sculpture installation in Canada’s Gulf Islands is nowhere near as old as
Stonehenge, which is said to have been completed 300 years before the Egyptians
built the pyramids, but I found the effect of this spectacularly-situated stone
circle just as stunning. At 4 to 5 meters, the ‘babas’ in the outer circle,
comprised of 3 to 5 stones each, are comparable in height to the monoliths of
Stonehenge, but the figures in the inner circle are built on a ‘human’ scale. And
there is a fire-pit, surrounded by a circle of lawn chairs (not included in the
painting) the better to enjoy the ambiance in true West Coast style.
At the time I was reminded that I have
always hoped to return to Jordan, especially Petra - sometimes described as the ‘rose-red
city, half as old as time...’ - to paint a really exuberant picture of the
Nabatean and Roman structures carved into the cliff face there.
going to Jordan isn’t what it used to be. Apparently there are still a few tourists
going to Petra, but I’m not going to be one of them until things settle down. I based 'A busy day in downtown Petra' on this careful little sketch I made after a very brief visit to Petra in 1993.
is my second picture of Bangladesh, location of this month’s Virtual Paintout. I ventured into the city of Dhaka this time, where I found a lot of crumbling,
littered streets, but Nazimuddin Road was not one of them. I’d have to admit that it is in fact much
tidier than I’ve made it look here. Have a look at the Google Streetview of Nazimuddin Road
We were required to create patterns (drawing,
writing, maps, geometry, collage etc.) or find them. My post about ‘Blending Banff’ was a ‘found’
pattern, a very formal one, ‘Tree of Life,’ frequently seen in Persian rugs.
I found the pattern
for ‘Heli-painting in the Bugaboos as I was using the CamScanner app on my iPad
to record a calligraphic pattern I had just composed… when I noticed the
tabletop itself. Anyone who has been to
art school will recognize this characteristic surface. I just selected a
portion where the colours had an intensity that matched those in my
app-processed photograph of a helicopter taken on a painting trip in the Bugaboos.
After mentioning that there are so many permutations and
combination of digital and analog methods available, I have once again used one
app, Image Blender, to do one thing to produce ‘Blending Banff.’ I combined a photograph of Banff I took from
a flight to Calgary, on which I based ‘Drive-by Painting’ with a pattern from a rug on my dining room table.
Should you be wondering... the reason I have a rug on
my dining room table is because after living in Dubai for ten years, there’s no room for any
more rugs on our floor.
The next adventure in
ARTography will also involve a piece of (more contemporary) art ‘found’ on a
Here’s the list of iPad apps we were required to
download for the ARTography class:
Snapseed: photo enhancement
Photoshop Express: remove spots, straighten, control
Glaze: Stylize whole or part of picture
CamScanner: I used one of this app’s capabilities
(OCR Poetry) in my December 19 post
fast, sharp, better exposed pictures
Camera +: Good for clarity.
Image Blender and Union:
Both can combine two images. Difference is Union
allows you to use third image as mask.
Repix: 20 effect brushes, 16 filters, 11 frames
Digital abstracts. Destroy to
create. Good for glitching (electronic distortion and interference)
There is just about
no end to the ways you can combine digital techniques (app-stacking) and analog
techniques, but I actually only used one filter in one app (Glaze) to produce
this lovely ‘oil’ painting (well, it’s the loveliest ‘oil’ painting I’ve ever
produced.) I decided to quit while I was ahead.
Charlene Brown is a Canadian painter who started writing about painting trips during the ten years she and her husband lived in Dubai. The Gulf Weekly began publishing her accounts of painting trips in that part of the Arabian peninsula -- then said they might consider other countries, even such exotic locations as Canada! She had written about painting trips in over twenty countries by the time her husband retired and they returned to Canada to live.