Sunday, August 25, 2019

A significant (religious) first

Colony of Avalon NL
©2019 Charlene Brown

Our tour of the reconstructed Colony of Avalon south of St. John’s included a hike around the settled part of the peninsula to see the original home sites, remnants of the water system, newly planted and strongly fenced food gardens, a look at a string of islands across the mouth of the harbour which still accommodate small herds of sheep herds that spend their summers there - unaccompanied but safe from predators.  We also explored various waterfront buildings dating from the 1620s, housing a working bakery and a (non-working) alchemist’s operation as well as furnishings bearing the carved insignia of Elizabeth I.

There is also a large new building with a museum and a well-equipped archaeological research laboratory where the many artifacts found at the site are studied. Of particular significance is an ornate baroque cross believed to have fallen from the steeple of the Catholic church here. The presence of this artifact in the colony symbolizes something of a breakthrough. Despite the severe religious conflicts of the period, when Lord Baltimore launched the colony he secured the right of Catholics to practice their religion unimpeded, embracing the novel principle of religious tolerance for the first time in North America. Only 3-D printed replicas of the cross were available for viewing – see photo on the right – owing to its fragility.

The bergy bits in the lower left of the painting are the remnants of stranded icebergs.  Hard to believe that this cove, at latitude 47 degrees N is more than a degree further south than Victoria (48.4 degrees N) - where we have palm trees.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The prettiest place in all of Newfoundland + Labrador – well, one of the prettiest places...

Trinity NL from Gun Hill
Watercolour and marker
©2019 Charlene Brown

This lovely town, which featured prominently in early European contact with North America, was named by Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real when he arrived here on Trinity Sunday in 1501.

Fishermen from England began using Trinity as a base in the 1570s and gradually began to settle the area and export fish to Britain.  Due to its importance in British-Newfoundland trade it was captured twice by the French during the Anglo-French Wars of 1696-1713 and once more during the Seven Years War of 1756-1763.

Trinity was also the site of the first court of justice in North America, the Court of the Admiralty, held in 1615.  In 1798, vaccination for small pox was introduced to the New World in Trinity by John Clinch, a medical colleague of Edward Jenner. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cove with Pirate Cave (Not)

Brigus NL
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This picturesque fishing village, first settled in 1612, has many attractive features, including the Hawthorne Cottage - a National Historic Site of Canada, the Stone Barn Museum and the Harbour Pond shown here, neatly lined with stone walls, as are the small rivers flowing into it through a community park. But the main attraction, sometimes thought to be a pirate cave (it really does look like it could be one, opening out to deep water from a sheer cliff) is the Brigus Tunnel.  It was built by the famous Captain Abram Bartlett because he sometimes had trouble finding a place to park and unload his fishing schooner in the sheltered cliff-side harbour. He purchased property behind the church in the upper left of the painting, and had a 25-metre-long tunnel dug (and blasted using gunpowder) through the ridge at the edge of the property. 

So, no treasure chests full of ill-gotten gains hidden here, but right up until about 1910 lots of fish went through.  And more recently lots of tourists.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Neighbourhood Icebergs

Quilts in the breeze at Gunners Cove
Watercolour and marker
©2019 Charlene Brown

Large icebergs which have ‘calved’ off glaciers in Greenland drift south along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador every spring. Some get hung up on shoals or trapped in coves and stay in town for weeks providing a steady supply of almost perfectly pure ice for anyone brave enough to go out in a boat and chop some off (those things roll, you know).  I’m sure there are many uses for this unique resource, but the only one we were told about was the brewing of iceberg beer.

 I took a lot of photos of these icebergs in various neighbourhoods, including an especially decorative one in Saint Lunaire-Griquet (shown on the right) two kilometres south of Gunners Cove.   I even considered including this particular iceberg in the painting of Gunners Cove, which provided a more paintable foreground, but decided to stick with the ones that were actually there. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Versions of History

Cupid’s Cove NL
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This is the view of Cupid’s Cove from the Cupids Legacy Centre which was built in 2010 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first English settlement in Canada. There are those who dispute the claim that this settlement was the first, but the near-by Cupids Cove Plantation archaeological dig has yielded ample documentation and evidence of construction activity and farming beginning in 1610. It was certainly among the first.

The Legacy Centre also flies the three flags that are official flags of Newfoundland and Labrador – from left to right in the painting, the Provincial flag, adopted in 1980, the Canadian flag adopted in 1965, and the Union Jack, the official flag of the Colony of Newfoundland before Confederation in 1949, when Newfoundland and Labrador became a Canadian Province. The Legacy Centre does not fly the Newfoundland Tri-colour (pictured on the right), mistakenly thought to be an official flag and sometimes flown by contrarians but mainly seen on ‘Republic of Newfoundland’ tee-shirts.

Another source of variations in the history of Newfoundland is included in this painting – the two towers on Spectacle Head on the other side of the cove. Depending on who is telling the story, these towers:
  • predate the Norse colonization in the late 10th century
  • predate English settlement, having been erected in sets of three all along the Atlantic coast to guide European fishing fleets to safe harbour
  • predate Confederation having been built by a man who still resides in Cupids Cove, when he was a teenager.      

Sunday, July 21, 2019

A clear path to 2050

The Paris Agreement dealing with GHG emissions mitigation, ­adaptation, and finance, was signed by almost 200 countries in 2016.  Its goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. (It is generally agreed that limiting the increase to 1.5 °C would substantially reduce the risks and effects of climate change, but temperature increases in parts of Canada’s north are already close to double that.)

Each country must determine, plan, and report on the contribution that it undertakes – generally in reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity production. It has been proposed by the Green Party that Canada set a goal of eliminating the use of ­fossil fuels by 2050. Others have similar, less drastic, ideas, but no political party, industry or economic sector has laid out a clear path or timetable to achieve this.

And here’s an explanation of the first two lines of the haiku… Even though any comprehensive schedules for such massive, years-long undertakings will require constant adjustment and fine-tuning you have to start somewhere. The third line refers to clean transition bonds, a proposed new financing tool that would enable Canada’s energy and other carbon-intensive industries to finance emission reduction and leverage opportunities for process improvement and new product development.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hiking on Signal Hill for real this time

St. John’s NL
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This view of the harbour is from the Ladies’ Lookout Trail above the Cabot Tower on Signal Hill.
I painted the same area from a different angle a few years ago  ago.

I prefer the (almost) real thing, as shown above.  I was able to include a couple of the Signal Hill tarns, George’s Pond and Deadman’s Pond, and two  icebergs outside the harbour. One is the same iceberg I posted last week at Cape Spear, which can be seen in the background.  The other wasn’t actually there the day I took the photos on which this painting was based I photographed it ten days later from downtown St. John’s when we returned there before flying home. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

I have finally made my way to all 13 provinces and territories of Canada!

Cape Spear – the most easterly point in North America
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

Beginning June 13, a group of 26 of us embarked on a University of Victoria travel study program, ‘Discover Newfoundland!’ We were a fairly well-travelled bunch, but more than half of us had never been to the province of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL).

This is the first of several pictures I plan to paint of the places that we saw. Built in 1836, the first Cape Spear lighthouse (upper right in the painting) was designed in the unique architecture of the time – on top of the lightkeeper’s residence. The ‘new’ lighthouse tower (upper left) was built in 1955.

St. John’s, the capital of NL, is just over 5000 kilometres by air (almost 8000 kilometres if you take the TransCanada Highway) from Victoria.  It took all day (7 am PDT to 10:30 pm NDT) to fly there, what with stops in Vancouver and Toronto, and a 4.5 hour time difference. It is 2000 km closer to Ireland than it is to Victoria. 

Needless to say, it was well worth the effort I hope I can convey some of my enthusiasm for this distant province in the paintings I will post over the next few weeks.   

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Graphene Haiku

The incredible properties and potential uses of graphene could mean that it will replace silicon as the fundamental building block of a new age. As well as being the thinnest, strongest and lightest known material, graphene is flexible, impermeable to molecules and extremely electrically and thermally conductive.

It has been used to make water filters capable of purifying, desalinating and extracting minerals from water much more efficiently than present methods, and fabric that is perfectly suited for making clothing that must be breathable and well insulated.

Theoretically it could be made to act as a superconductor at room temperature or to replace batteries by generating and storing ‘solar power without sunlight’ as mentioned in my blog post on Found Haiku

Line 1: Although graphene is simply graphite in the form of a sheet of networked carbon, it was discovered and isolated for the first time very recently, in 2004, and the synthesis of usable quantities is still very difficult and expensive. More efficient methods of production are gradually being developed.

Line 2: The highly unusual properties of grapheme mean that anything researchers are able to learn will likely lead to unexpected applications in apparently unrelated industries.

Line 3: Research and development potential appears to be unlimited.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Microrobotics Haiku

This haiku, randomly computer-generated from ‘found’ phrases related to clean energy research, is apparently advocating the use of reactionless drives and fake photosynthesis in the production of miniature robots.

Here's a line-by-line explanation of the terms:

Line 1: reactionless drive: objective of research  to develop an apparatus, such as a gyroscope, which is capable of producing unidirectional thrust without the equal and opposite reaction mentioned in Newton’s Third Law.

Line 2: Artificial photosynthesis is one of the next generation of renewable energy technologies referred to in Lake Water Storage Haiku. 

Line 3: Microrobotics  or microbotics is the study of mobile robots less than 1 mm in diameter.

So far I have no explanation for the haiku as a whole.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Back-to-the-land Haiku

Enclaves of artists and artisans have lived and worked for many years on Hornby Island where – some since the back-to-the-land days of the Sixties. The Town Hall shown here has a splendidly landscaped roof and walls of stackwood construction – not often used for large structures such as this.  This method, also called cordwood masonry, has been revived by the sustainability movement.  Cordwood or short pieces of debarked tree are laid up at right angles to the wall surface with masonry or fireproof and earthquake resistant cob.

An explanation of the haiku on the painting:
Line 1: On a Price/Quantity graph, market is in ­equilibrium where Demand and Supply curves ­intersect.
Lines 2 and 3: Both these concepts are, like Line 1, factors embraced by the sustainability movement.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Most-climbed, least-painted mountain around

Mount Temple
Watercolour and CP
©2019 Charlene Brown

Mount Temple, at 3544 m the highest mountain in the Lake Louise area, dominates the scenery in the Bow Valley, but is painted much less frequently than the other glacier-topped mountains surrounding it. This is probably because the other mountains are more picturesquely situated in hanging valleys with spectacular turquoise lakes such as Louise, Moraine and Consolation in front of them.
On the other hand, Temple is by far the most popular climbing mountain in the area. In fact just about all the information relating to Temple on the internet has to do with climbing it, including tips on how to avoid dying on it. The picture below, a portion of one of the illustrations in a publication, Banff National Park Guide to Mount Temple  says it all as far as I am concerned. The fact that they lead with an explanation of how to signal for a helicopter rescue reinforces my plan to stick to routes where the only special equipment required is some paint and brushes.
Click on picture to enlarge

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tidal Power Haiku

This fjord, another candidate for tidal power, is even further north than Pangnirtung, which I wrote about last year.

Here is an explanation of the haiku on the painting of the Sam Ford Fjord, above.
Line 1: Additional transportation costs and logistic complications of delivering supplies to such locations make it critical to use everything twice, wherever possible.
Line 3: To build an algorithm means to define the process or set of rules required by a computer to enable it to do calculations or other problem-solving operations. Properly coded algorithms might even enable a computer to execute ­heuristic (interactive, trial-and-error, rule-of-thumb) processes.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Another Synergy Haiku

Relative to the energy obtained from the burning of fossil fuels, non-combustion renewable energy is generally less reliably available exactly when needed.  Because of the intermittent or seasonal ­nature of most forms of renewable energy, efficient energy storage is ­essential.

Line 1: Phase change dynamics is the study of  heat storage in phase change materials, which absorb or release large amounts of  latent heat (heat of vaporization, melting etc) when they go through a change in their physical state, i.e. from solid to liquid and vice versa..
Line 2: The light in a fiber-optic cable travels through the core with total internal reflection. Because the cladding does not absorb any light, the light wave can travel great distances.
Line 3: Combine these concepts for a synergistic total.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Group Access Only

Consolation Lake
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This lake is an easy climb up from Moraine Lake, but I haven’t been there since 1971, despite having been to Moraine Lake several times.
 This is because of the Group Access regulations.  Hikers are legally required to travel in “a tight group of four or more” when Group Access is in effect (see map below, left) because of the danger of grizzly bears.

The Consolation Lakes were given this name by someone who had hiked in to Moraine Lake, found it totally unimpressive, and wandered around a bit trying to find something sufficiently spectacular to justify all the trouble he’d taken to get there. He must have arrived in June or early July, when Moraine Lake was newly ice-free and the water level was very low.  At that time of year the lake is sometimes quite small and surrounded by a wide mud slope because the glaciers hanging above it haven’t started to melt. The Consolation Lakes are somehow less reliant on glacier meltwater, and have a year-round alpine fen.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Reining in greenhouse gas (GHG)

This in another entry in the Transitioning chapter in the Clean Energy Haiku book.

Even though Canada’s contribution to global GHGs is miniscule compared to – say – China, it is unlikely that there is a contiguous population of under 40 million anywhere in the world the emits as much as we do.

And this is an attempt to make sense of the haiku on the above painting of Lunenburg NS.

Line 1: bootstrap propulsion: when operation is no longer dependent on outside power or (GHG-emitting) propellants it is said to be in a self-sustaining, or bootstrap, operation.
Line 2: Tangential economics means applying economic principles to real-world events that may not often appear connected to economics.
Line 3: In the early stages of transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy, while we are still so fossil-fuel dependent, the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) must be reduced where  ever possible.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

My 116th Canadian Rockies blog post

Banff again
Watercolour and crayon
©2019 Charlene Brown

I was once quoted by Katherine Tyrrell, on her blog Making a Mark writing, “ ...until I was about eight, I was only vaguely aware that anybody painted anything but the Canadian Rockies.” 

The Rockies, especially the Banff area, continues to be a favourite location, with this being my 116th Canadian Rockies blog entry. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Synergy haiku

Here’s an interpretation of the haiku on the painting of Lake O’Hara, above.

Line 1: Storable power: energy storage systems convert electricity into a storable form of energy and release the energy back as electricity at a later time. Storage technologies under study include pumped-storage hydropower, compressed air systems that can spin a turbine, and utility-scale batteries.
Line 2: Net zero-ready building: designing building to be very energy efficient with the appropriate infrastructure to handle an on site power when the price of onsite generation (from photovoltaics for example) and storage comes down
Line 3: This is synergy: creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Not to be confused with the Leighton Artists Colony*

Leighton Art Centre
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

British-born artist Alfred Crocker (AC) Leighton came to Canada commissioned to paint the Rockies by the Canadian Pacific Railway.  In 1933, he initiated a summer art school near Banff.  This led to the establishment of the Banff School of Fine Arts, which became the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
In 1952 Leighton and his wife built a home on a property west of Calgary, with a “300-mile view of the Rocky Mountains"  paid for with a cheque written on a page of his sketchbook.
Following his death in 1965, his wife Barbara, already an artist in her own right, enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design, where she received a diploma in fibre and metal crafts. At ACAD she found the support of young artists who were attracted to the Leighton history and the artistic and natural beauty of their home and property and her idea of turning it into an Art Centre.
In 1970, Barbara sold half of her quarter-section to invest in the purchase for $1000 of an abandoned 1919 one-room schoolhouse. Her friends pitched in to help restore the building and convert it to an art studio, which became the heart of the Leighton Art Centre’s extensive children’s programs Eventually, weaving and pottery studios and a large greenhouse were added to the house, all in the half-timbered Arts & Crafts style of Leighton’s original design.

* Perhaps I am the only person who has tended to conflate the Leighton Art Centre and the Leighton Artists Colony...  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Really Old Climate Records

The paleontologist who discovered the Burgess Shale in 1909 was so impressed with the extent and diversity of the layers of fossils, that he returned over a dozen times, finding more life forms every time. Over the years the Geologic Survey of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum got involved and many additional outcrops have been found, stratigraphically both higher and lower than the original. These layers continue to yield new organisms faster than they can be studied.

Here is an explanation of the haiku on the painting of Emerald Lake and the Burgess Shale, above:
Line 1: Shale stores ‘fossil fuel’ energy.
Line 2: Paleoclimatologists studying fossil records found a rapid acceleration in the diversification of complex organisms during the Cambrian Explosion, a period half a billion years ago, during which most major phyla in existence today appeared.
Line 3: When researchers understand the climate of time of the Cambrian Explosion and its effects, this could add synergistically to their ability to predict long-term future effects of the range and rate of climate change.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hardly anyone I know has been here

Avenue of the Baobabs
Watercolour and crayon
©2019 Charlene Brown

I have to admit there’s a certain appeal to visiting places very few of your friends have seen. Madagascar appeared on this particular part of my bucket list when I heard from a friend from our Dubai days that she had made the trip and loved it.

The place may not be ideal for a painting trip, however. What my friend found most enchanting and I’d have to agree were the many varieties of lemur. And they seem to be just about impossible to even photograph, let alone paint. 

What are paintable, and almost as unique to Madagascar as the lemurs, are the baobab trees.  The huge ones found on the ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’ are up to 800 years old and almost 50 meters around the base. Their origin was explained by early, apparently very imaginative, Arab traders, as regular trees that had been ripped out of the ground and replanted upside down, probably by the devil.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Climate Migration Haiku

The emerging phenomenon of climate migration refers to the enforced evacuation of areas about to be rendered uninhabitable or submerged by climate change. This migration is likely to be northward and upward to higher elevations, and may eventually shift population concentrations. How will this previously unforeseen circumstance be handled?

Here is an explanation of the remaining lines of the haiku on the painting of the Kluane Icefield, above:
Line 2: Reaching grid parity is considered to be the point at which an energy source becomes a contender for development.  By eliminating the huge costs of electricity transmission or transport of fuels for on-site generators, the development of alternate energy sources is especially important in the North.
Line 3: It is possible that melting permafrost could not only exacerbate global warming by releasing methane and other powerful greenhouse gases, but might have initiated a runaway process of temperature increases. It also could cause erosion because permafrost lends stability to barren Arctic slopes.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Easier to get to than some parts of BC that I’ve painted

Sandcut Falls
Watercolour and crayon
©2019 Charlene Brown

Sandcut Beach is on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, along the Juan de Fuca Highway between French Beach Provincial Park and Jordan River.  It’s about a ten-minute walk in from the highway about 30 kilometres past Sooke. There's even a boardwalk to get you over the thick beds of moss and ferns in a rainforest of giant cedar and Douglas fir.

The picturesque and very paintable falls have cut several channels through the protruding layer of sandstone high above the beach.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Disruptive new stuff haiku

This is the first entry in Chapter 6 of the Clean Energy Haiku book I am writing Handling the unforeseen and unintended.

Kakabeka, the second highest waterfall in Ontario, comes with a great story…  An Ojibwa Chief instructed his daughter to devise a plan to protect her people from an imminent Sioux invasion. She entered the Sioux camp, pretending to be lost, bargained with them to spare her life if she would guide them to her father’s camp. Placed in the bow of the lead canoe, she instead led the warriors and herself over the falls to their deaths. The legend claims that one can see her when looking into the mist of Kakabeka Falls, a monument to the princess who gave her life to save her people… If I’d know about this before I painted the falls, I would have included her and made this an allegorical picture.

Here’s an explanation of the haiku on the painting above.
Line 1: Technology or service displacing established industry
Line 2: An allegory is a device used in literature and art to ­signify a meaning that is not literal. It may be symbolic of a concept, like disruptive new stuff or unintended consequences of legislation.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A possible addition to the Bucket List

Chefchaouen, Morocco
Watercolour and crayon
©2019 Charlene Brown

I was feeling a little bit envious of friends who are going to Morocco next week.  I tried Googling images of that country to see what I might have missed when I was there about forty years ago, before I took up travel painting. One of the first places to grab my attention was Chefchaouen.  It is famous for its striking blue plastered and tiled buildings, but I’d never heard of it! It turns out my friends will be going there. Now I'm really envious!

This painting is a combination of several pictures from the internet. I think this view of the mountains might have been taken with a telephoto lens as none of the others showed them looming this close by.  There were a several sort of panoramic pictures taken from adjacent hillsides, and while trying to include as many aspects as possible, I neglected to sketch in a suitable foreground.  As artist Robert Genn once said about the importance of a good foreground, “a wide-angled, receding landscape without the counterpoint of a human-scaled foreground is a trip to the country without a picnic basket.” I think a bucket list picture especially should provide for a picnic.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mitigating Climate Change

This is the first entry in Chapter 5 of the Clean Energy Haiku book I am writing Transitioning.

Abruptly ending the consumption of fossil fuels is impossible.  Even an immediate end to oil and gas exploration and declaration of in-ground resources as ‘stranded,’ as some environmental groups recommend, would do irreparable harm. Transition to a low carbon economy can only be accomplished through an orderly progression at each stage in the energy ­economy.

Here’s an explanation of the enigmatic haiku on the painting of Canmore, above.
Line 1: Physics is the branch of science dealing with matter and energy and their interactions. Newton’s second law of motion, normally written F=ma, and Einstein’s Special Relativity theory, expressed as E=mc2 are about all that most people remember about Physics.
Line 2: Methane reductions are cheap: Making improvements to oil and gas equipment and facilities that leak or release methane is a relatively inexpensive way for the oil and gas sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the sow’s ear years, while we’re still dependent on fossils fuels for such a large portion of our energy needs.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Another part of BC that doesn’t get painted very often

Della Falls
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This spectacular waterfall in Central Vancouver Island is almost nine times as high as Niagara!  Della Falls is said by some to be the highest waterfall in Canada, but unlike Niagara’s free fall of 50 meters, Della’s 440 metres is in three twisting cascades with only occasional sheer drops.  This painting's swirling spirals of mist, generally associated with sheer drops, are simply extending the theme of (Hundertwasser-inspired) deciduous trees, which aren’t there either.

Other than going in by helicopter, Della Falls can only be accessed by a 35-km canoe or water taxi trip the length of the Great Central Lake, followed by an 11-km climb to the base of the falls.  I’m sure that when viewed live, after taking the trouble to get there, these falls are truly awesome without any imaginary spiral embellishments. 'Truly awesome' (unlike the ‘awesome’ pizza selection I always seem to make) really is awesome, in the original sense of the word.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hydroelectric Haiku

This picture will be the first illustration in Chapter 3: The Controversial Stuff, in the Clean Energy Haiku book I am writing. Hydoelectric power wasn't always controversial. If permission to use Niagara Falls to generate hydroelectric power were to be the subject of a referendum in the twenty-first century, many would vote against it – blissfully unaware that the power plants in Niagara Falls have been quietly (well actually, quite noisily) generating electricity for a century!  Originally called the Queenston-Chippawa Hydroelectric Plant and renamed Adam Beck I in 1950, the first large-scale hydroelectric generation project in the world started producing power in 1922. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

This haiku is not as ambiguous as it first appears.
Line 2: Energy efficiency and renewable energy (such as hydroelectric power) are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy.
Line 3: The controversial aspects of hydro result when dams are built and you look further afield at the flooding of productive land or habitat, or even further afield to the loss of market for small run-of-the-river operations which were counting on continued demand for electricity.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Not your after-work excursion

Swimming in Elfin Lake
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

Although the Elfin Lakes are not far from Vancouver, getting there is pretty much an all-day undertaking. First there is a 16 km drive off Highway 99 at Squamish, up through Quest University on Mamquam road and Garibaldi Park road to the trailhead. The 11 km climb is not steep, with just a 600 metre elevation gain, but it is a climb.
And swimming in the first lake is not the casual affair this painting and the many pictures posted on the internet would have you believe it is either. You may notice no swimmers are ever very far from the entry point   because the lakes are sometimes not ice-free until July! And they never really feel ice-free. Apparently. I wouldn’t know.   

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Another part less painted

Oyster River Potholes
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

I’ve never seen a painting of the Oyster River Potholes, which are on Vancouver Island, south of Campbell River, about a three-hour drive north of Victoria.  

Although I could find no evidence on the internet that anyone had ever tried painting these sandstone bowls, there are some excellent photographs. I was particularly impressed with the composition of some dramatic grayscale close-ups on Dave Ingram’s Island Nature blog.

Painting these photographs was not what I had in mind though they are works of art in their own right and copying them would just be silly.

I wanted an overall panorama of this whole stretch of the Oyster River. I achieved this by positioning the various photos of portions of the formation in what seemed like a reasonable composition.  It is unlikely that it is accurate.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

History of Design VI

This page from the History of Design shows where the sixth cross-cultural ‘time capsule’ I compiled last year fits in. Last July I wrote ‘What the Late Second Millennium CE looked like around the world.'
The paintings in that blog post show the blue-highlighted locations in the table above.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The other side of the mountain

North face of Castle Mountain
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

The south face of Castle Mountain can be seen for almost forty kilometers along the TransCanada Highway between  Banff and Lake Louise. I have painted that side at least twice – in October 2012  and April 2009.

The other side of the mountain, shown here, is only seen by the intrepid few who hike several kilometres up from the highway.

The north face of Pilot Mountain, in the centre of the picture, is about sixteen kilometers away, on the other side of the Bow Valley facing the highway, and will be more familiar to anyone who has driven that stretch of the TransCanada.