Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sea-to-Sky Highway

Howe Sound from the new Sea-to-Sky

Watercolour and crayon

©2009 Charlene Brown

My April 16 blog post was about a painting of this stretch of the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler, the two main venues for the upcoming Winter Olympics. That painting was based on a series of photos taken from the opposite direction on Christmas day when this part of the highway was just a clearing and the beginning of a cut through the ridge above Horseshoe Bay.

Now that the road is finished you no longer have to negotiate all the curves around the bay and the ferry terminal. Arrival at the entrance to Howe Sound is very sudden and quite spectacular… and about three steps ahead of the poor lady in your GPS who will continue ‘Calculating Route’ to exit the TransCanada Highway for about two kilometres after you’ve left it. We drove to Squamish last weekend, and only had the GPS on for the entertainment value, but out-of-province visitors attempting to drive north from Vancouver should probably be warned not to use any GPS programmed before about a month ago.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Inuit Art Central

charlene brown, arctic, painting cape dorset
Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada
Watercolour and crayon
©2009 Charlene Brown
Cape Dorset has more artists per capita than any other Canadian municipality. It’s likely you’ve never seen a painting of it though, as these folks aren’t landscape painters. This particular scene hasn’t been ‘done to death’ as seems to happen in other artists’ enclaves like, say, Banff or the Gulf Islands. The Inuit of Cape Dorset are stone carvers and printmakers – creators of iconic Canadian images of the far north, and they’re been doing it for fifty years. Probably the most famous Inuit printmaker of all, Kenojuak Ashevak, who designed The Enchanted Owl was from Cape Dorset.
I’ve been up north a few times, though not recently, and I’d like to go back sometime – there are lots of wonderful sights that need to be painted up there. But for now, I think I’ll just continue painting the Rockies and Vancouver Island, again and again...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Olympics

Early Snow at Whistler

Watercolour and crayon

©2009 Charlene Brown

They’ve had the first snowfall at Whistler at the higher elevations, boding well for the Olympic Alpine events in February – but just in case it’s one of those years (occasional warm rain) the snow-making machines and 80-person crew have also fired up and the lower slopes have a light dusting as well. I’ve tried to show current conditions in this painting, but it’s actually based on a picture taken on a midwinter evening when the area was completely snow-covered. The alpenglow on the peaks, which I’ve only ever seen in February, is also a figment of my imagination.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Virtual Paintout in Belfast

Fisherwick Presbyterian Church

Watercolour, crayon & ink

©2009 Charlene Brown

Several artists whose blogs I follow have contributed to The Virtual Paintout, a blog run by Bill Guffey, who has had the rather good idea of using ‘Google Street View’ as a resource for traveling the world to find interesting locations and subjects to paint. I liked the entries by Liz Pearson Cathy Gatland and Pat Reese so much, I decided to give it a try, and started looking around Belfast, Northern Ireland, the location of Bill’s October challenge.

There are so many very paintable locations available, I decided the only way to make a decision was to narrow my search to churches – and eventually selected this one. There are at least ten street views of it, and when I strung them together, I couldn’t figure out the perspective – until I went to the original Google map Satellite view and discovered the street curves about 15 degrees part way along the building. Couldn’t resist including the 'Don’t Walk' signal and the sign proclaiming this an ‘ALCOHOL FREE ZONE.’