Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Springtime in Victoria

Mt Baker from Cadboro Bay
Watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

We’re hoping what passes for winter is finished here in the warmest place in Canada. A few hardy trees are beginning to blossom, and I’ve only exaggerated slightly the number of sailors out on Cadboro Bay. (Like the more intrepid gardeners and golfers in Victoria, they never really stop, except on days we actually get snow.) What I have exaggerated quite a bit is the proximity of Mt. Baker. We like to think of it as our mountain, but in fact it not only isn’t right here in town – it isn’t even in Canada. Mt. Baker is part of a series of inactive volcanoes (Rainier, Saint Helens, Hood, Shasta) running through Washington, Oregon and California in the United States).
I hope you’ll take the time to have a look at a new blog in which I’m participating, A Postcard from my Walk. We’re just introducing ourselves this week, but will begin showing actual postcards we receive in the mail from other member of the group in early February.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Virtual Paintout in Boston

Charles River Bike Path
Watercolour and CP
©2011 Charlene Brown
I wanted to include water in my painting, so I searched out Edwin H Land Boulevard / Memorial Drive for this view of Boston, location of the Virtual Paintout for the month of January. The map labels it Charles River Bike Path, but it seems that, in the home of the Boston Marathon, bike paths have been taken over by runners. Here’s the link to this view – have a look along it and you’ll see what I mean.
BTW, I'm really looking forward to participating in a new sketching project called A Postcard from my Walk I’ve seen other group projects like this, and always thought it would be great to be invited to participate… but the idea of adding something to a sketchbook already containing several spectacular paintings was pretty scary! A postcard from my Walk has the advantage that each postcard will be created separately. The first ones will be mailed out next week and will start appearing on the blog in February when they arrive at their destinations.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Indigo and Opera is the new Black

Where the volcano meets the sea…
Watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown
Like last week’s painting, this is one of the places my grandchildren went swimming along the spectacular road to Hana on the island of Maui, part of the Hawaiian chain.
The view from the top of the cliff was fantastic, and when I made my first sketch here, I wondered what the chances were of actually conveying this wondrous sight in watercolour… I had no trouble deciding what colour to use to capture the effect of the waves crashing against the rocks – Prussian Blue usually behaves this way whether I want it to or not! Making the rocks and beach, composed almost entirely of black lava, look like anything other than the entrance to a coal mine, was another matter all together. Finally, I settled on a mixture of Indigo and Opera.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Plan for 2011

(click on image to enlarge)

Swimming in Haleakala National Park
Watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown
Jane Dunnewold wrote an interesting post about focussing on her blog Existential Neighborhood, in which she said Don’t be the old woman in the shoe – with so many projects you don’t know what to do. Think about each project, and decide what you want to do MOST right now. Think about concentrating your efforts on one interest – either for a specific period of time… or until you’ve finished it or mastered it. So I’m keeping The Plan for 2011 simple and, as steps 4 and 5 are kind of experimental, I’m going to complete 4 before I start 5.
1. Paint more spontaneously (beginning with Swimming in Haleakala National Park).
2. Do more journaling: I have a couple of expeditions planned for 2011, a July trip to Israel with one of my grandchildren, and river cruising on the Danube and Rhine in October. I hope to continue journaling my travels and will have more flashbacks as well.
3. Continue to participate in group blogs such as Virtual Paintout and The Art of the Landscape:
4. Write more how-to articles. My next ‘how-to’ project will be about poster production, involving a combination of computer collage and lettering – during which I’ll be learning how myself!
5. Paint more videos. I’m planning on putting together some how-to steps for producing computer-painted videos for Youtube. I hope to composite video clips with my drawn and painted videos, and am looking at the travel plans I mentioned to decide on backgrounds.
As you may have noticed, I’ve temporarily turned off ‘Comments’ on this blog. I love hearing from you, and I’m happy to say some of you have found ways around this – mainly emails direct to or Robyn Sinclair’s unique approach, one of my favourites. I plan to re-instate Comments, partly for the excellent reasons outlined in Alyson Stanfield’s ArtBiz blog, and will decide when to proceed with this based on the feedback I’m getting from various directions…