Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Taking the road less traveled

(click on image to enlarge)
To a place less real
watercolour, crayon and Photoshop™
©2015 Charlene Brown

Last week I read an article in the Travel Section of the Globe & Mail about fascinating (and, in my opinion, very paintable) places that most of us have never heard of.

They were all in South America, and this is one of them – Potosi, Bolivia. ‘To a place less real’ is the result of running a more realistic painting of Potosi, with which I wasn’t entirely delighted, through my favourite Photoshop filter.  

I’ve sometimes wondered why the special effects capabilities of Photoshop are referred to as ‘Filters’... Maybe it’s because you can use them to filter out the parts of a picture you don’t like.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Elegant Clean Energy Haiku II

clean energy haiku
(click on image to enlarge)
In my first post on Elegant Clean Energy Haiku, I mentioned a plan to program a computer to write and illustrate haiku in a manner I hoped would be reminiscent of Norman McLaren of the National Film board of Canada…

Getting a computer to write haiku (well, a haiku-like non sequitur) is fairly straightforward. (Should you be wondering, Wikipedia defines ‘non sequitur’ as a logical fallacy where a stated conclusion is not supported by its premise and therefore the conclusion is arbitrary.)

Persuading my computer to produce an abstract illustration of the lines of haiku as it prints them, however, is a part of the project I haven't even started. When I figure that out, I’ll post an outline of the methodology. Meanwhile, here is a haiku example, overlaid on a computer-abstracted version of the painting of the Opabin Plateau I wrote about last week. I’ll explain the objective of these verses in my next ‘haiku’ post.

A ‘how to invent stuff’ non sequitur
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2015 Charlene Brown

According to Leon Zolbrod, in his book, Haiku Painting, haiku illustration, or haiga, transcends the world of haiku poetry, revealing new insights that the poem alone, despite the inimitable expressiveness of Japanese calligraphy, cannot express. From the beginning of haiku development in the 17th century, poet and haiga artist alike endeavored to eliminate every superfluous element and to attain an austere beauty, akin to that of abstract art, associated with the discipline of Zen and its emphasis on purity and simplicity.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Soaring out of sight again

(click on image to enlarge)
The other side of the mountain
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

I hadn’t tried this before even though I’ve always thought the ‘topless’ effect evokes the precipitous nature of a mountain most forcefully, in Group of Seven Paintings for example. And I thought at the time that I’d probably try more paintings of mountains soaring out of sight.

This view from the Opabin Plateau includes the even more precipitous south face of the continental divide above Lake Louise  in my opinion among the most paintable string of mountains anywhere.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Virtual Paintout on the Monterey Peninsula

(click on image to enlarge)
Golf cart crossing on 17 Mile Dr.
Watercolour and crayon
©2015 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is on the Monterey Peninsula in California this month.  I’ve certainly heard of Monterey, and was quite surprised when my first foray on Google Streetview was kind of dull.  

My daughter, who has been there, overheard my comment that it was quite nice but not particularly interesting, and suggested I try ‘something’-mile drive along the coast... it’s spectacular! And she was right. Click here to see the Streetview of this part of 17 Mile Drive.