Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another way of visualizing time

Diptych in the fourth dimension

Watercolour, gouache,crayon and Photoshop™

©2013 Charlene Brown

The right panel of this diptych is based on a photograph I took on a University of Victoria Travel Study program in Egypt in 2008. It shows a relief sculpture (reassembled from shards) on a wall in Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri, across the river from Luxor. (The mural illustrates an expedition to the Land of Punt, an exotic country on the Red Sea coast in what is now Northern Sudan.)

The left panel shows the pyramids of the Black Pharaohs, also located in what is now Northern Sudan – I’ve never seen them, but I find their design fascinating. They are smaller, pointier and far more numerous than the more famous pyramids near Cairo. The fact they were built in about the 5th century BCE nine hundred years after the gardens of Punt were sculpted at Deir el-Bahri in the 14th century BCE, and are near the Nile, rather than the Red Sea, stopped me briefly…  until I thought of presenting the time/space divide as a diptych…

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another Drive-by Painting

(click on image to enlarge)
Spanish church
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

When I first glimpsed this church from the Alicante airport bus, it was almost dark and we were darting around one of the many hairpin turns on the way to Javea. All I could tell for sure was that it was curvy and ornate, and I thought perhaps it was designed by Gaudi, like the Sagrada Familia I painted a couple of weeks ago…

A few days later, on my return to Alicante in broad daylight, I discovered to my surprise that it was an Orthodox church, quite a large one (those blue things at the side of the road below the church are cars, not the recycling crates at least one person took them to be!)  And it’s much newer than Gaudi’s buildings – I’m pretty sure that’s a bank of solar panels at the back.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Virtual Paintout is on the Isle of Wight

(click on image to enlarge)
Tuesday is Curry Night
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is on the Isle of Wight this month.  Unlike some of the Virtual Paintout locations I’ve painted, I’ve never actually been to the Isle of Wight, so I started exploring on Google Streetview without much idea of where the most appealing locations might be. 
It didn't take long to find this lovely setting in Brighstone. Here's a link to it (you need to pan the camera one click to the right to get the whole scene). I especially liked the sign advising that Tuesday is Curry Night…

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to organize a book

Quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
(click on image to enlarge)

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

In designing the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí wanted something much more soaring than could be achieved with Roman arches but considered the Gothic style imperfect because it needs buttresses to counteract the outward pressure on the perpendicular walls. Believing that “the House of God should stand on its own,” Gaudí designed this Barcelona cathedral with paraboloid spires and vaults.  In fact, he frequently found solutions in natural forms, in helicoids as well as elliptic and hyperbolic paraboloids, and he made use of fractals, structures that split into smaller replications of themselves.

According to ChrisGuillebeau, the perfect introduction to a book often comes late in the writing process... You shouldn’t think you can’t really start until you’ve worked out a complete outline and written the introduction. He says you should start with what you know best. Work on that. Then work on something else… whatever you have to do, just keep going.

This is how I’m approaching my next book – a collection of blog posts relating to both art and science –with the working title ‘The Fine Art of Physics’… and when I saw Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia during a brief stop in Barcelona this summer, I decided to try to fit it into the book.  Somewhere.  I don’t yet know if it will go in a chapter on the history of parallel developments and crossovers in the arts and sciences, or a chapter that’s just about architecture, or maybe it should be mentioned in discussing the role of fractals in visualizing multi-dimensionality…

Which brings me to another point Chris Guillebeau stresses… When you work from the middle indefinitely, a manuscript will become disjointed, and it requires some effort to stitch it all together.  Before too long, I will draw up an outline, and begin at the beginning.