Saturday, May 23, 2015

Glaciers soaring out of sight

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Canoes on Lake Louise
watercolour
©2015 Charlene Brown

Some of my favourite Group of Seven paintings are of the Continental Divide with the tops of the mountains not included.
  
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I’ve taken photographs like these on the right showing reflections of mountain-tops without including all (or any) of the mountain, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever tried a painting like this.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Summer in a steep back yard

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Orchard descending a staircase
watercolour + Photoshop™
©2015 Charlene Brown

This backyard clings to the mountainside at the head of the Howe Sound fjord. 

I took the pictures on which this painting is based about a week ago and the fruit and vegetables in the garden were not in fact as ready to pick as I have shown them. A little crop improvement seemed like the least I could do as I haven’t helped with this particular garden for several years...


Not since that great day when I planted some bulbs in the rock garden and discovered the rocks were not just decorative – they form most of the topsoil. Some of the bulbs were so shallowly ‘planted’ that the squirrels were able to re-purpose them almost immediately.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bridging the gulf of mutual ignorance III


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Lyme Bay Allegory
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

Two of my paintings last year, Intersections of diametrically opposed disciplines and Multi-disciplinary Bridges, were allegories related to bridging C.P. Snow’s ‘gulf of mutual ignorance’ between the disciplines of the arts and sciences.

This third ‘bridging allegory’ painting depicts an actual set of stacked and balanced stones, some bridging the spaces between stacks – that appeared recently near where I live. As the whole thing has been set up on an ‘island’ that only appears at low tide, we have the added drama of the occasional, and mysterious, re-bridging of a gulf, when any of the key components gets washed out.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Cesky Krumlov

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View from the Castle Garden
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown



We were here exactly five years ago, and I painted this same ‘partly Gothic/partly Renaissance’ Cesky Krumlov Castle Tower from a picnic area in the middle of the river.   

Here is the link to this view from the Castle Garden, high above the river. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spring in a busy backyard

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An axonometric projection
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2015 Charlene Brown


According to Wikipedia, in an axonometric projection “the scale of distant features is the same as for near features, so such pictures will look distorted, as this is not how our eyes or photography work.” In fact, the distortion in this painting is caused by shifting and shoving the many features – waterfalls, greenhouse, stream, footbridge, rock garden, hot tub, trampoline, patio, fish pond – viewed from several angles, and forgetting to adjust the perspective from time to time... 
I usually explain this as a 'Cubist' approach, but thought I’d call it ‘axonometric’ this time.  Also, the greenhouse (that isometric axonometric wedge full of seedlings in the far corner) reminded me of a properly drawn axonometric projection of a proposed addition to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria that I saw recently.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Memory enhancement: 1955 and all that

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Paint pots
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown
For centuries, the Ktunaxa, Stoney and Blackfoot First Nations used the ochre beds surrounding the ‘paint pots’ in Kootenay National Park as a source of pigments for ceremonial purposes.The ore was even mined for a time in the early 20th century, before it was decided that this was incompatible with the objectives of the National Park system.
I was there on a school hike in 1955, and have vivid memories of the site and its surroundings... well, not that vivid actually, and not necessarily in the arrangement shown.
This is my 400th post on 1150 Words, a milestone I'm as surprised as anyone that I've reached.
      
 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to illustrate a physics textbook

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The Fine Art of Physics
Photograph and Photoshop™
©2015 Charlene Brown
 
This is the cover of the book I’ve been writing over the past year and a half. It’s available on Amazon  and it’s in a format that allows you to read a few pages for free.
 
The reason I titled this post ‘How to illustrate a physics textbook’ is that, for quite a while, that was the working title of the book. It ended up being the title of Appendix IV, which includes nine (sometimes serious) ways to illustrate a physics textbook, using 30 examples from The Fine Art of Physics.  

The cover illustration ‘Multi-disciplinary Bridges’ is an example of an allegorical representation.          

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My favourite place to paint

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Lake O’Hara
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown
 
It’s been almost six years since the last time I visited this glorious hanging valley in Yoho National Park.  On that occasion I painted a series of sketches on the Opabin Plateau (shown at about the midpoint of the right side of this picture) and have been painting Lake O’Hara from time to time ever since – in hopeful anticipation of going there again some day, ideally at that magical time of year when the larch are at their spectacular best...  It is just about impossible to book the very limited accommodation during that period, or even get in on the quota of day-trippers.