Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Royal Roads University

Another abstract gone wrong

Watercolour, crayon and ink

©2010 Charlene Brown

This was supposed to be an abstract version of a sketch I posted about a year ago, but somehow it went the way of most of my abstracts, with one little Edwardian detail leading to another and another, even unto the lagoon and the Japanese Garden. My husband graduated from Royal Roads 50 years ago when it was a Military College, and says he does not recall it being so Disneyesque.

I plan to paint a few more local landmarks, and then seriously abstract all of them at once. We’ll see how it goes…

Friday, October 22, 2010

Graphic novel now in print!

Epilogue of graphic novel
InDesign document, watercolour painting
©2010 Charlene Brown, characters by Philip Hogg  

The Epilogue, in which I promised everything would fall into place back in Ottawa – Gatineau, actually, with a view across the river to Ottawa – is now finished and my graphic novel has been printed!

And BTW, you can check out Philip Hogg’s blog by clicking on his name, above, or in any of my blog posts that include his artwork.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maria Theresa Connection II

Springtime in Innsbruck

Watercolour, crayon and ink

©1996 Charlene Brown

When I wrote about the Maria Theresa connection in the Middle East last week, I mentioned her continuing fame in her native Austria.

Indeed, there cannot be many towns of any size in Austria today without at least one Maria Theresien Strasse, Platz, Ring or Parc… This painting is the view along my favourite of these, Maria-Theresien-Strasse in Innsbruck, as seen from the spectacularly-sited ski-jump built for the 1964 Winter Olympics.

Much of her reign as Archduchess of Austria from 1740 until 1780 was devoted to maintaining her territory during a period of much conflict in Europe. By forming strategic alliances, she succeed in preserving the unity of her lands, although her plan to strengthen the empire by having one of her sixteen children, Marie Antoinette, marry the heir to the French throne didn’t work out well at all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Maria Theresa Connection

Munzturn, Hall bei Innsbruck

Watercolour and crayon

©1996 Charlene Brown

I won’t get a chance to paint for the next couple of weeks, so here’s another flashback to the twentieth century – to one of the paintings I did in the Tirol region of Austria in 1996. I'll post another Tirol painting next week.

In the antique shops in the United Arab Emirates, where I was living at the time, I’d found a surprising number of Maria Therese silver dollars among the collections of old coins. I had thought this a little odd until I learned that these beautifully designed coins were in widespread use for many years throughout the Middle East – accepted as an international currency because of their always reliable quality and value. I was familiar with Maria Theresa’s continuing fame in her native Austria, but had been unaware of the indirect renown of this popular ruler in the Gulf.

The coins were originally minted in the town of Hall, just east of Innsbruck in 1780. The classic alpine fortification structure of the Hall Mint, the Munzturn, provides an interesting additional aspect of Austrian architecture in this town which has many beautiful old buildings.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Virtual Paintout in San Miguel de Allende

Revueltas, San Miguel de Allende

Watercolour and marker

©2010 Charlene Brown

This month, the Virtual Paintout is in San Miguel de Allende, a delightful and historic town north-west of Mexico City. Thousands of artists from all over the world have visited San Miguel, and a huge number of them have stayed to live there, painting and teaching in the vibrant international art colony.

At first I maneuvered around downtown to find the best shot at the much-photographed (and hundreds-of-times-painted Cathedral de San Miguel de Allende. But then, figuring that everybody would be doing that (and noticing that it looked really hard to paint) I began my very enjoyable cruise around the residential areas, eventually selecting this view. Here’s a link to it (You have to pan left to include the street.)