 Charlene Brown

I decided I’d like to see this originally-vertical monotype in a square format, so I distorted the jpeg image in Photoshop. This is actually a little better representation of the shape of the mountain than it was before the Photoshopping. 

And it’s now quite similar to the outline of another mountain I painted three years ago Mt. Baker – not surprising, given they’re both volcanoes. The main difference is the Mt. Kenya is extinct and sports dozens of precipitous volcanic plugs, left when the rest of the mountain was eroded during two periods of glaciation. The much more recently-formed Mount Baker, still thermally active from time to time, is heavily glaciated and has a much more streamlined appearance.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Greenland

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Kapisilinni Nuussuarmi
Watercolour and CP
Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Greenland this month  – quite a change from last month’s location.

I'm guessing that in the history of intercontinental travel, nobody has ever taken  the direct route from Bangladesh to Greenland. Suddenly now, all the participants and followers of the Virtual Paintout  are making the trek! 
I haven’t yet been to Greenland for real, but I did some painting in Pangnirtung and Auyuittuq National Park 25 years ago.  That part of Nunavut, in Canada, is about 700 km west of, and similarly paintable to, Kapisilinni Nuussuarmi. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reminiscent of Stonehenge

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Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

This sculpture installation in Canada’s Gulf Islands is nowhere near as old as Stonehenge, which is said to have been completed 300 years before the Egyptians built the pyramids, but I found the effect of this spectacularly-situated stone circle just as stunning. At 4 to 5 meters, the ‘babas’ in the outer circle, comprised of 3 to 5 stones each, are comparable in height to the monoliths of Stonehenge, but the figures in the inner circle are built on a ‘human’ scale. And there is a fire-pit, surrounded by a circle of lawn chairs (not included in the painting) the better to enjoy the ambiance in true West Coast style. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

You can’t get there from here anymore

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A busy day in downtown Petra
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

A few weeks ago, I posted a ‘bleached,distressed, colourized photograph taken at Kerak, a Crusader castle in southern Jordan.  
At the time I was reminded that I have always hoped to return to Jordan, especially Petra - sometimes described as the ‘rose-red city, half as old as time...’ - to paint a really exuberant picture of the Nabatean and Roman structures carved into the cliff face there. 
But going to Jordan isn’t what it used to be. Apparently there are still a few tourists going to Petra, but I’m not going to be one of them until things settle down.  I based 'A busy day in downtown Petra' on this careful little sketch I made after a very brief visit to Petra in 1993.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Virtual Paintout still in Bangladesh

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Nazimuddin Road, Dhaka
Watercolour and marker
©2015 Charlene Brown

This is my second picture of Bangladesh, location of this month’s Virtual Paintout.  I ventured into the city of Dhaka this time, where I found a lot of crumbling, littered streets, but Nazimuddin Road was not one of them.  I’d have to admit that it is in fact much tidier than I’ve made it look here. Have a look at the Google Streetview of Nazimuddin Road

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Bangladesh

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Bridge on the Dhaka - Chittagong Hwy
watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Bangladesh this month. Apart from being about as flat as any country I've ever attempted to paint, Bangladesh turned out to be not bad at all as a place to look for painting locations. Here's the link to this one.