Friday, April 11, 2014

Creating Art with Impact: Poster 3

(click on image to enlarge)
Two wrongs making a right
Posterized painting, computer collage, watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

The steps I followed in compiling these ‘sustainable technology’ posters, were described in my March 20 post.

As shown in this third example these steps are:
1.     objective: solve ‘old technology’ problem – oil sands pollution.
2.     secondary factors: collaged word pattern
3.     diagram: microbes
4.     transform: take something out

5.     methanogenic bacteria

Friday, April 4, 2014

Leaving Afghanistan

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Mission Accomplished
Watercolour and crayon
©2014 Charlene Brown

This painting is based on a photograph by Kiana Hayeri in the March 2014 issue of the Globe & Mail Report on Business magazine.  

The photograph, showing the Kabul skyline now dominated by cellphone towers, illustrated an article, the theme of which was that the most successful aspect of the Western intervention in Afghanistan may turn out to be a Canadian-run cellphone company. Like most of what we are shown of Afghanistan, the photo was ‘not a pretty sight,’ but I liked its composition, so here’s my interpretation of it. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Creating Art with Impact: Poster 2

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Wind storage
Posterized painting, computer collage, watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

The steps I followed in compiling these ‘sustainable technology’ posters, following the ‘tangential process of creative ideation’ described in my March 5 post, LINK are as follows:

1: Print the title, or main idea of the poster. This should be attention-getting and clear in the case of regular posters, and attention-getting but perhaps a little ambiguous for art posters. Add some background illustration, appropriate to the theme.  I’ve used posterized versions of watercolour landscapes. Posterization of an image entails conversion of continuous gradations of tone to a limited number of value levels and colours, with abrupt changes from one to the next

2: Introduce some secondary objectives and possibilities or even tangential ideas. The additions to the posters are collages of words relating to Economic and Environmental considerations.
3: Compose a very simple outline diagram of a possible solution, which could be based on a few of the ‘labels’ identified in Step 2.  I did the diagrams in crayon on square-ruled paper because I like the ‘look’ this produces, and the grid provides straight lines (always helpful) and facilitates scale drawings.
4: Transform the diagram. Make it bigger or smaller, reverse or invert it by mirroring the image, take something out, combine two diagrams etc. whatever it takes to fit it into the poster. Add annotations. This will incorporate another one of the contrasts between regular posters and art posters. In a regular poster, illustration labels would be succinct; whereas illustrations in an art poster can be annotated with as many of the pieces accumulated in Step 2 as can be fitted in. I had to steer myself away from putting together a montage, in which all the bits are more or less readable.  What I really wanted was a collage, which I think is more suitable for this concept of introducing relatively random ideas…
5: Give names to your ‘solutions’ to the objectives posed in Step 1. Remember it doesn’t have to be obvious how these things are going to work.
The steps as shown in this second example:
  1. objective: solve ‘new technology’ problems.
  2. secondary factors: collaged word pattern
  3. diagram: wind turbines
  4. transformation: run it backwards
  5. wind storage

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Virtual Paintout still in Slovenia

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Vršiška cesta
Watercolour and crayon
©2014 Charlene Brown

This is another spectacular view of Slovenia that I recalled from our 2000 road trip, and had no trouble locating on the map because of the very tight switchbacks. I especially liked this Google Streetview of it because it showcases the intricate cobblestone pattern on the turns… In my journal from 2000 I described this part of the road as follows: On our second day in Kranjska Gora, we drove up to Gorski Prelaz Vrsic, the highest pass in the Julian Alps, and the scenery was about the most spectacular we’d ever seen. In our road atlas the road up the pass was white – same colour as your knuckles if you go up it – which apparently indicates a paved pathway with squared cobblestones on the near-vertical switchbacks. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virtual Paintout in Slovenia

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Lake Jasna
Watercolour and CP
©2014 Charlene Brown

      As soon as I found out the Virtual Paintout is in Sloveniathis month  I proceeded to Kanjska Gora, a lovely place we visited fourteen years ago, on our way home from Dubai.
      We were exploring eastern Europe, and had got talking to some tourists from eastern Germany while at Lake Balaton in Hungary. They said that as long as ‘you Westies’ were discovering all the fantastic places they’re previously had to themselves in the formerly Communist countries, they might as well let us in on the best secret of them all – Triglav National Park in Slovenia.
      I knew of at least two places near Kanjska Gora that I wanted to paint.  Lake Jasna is one of them, and here is the link to it on Google Streetview.   I’ll tell you about another one next week.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another assault on Quantum Physics

quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
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Fractal Gravity Leaks
Watercolour, crayon and Photoshop™
©2014 Charlene Brown
                                                        
The theory of gravity leaks – outlined in a CERN (Centre européen de recherche nucléaire) paper entitled Extra dimensions, gravitons, and tiny black holes   – provides a possible explanation for the peculiar fact that, of the four fundamental forces of nature, gravity is the weakest. You’d expect that gravity, which holds the universe together, would be at least as strong as the forces holding atoms together… but it’s not. The CERN paper says this odd weakness may be explained by the leaking of gravity into another dimension within the atoms of our universe, or maybe into a parallel universe.


This painting is based on a brilliantly drawn diagram of a micro black hole on From Quarks to Quasars  (FQTQ).  The structure in that diagram appears to be fractal, so I sketched some fractals into my painting as well. Fractals are based on a repetitive series of self-similar patterns within a structure, and are normally precision-drawn by a computer following a complex iterative algorithm… but where’s the fun in that?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A tangential process of creative ideation: Poster 1


(click on image to enlarge)
The Gyro Maglev
Posterized painting, computer collage, watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown                     

This is the first in a series of posters I compiled three years ago outlining a tangential process of creative ideation and invention. Using the development of sustainable technology as an example, I made use of Google – the ultimate tangential research engine – in this five-step process.
1.     Decide just what it is you want to be able to do. State this in as few words as possible, and do a Google search on these words. 
2.     Add some secondary objectives and possibilities. Consider the three E’s for more Google search words:
·      energy
·       economics
·      environment
3.     Draw a diagram, labelled and annotated with new words and phrases found in Step 2.
4.     Transform the material you have so far (for example, make it smaller, run it backwards)
5.     Give it a really good name.  Remember it doesn’t have to be obvious how it is going to work.
The steps as shown in this first example:

  1. objective: design new forms of transportation.
  2. secondary factors: collaged word pattern
  3. diagram: flying saucers
  4. transformation: combine with magnetic levitation
  5. gyro-maglev (the ‘bootstrap’ (or crack-pot) concept of magically holding itself up, might need some work)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Have you been here?

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Gros Morne National Park, NL
Watercolour, crayon and gouache
©2014 Charlene Brown


It was the only Canadian province I hadn’t been to, and at the time I fully expected to be crossing it off my bucket list within a couple of years. But here I am, more than four years later, planning to go to Bulgaria and Albania  in a few months… and I still haven’t been to Newfoundland + Labrador