Thursday, January 22, 2015

My kind of mountain

(click on image to enlarge)
Rainbow Mountain, Nevada
Watercolour and crayon
©Charlene Brown

You may have noticed I sometimes emphasize colour to my landscape paintings, especially the colour purple. 

In some locations it’s not easy to find any purple to emphasize, but that is not the case in Red Rock Canyon, which we toured during our Christmas trip to Las Vegas.

The parts of Red Rock Canyon that are actually red are quite nice too, but the spectacular band of purple draped over the shoulders of Rainbow Mountain made it my favourite painting possibility, by far. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Virtual Paintout in Philadelphia

(click on image to enlarge)
Lemon Hill Drive
Watercolour, crayon and CP
©2015 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Philadelphia this month.  It didn’t take me long to find this beautiful ‘street’ view on Google Streetview.

What I was really looking for was a panoramic view, so I looked on the city map for a green space with a view… Finding a street name with the word ‘hill’ in it sounded promising, so I parked there and looked around, et voilà! Here’s the link to it.   

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beginning Year Seven of 1150 Words

(click on image to enlarge)
Christmas in Las Vegas
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

Any of you familiar with Las Vegas will recognize The Strip…  You may also detect some rearranged picture parts – the biggest one being the mountains.  This particular range, including Red Rock Canyon, lies west of Las Vegas, rather than north, as this painting would have you believe.

We alternate between the Calgary/Banff region and ‘someplace warm’ for our family Christmas gatherings, and Las Vegas was our choice in 2014.  While not as warm as some of the places we’ve visited – San Diego, Cancun, Maui – it was about the same as Arizona, with less snow, and some of the pools at our hotel were heated to the only temperature I consider suitable for swimming, 40+ degrees. The casinos (where children are allowed, as long as they don’t touch anything) are spectacular, the shopping and dining are amazing, and – I hope you’ll agree – the surroundings are wonderfully paintable.

Exponentially adjusted January 20.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review of 2014/Plan for 2015

Review of 2014:
What went well? Travel journaling – especially the Balkans trip. I completed 24 paintings,  most of which I’m happy with, and the rest of which provide more interesting illustration than straight-up photographs.  Once again I’ve painted every Google Streetview location presented in the the Virtual Paintout this year. The pictures illustrating this post are from Rome, the December location.
What didn’t?   Adding people to my paintings… I added quite a few, but I’m not generally happy with them. 
What was new?  I finally learned something about iPad art at an excellent ‘Artogrphy’ course at Camosun College here in Victoria.

The Plan for 2015:
What to let go of to start 2015 anew?  Old projects that never got past the background info-gathering stage, or what’s left of those that have been excerpted for better projects.  That’s a lot of paper to be recycled out of binders and files, and a lot of MBs of computer memory to be cleared.
What to continue? I’m planning to continue travel journaling (and, of course, traveling) as much as I can.  So far I have two very tentative travel plans for 2015.  I hope to continue shifting from representational landscapes toward more stylized paintings and add some people to my landscapes.
What would I like for main accomplishment?  Finish ‘Fine Art of Physics’  Start a new book – it will be something I want to read that hasn’t been written yet. Try designing an iPad art app.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas greetings from an OCR poet

3. a r,ilgiggq
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2010 Charlene Brown

Four years ago I ‘abstracted’ a painting of Butchart Gardens using Photoshop.   Then I made it into a 1-minute video showing what this magical place looks like year-round

This picture, which appears at the end of my video, shows the sunken garden with the Christmas lights featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas, including the five gold rings floating on one of the ponds. 

I’ve run it through the CamScanner app on my iPad that generates OCR poetry… and works about as well as most OCR readers. The cheery greeting it found in this Christmas picture is shown above – 3. a r,ilgiggq

Monday, December 1, 2014

Virtual Paintout in Rome

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But I’m still in Luxembourg
©2014 Charlene Brown

I painted the City Hall in Wiltz  a couple of weeks ago, when the Virtual Paintout was in Luxembourg.  When I posted it on the Virtual Paintout site, I discovered that at least two people had painted this lovely scene and decided to try it myself.  What with one thing and another, I didn't finish the second Luxembourg painting until today – too late to post it to the Virtual Paintout, which has moved on to Rome. 
I also took a few minutes to motor around Rome on Google Streetview, to see what I’m going to paint next. Not surprisingly it didn't take long to find several great locations. I hope I can paint one or two of them before December runs out…  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Return to Kananaskis Country

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Sunrise at The Fortress
Watercolour, crayon and CP
©2014 Charlene Brown

I’m not implying that I’ve spent a lot of time in Kananaskis Country by using the word ‘return’ in the title. I've written blog posts here and here about a couple of paintings I did at Rawson Lake, and another about the view of Kananaskis Country from just outside its eastern boundary and I’ve flown over it lots of times. But – I’ve actually gone into the park only about five times – odd, considering I grew up in Banff National Park, which is right next to it! Of course Kananaskis Country is very new – created in 1976 – compared to Banff, at almost 130 years, one of the oldest national parks in the world. I don’t think there was what you’d call a drivable road into Kananaskis when I lived in Banff.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Victoria Flower Arrangers Guild Christmas Show

(click on image to enlarge)

This is Victoria (It is so!)
Watercolour, marker and Photoshop™

We enjoyed the Christmas Show put on by Victoria floral designers last weekend, well ahead of the holidays so we’d have time to organize supplies and put to good use some of what we learned about decorating with combinations of evergreens, flowers and – would you believe – strips of arbutus bark. I probably won’t even try, but painting some of what we saw appealed to me.

Attempting to copy exactly all the details and nuances of any one of the truly splendid designs on display didn’t seem right (or even possible) but I decided that an incorporation of some of my favourites into a ‘landscape’ painting of Victoria could be an appropriate way to interpret this wonderful show. The picture includes the Provincial Legislature (which is in fact completely outlined with hundreds of lights) on the left, the city gardens for which Victoria is famous, a couple of boats on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and, in the distance, the base of the mountains on the Olympic peninsula.