Friday, June 28, 2013

Vancouver General Hospital

(click on image to enlarge)

A room with a view
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

Not all the rooms in the hospital have this wonderful sunset view of downtown Vancouver backed by the North Shore mountains… Some look south and east to Mt. Baker in Washington state, or west to Vancouver Island.
I was over on the mainland last week to visit a friend in this room, and make sure she got home alright when her doctors gave her the okay… Actually I started to think my job was to make sure she even went home… the nurses and physios are really wonderful and the food, once they let you have some, is great.  It’s fairly amazing they ever get anyone to leave.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cubism - there's always more than one way to look at a thing

Quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
The View from Rua de Jesus
Watercolour, crayon and CP
©2013 Charlene Brown

This isn’t just the view from Jesus St.  If you have a look at this link in GoogleStreetview, , you might notice that the blue ‘Church of Mercy’ to the left of the centre of the painting, and the building under construction to the right are actually facing out to sea. The viewpoints I used to paint them were from the street directly in front of each.
Pablo Picasso and Georges Bracque evolved the technique of adding more information to an image through simultaneous multiple viewpoints… of course they went at it with considerable more vigour (and genius) than this tentative start. 
Their brilliantly reassembled multi-faceted images defined the beginnings of Cubism. The introduction of this concept of multi-dimensionality in art was remarkably coincident with Einstein's theory of the relativity of time, space, and motion… but Einstein and thousands of quantum physicists and mathematicians since have been unable to formulate a Unified Field Theory, harmonizing gravity and the other three fundamental forces.  Is this because most people, including most geniuses, cannot visualize more than the usual four space-time dimensions?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Virtual Paintout in the Azores

(click on image to enlarge)

Rua Jorge M. Reis Machado
Watercolour and CP
©2013 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in the Azores  this month, and I began motoring around the two islands that have been ‘Streetviewed’ with some trepidation.  I was there for two hours once, during an unannounced and never-explained stop on a Lisbon to Montreal flight, and I don’t remember seeing anything but a flat expanse of volcanic soil, and a few trees like the ones in this painting, only much smaller.
But, to my surprise, within ten minutes I found this (here’s a link to it) and three other very paintable scenes!  I had quite a time eliminating the other possibilities and – unless I come across other things that just have to be painted – will probably paint another Azores Streetview next week.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mystery building on Hornby Island

(click on image to enlarge)

A well-attended event at the Community Hall
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

On the Gulf Islands art tour I mentioned last week, our bus sped by this fascinating structure on Hornby Island.  We were going too fast to take a picture, but I was able to find and identify the building on Google Streetview when I got home.  The Google camera car must have gone by on a day a very popular event was taking place (Protest? Opera? Hornby is a happening place) because it looked like every Volvo on the island was jammed into the parking lot.
In addition to the splendidly landscaped roof, I was intrigued by the 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 at right angles to the wall surface, then held in place with masonry or fireproof and earthquake resistant cob.