Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five good reasons to paint your own postcards

Mt. Kirinyaga, Kenya
Watercolour and ink
©1996 Charlene Brown
I’d like to mention that an article I wrote, ‘Five Good Reasons to Paint Your Own Postcards, is being featured today on – a really good artists’ reference blog with art tips & techniques and advice on selling art. My story isn’t as weighty in the advice department as many of their articles, but I hope you’ll find it entertaining. Mt. Kirinyaga is one of the postcards I used to illustrate it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Semi-Abstract Egypt

Pyramids at Giza
Computer painting
The Beach at Alexandria
Computer painting
Here are two more of the watercolour sketches I painted in a 6” x 10” Arches Carnet de Voyage in Egypt last October. They’ve been ‘abstracted’ in Photoshop, mainly using the Cutout filter –a new favourite. The Pyramids at Giza is our first look at them as we approached through the city just after sunset. The Beach at Alexandria shows the Mediterranean coastline, featuring eclectic 'Turkish-Florentine' architecture, as seen looking west from our hotel. (Okay, I’ll admit – quite a bit of artistic licence was used in including the Pharos Lighthouse. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World when it was built by Ptolemy I in the 3rd century BCE, but damaged and finally destroyed in a series of earthquakes in the 10th and 14th centuries CE)
I found the huge time spans covered in the various archaeology courses I’ve taken at the University of Victoria confusing and have found it useful to put together a cross-cultural time line on my History of Design website. The pyramids are on page 2 (Third Millennium BCE) and Alexandria is on page 4 (First Millennium BCE)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sea to Sky Highway

Sea to Sky Highway at Horseshoe Bay
©2009 Charlene Brown
Here’s my best guess as to what the road connecting the Olympic venues will look like when completed. I haven’t been able to find a better reference than the series of photos I took as we fled the area between snowstorms last Christmas, so this arrangement of ramps and cuts at the turn-off from the TransCanada Highway is only approximate.
The need to minimize environmental damage – while by-passing the village of Horseshoe Bay and the busy ferry terminal at the base of the cliff – has resulted in some incredibly complex engineering. I think it might be a good candidate for an abstract painting… I’d love to hear from anyone who would like to have a go at it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Passion for Painting Award

Liz Pearson, a South African artist who paints wonderfully expressive portraits of people and animals, passed this award on to me a few days ago. I love the way Liz conveys her subjects’ personalities, and I’m so pleased that she’s included me in her list of people with a Passion for Painting. Then I was surprised to open my blog this morning and discover the award has also been passed on to me by Carol Horzempa, an American artist whose blog posts I have been enjoying very much. I think she can ‘tell a story’ better than anyone.
Now, it’s my pleasure to:
· List seven things that I love: Let’s say all the usual suspects – family, friends, spring flowers, wild birds and animals, most dogs (including Portuguese Water Dogs, of whom I had never heard until recently), selected cats and, of course, chocolate – are givens… and just list my seven favourite mountains: Castle and Bident (Canada), Haleakala (USA), Osorno (Chile) Kenya (Kenya), Rakaposhi (Pakistan) and Lomnický štít (Slovakia). Should admit that only two of these are on my website Paint Every Mountain so far.
· Put a link to the artists who tagged me for this honour
· Pass the honour on to seven artists I feel should receive the recognition, and let them know they received this award:
o Rob Ijbema
o Harry Stooshinoff
o aRt garriott
o Sheila Tajima
o Sherry
o Christine Pierce
o Laura

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Open International Juried Competition

Castle Mountain Sunrise

Watercolour and crayon

©2009 Charlene Brown

This is the painting I’ve been working on for the 7th Annual Canadian Federation of Artists Painting on the Edge competition. Painting on the Edge is open to all living artists worldwide: the deadline this year is June 5.
And they accept email entries! I first became aware of this five years ago, and I’ve entered every year since – and been rejected every time. In the process, I’ve accumulated a sizable Salon des Refusés, which just might make its way into a slideshow on my blog. In the case of Castle Mountain Sunrise, after failing to overcome the odd plaid effect in the Bow River (I even thought of implying I’d done it on purpose by titling the painting McBow River Sunrise) I decided to cut out the middleman and consign it directly to the Salon. I may try another one – I’ve got until June 5. And so have you – I’d love to hear from anyone who decides to enter this competition after first hearing about it on my blog!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kalabsha Temple and El Qurn

El Qurn
Watercolour, crayon and computer
©2009 Charlene Brown

Kalabsha Temple
Watercolour, crayon and computer
©2008 Charlene Brown

The painting I’ve been working on this week will be entered in Painting on the Edge (more about my history with this competition next week) if it turns out. It hasn’t so far, so I’ll take this opportunity to present a couple more of the archaeology sketches I did during last year’s University of Victoria travel study program in Egypt. I’ve been reworking these paintings in Photoshop to various degrees of abstraction, with the two above remaining closest to the way they were painted. Kalabsha Temple is on the edge of Lake Nasser, where it was relocated in 1970 following construction of the Aswan High Dam. El Qurn is the pyramid-like hill which dominates the Valley of the Kings.
The next sketches I’ll write about, Giza and Alexandria, will be abstracted to about the same degree as
Unfinished Obelisk and a couple more, Edfu and Luxor, will be barely recognizable.