Wednesday, February 13, 2019

History of Design II


This page from the History of Design shows where the second cross-cultural ‘time capsule’ I compiled last year fits in. Last May I wrote about ‘What the Third century BCE looked like around the world’ 

The paintings in that blog post show the blue-highlighted locations in the table above.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Fixing a bad colour choice



The Hoodoos near Banff
Watercolour, crayon and Photoshop
Charlene Brown

The focal point of this painting is an eerily-shaped natural rock formation, but what I’m going to talk about is the mountain behind it (Mount Rundle again, as it happens) which was, for a time, quite eerily-coloured (see detail, below)

Normally, I paint in the morning in a properly-lit studio, but I wanted this painting to contain distinct shadows on the snow-covered areas as well as the bare rock face. I planned to mask the snowy areas before painting the mountain, so it seemed like a good idea to prepare the painting the night before, putting in the shadows first, allowing time for that paint to dry before applying the masking liquid which also needed time to dry. Anyway, this application of what I thought was cobalt blue shadows, was done under a misleading artificial light, and came out looking like bold veins of turquoise stone. (It was Cerulean blue.)  My first attempt to fix it (a light coating of my favourite crayon) made it quite a bit worse, like the bold veins of turquoise had embedded amethysts! The only solution was to shift the colour using Photoshop, so at least the jpeg of my painting would work.  I liked the result the best when I shifted every colour in the painting.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Energy Storage Haiku



TransCanada Overpass

A series of overpasses has been built to get wildlife safely across the TransCanada Highway in Banff National Park.

Unlike some of the paintings that I have ‘randomly’ selected as haiga backgrounds for the computer-generated haiku, these structures have very little to do with energy storage, other than to look very cold in mid-winter just after sunset.

By  way of explaining the haiku… An air source heat pump is a system which transfers heat from outside to inside a building, based on the principal that air at any temperature above absolute zero contains some energy, and involving a  compressor and a condenser to absorb and then  release heat. On-going research aims to find an efficient combination of air source heat pumps and salt-solution energy storage to smooth out the variable efficiency of the heat pump, a problem shared by all weather dependent, non-combustion energy sources.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

History of Design I

A few years ago I put together a cross-cultural 'History of Design' timeline covering art and architecture from prehistoric times to the beginning of the twenty-first century. To do this, I used either facts I'd learned while visiting archaeological sites or things I'd looked up when I was writing blog posts about them. I plan to link this ‘History of Design’ table to the above time capsules.

This page from the History of Design shows where the first of the cross-cultural ‘time capsules’ I compiled last year fits into the big picture. Last July I wrote about ‘What the Third millennium BCE looked like around the world.’  (Actually the paintings are more likely to show what the third millennium BCE sites highlighted in the table look like now.)



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Commemoration of a generation


Our family’s memorial bench
Watercolour
©2019 Charlene Brown

Looking out over one of the ponds at the top of Banff Ave is a bench commemorating the arrival of my grandparents in Banff in 1904. 

When my daughter and I were in Banff last September, it was the first time we’d seen it covered in snow the benches are taken away and stored each winter.  The ponds are drained too, so we were very lucky to find everything looking so picturesque.

Here’s a close-up of the plaque on the back of the bench.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Christmas in Mexico

Plaza Mijares in San José del Cabo
Watercolour and marker
©2019 Charlene Brown

One of my favourite things about our Christmas trip to Mexico was the Art Walk in San José del Cabo. The event runs every Thursday evening from November to June in this resort city on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. 

The area surrounding the Plaza Mijares is closed to traffic from 5 to 7 pm, and the many galleries and cafes expand into the streets. The galleries offer a wonderful variety of works from traditional silver jewelry with fire opals, to Talavra pottery, colourful weaving, paintings  and Huichol art  ranging from religious traditional themes to the most recent innovations in folk art. 

And of course, brilliant  Christmas decorations are everywhere. Who knew that Mexican Nativity scenes often feature a small herd of deer? 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

This is the 10th Anniversary of 1150 Words by Charlene Brown


Nile at Aswan
watercolour
©2008 Charlene Brown

I started this blog exactly 10 years ago on 2 January 2009, posting this painting of the Nile River at Aswan, as viewed from the roof of our hotel during a UVic travel study program in Egypt.

The rest of this post is a review of progress on various blog-to-book projects during 2018 and my plans for these projects in 2019:

Clean energy haiku/haiga project:  I have compiled 50 illustrated poems using ‘found’ haiku and computer-stylized versions of landscape paintings from all the provinces and territories of Canada into a first draft of a book, ‘Inventing the Future with Clean Energy Haiku.' I hope to have this ready for on-line publication and availability on Amazon later this year. 

I had hoped to complete a first draft of an auto-fictional journal, ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong?’ about the career planning and launching years in the lives of girls in six generations of my family.  I do have what could be called a draft of the first four chapters (beginning in 1898, 1925, 1958 and 1987) but so far, the final chapters (beginning in 2017 and 2042) are still pretty much collections of random thoughts – and speculation. Maybe I'll get enough written that I'll be able to call the whole thing a first draft this year.

I compiled 24 archaeology-related paintings into six cross-cultural ‘time capsules’ representing the following time periods:


A few years ago I put together a cross-cultural 'History of Design' timeline covering art and architecture from prehistoric times to the beginning of the twenty-first century. To do this, I used either facts I'd learned while visiting archaeological sites or things I'd looked up when I was writing blog posts about them. I plan to link this ‘History of Design’ table to the above time capsules.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Old Lobster Traps Never Die

They are made into Christmas Trees
Watercolour, oil pastel and marker
Charlene Brown

I first heard about this custom only this year, but apparently lobster trap Christmas trees were first built in the New England States almost twenty years ago. The idea was picked up in lobster fishing ports in the Atlantic Provinces about ten years ago. There, the trees are often festooned with uniquely painted buoys commemorating fishers who have been lost at sea.  

December being one of the proverbial ‘months with an R’ I wondered at first about this particular use of lobster traps, but I read further and discovered that only traps that have been put to good use for many years and are considered beyond repair are used.