Friday, December 30, 2016

More ‘found’ clean energy haiku and haiga

Saskatchewan Crossing
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2016 Charlene Brown

Saskatchewan Crossing is the tenth picture I’ve produced for my ‘clean energy’ haiku project using computer-stylized versions of Canadian landscape paintings.  I plan to expand this Haiku+Haiga series into a compilation of up to 50 poems. And I may even try to explain some of the non-sequiturs in the poems! 

Haiku: a poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven and five syllables, traditionally evoking images of the natural world

Found clean energy haiku: five or seven syllable phrases found in environmental research publications or newspaper articles on climate change.

Haiga: a style of painting that incorporates the clean, minimalist, yet often profound, aesthetic of haiku.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Travels with Our Grandkids II (d) – Maui

Finally the high point of Danny’s time in Hawaii, and the excursion I’d been worried about all week, arrived! A bus picked us up at the dock in Kahului, then we rode the bus to the rim of the Haleakala Volcano (elevation well over 3000 metres) pulling a trailer full of bicycles. 

Here we are just before sunrise, getting ready for the 38-kilometre descent. Yes, it was every bit as cold as it looks, but the ride down – past lava rock, five distinct layers of weather, rainbows, waterfalls, and huge jacarandas, to a spectacular surfing beach (by which time we were out of this industrial-strength rain gear) – was wonderful! 

And here's what the crater looks like.  Parts of it look like it just blew up, but apparently it's been dormant (not extinct) for about 400 years.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Travels with Our Grandkids II (c) – Maui

Just about the first thing we did when we got to Maui was take a helicopter tour of the deep valleys carved into the West Maui mountains – virtually inaccessible by any other means.

This painting shows several waterfalls as seen looking straight down through the side window as the steeply-banked helicopter circled a valley rim.  It was not done on location.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Travels with Our Grandkids II (b) – Hawaii, the Big Island

Here we are arriving at Kona, our second port, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona doesn’t have docking facilities for large cruise ships so it’s necessary to go ashore in tenders (actually a couple of our ship’s lifeboats).
As luck would have it we disembarked just as hundreds of lean and lanky athletes dashed into the water on the first leg of an Ironman triathlon – a 2.4 mile swim in Kailua-Kona Bay (to be followed by a 112 mile bike ride across the Hawaiian lava dessert and a marathon run along the coast).  It wasn’t the famous Kona Ironman World Championship, which is held in the fall, but they all looked like champions to us.

Also on the Big Island, we toured the previously mentioned lava beds, including walking through a huge lava tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Danny even agreed to participate in a precipitous hike through a spectacular botanical garden… on condition that I go for a very scary bike-ride on our second last day… or maybe I agreed to go on the bike-ride only on condition that he see the garden. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Montenegro

Islands in the Boka Kotorska
Charlene Brown

I painted and wrote about several locations in the Balkans a couple of years ago, including three in Montenegro. Two of these, Stari Bar and Kotor, I’ve just discovered can be located in Google Streetview – click here for Stari Bar and click here for Kotor.      

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Travels with Our Grandkids II (a) Kauai

My next trip, with our second grandson Dan, was the only one that didn’t involve an organized intergenerational tour in the summer during the school holidays. Dan wanted to go to a warm place before the end of winter in Calgary, so we selected a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands in March of 2005.

After our flight to Oahu and evening cruise departure from Honolulu, we woke to find ourselves in the beautiful port of Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai. This northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is very rugged with deep valleys and sharp mountain spires draped in lush tropical rainforests. Much of it is only accessible be sea or air.

It is also the least developed or ‘touristy’ of the major islands but we managed to find a shop with the mother lode of t-shirts depicting the spectacular Na Pali coast – the cliffs and waterfalls of which are among the sights best viewed from the sea. So we bought the t-shirts before we’d actually ‘been there, done that’ … Later that day, when we set sail for our next destination, The Big Island, we finally had the ‘best view’ of the Na Pali Coast.