Monday, September 26, 2016

Art Extravaganza by the Sea

Sketch of  ‘Mother and Child’ stone sculpture by Mike Rebar

On the weekend of September 17-18 the coastal walkway at Macaulay Point in Esquimalt was transformed into a seaside open-air gallery of 3-dimensional art – the Third Annual Sculpture Splash. 

This larger-than-life-size carving by Mike Rebar, in the style of the Inuit, was among my favourites.

From Mike’s website,  I learned that he sculpts local marble that he harvests from various sites on Vancouver and Quadra Islands.  He sees the integral form of each piece inside the stone, then works with traditional handtools, carbide chisels and diamond blades until his vision emerges.  Fine details are achieved with hand files followed by wet and dry sanding to complete the process... worth contemplating on the days when watercolour painting seems like too much of a challenge.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Lancaster County, PA

Lawn sale day in Terre Hill
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

Here’s a link to the right side of ‘Lawn sale day in Terre Hill.’  I wanted to add some houses and lawns from further down the street, so I used my panorama format sketchbook.  

I began this sketchbook in Japan and this Virtual Paintout seemed like a good opportunity to start filling the rest of the pages.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Finding strategic clean energy haiku

Johnston Canyon
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2016 Charlene Brown

There are more and more articles online and in print media about the environmental and economic aspects of climate change. Such articles, predicting future harmful effects and advancing strategies for mitigating and preventing them, are good sources of ‘found’ clean energy haiku.  

And new or once known but now forgotten phrases – particularly scientific or technological terms you have to look up in Wikipedia – make the best ‘strategic’ found clean energy haiku.

For example, the first two lines in the poem on the Johnston Canyon picture:

eponymous laws
primordial gravity
divide and conquer

are a little less enigmatic if you Google:

eponymous laws: Many scientific phenomena are defined by eponymous laws or principles or rules, named after the person who first discovered or defined them – Avogadro, Newton, Mendel, Planck – and most of us can’t remember most of them (with the notable exception of Murphy, whose law everyone remembers).

primordial gravity:  The existence of primordial gravitational waves (ripples in space-time that originated in the very early universe or Big Bang) could reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics to reveal a ‘theory of everything.’

They still don’t make a lot of sense, but they are less enigmatic. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Really old climate records

The Burgess Shale
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Burgess Shale was discovered by paleontologist Charles Walcott in 1909 high on a ridge above Emerald Lake in Yoho Naitonal Park.  He was so impressed with the extent and diversity of the layers of fossils, that he returned over a dozen times, finding more life forms every time. Over the years since Walcott’s discovery, the Geologic Survey of Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum got involved and many additional outcrops have been found, stratigraphically both higher and lower than the original. These localities continue to yield new organisms faster than they can be studied.

The Shale has attracted the interest of paleoclimatologists who are studying fossil records that appear to show a rapid acceleration in the diversification of complex organisms during the Cambrian Explosion.  This evolutionary event was a short period half a billion years ago, during which most major phyla in existence today appeared.  When researchers understand the climate of that period and its effects, they may be able to predict long-term future effects of climate change on species diversification and extinction.