Saturday, October 29, 2016

Travels with our Grandkids I

 El volcan Arenal 
 Ink and watercolour pencil, annotated page in 4”x 6” Opus Archival drawing pad
 ©2004 Charlene Brown

Over the next few months, I plan to compile stories, photos and paintings from the trips I took with our six grandchildren (one at a time!) between 2004 and 2013.

This annotated sketch is from an Elderhostel (now Road Scholar) Intergenerational trip to Costa Rica with our eldest grandson, Philip, in 2004. We both enjoyed all the activities planned for both age groups, but agreed that the Arenal volcano was the highlight of the trip. And we had a great view of it from our hotel a short distance up the mountain slope just across the valley. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Can you guess where this is?


Kluane Icefield
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

I think that my first guess would have been that this icefield was in Switzerland. But the name reveals its location in Yukon, part of the bi-national Kluane-Wrangell-St. Elias-Tatshenshini-Alsek park system stretching from Glacier Bay in Alaska into the highest mountains in Canada.
This spectacular icefield is relatively unfamiliar because this view point is almost inaccessible  (at least when compared to glaciers in Switzerland you can get to on a train) despite being less than twenty kilometres from the Alaska Highway!
I should probably mention that the chartreuse arctic poppies I’ve added may not actually grow in Yukon.  They are native to the northermost parts of Scandinavia and the only place in Canada I’ve ever seen them is Pangnirtung in Nunavut.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Virtual Paintout still in Newfoundland

L’Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland and Labrador
L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

L’Anse aux Meadows dates from the early 11th century.  It is the first and only known site established by Vikings in North America and the earliest evidence of pre-Columbian transoceanic contact and European settlement in the New World.

The reconstructed sod longhouse in the painting is patterned after the remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings excavated at the site.  These remains were similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland built in the same period about 1000 years ago. 

It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.

Here is the link to the Google Streetview of the site.

Friday, October 7, 2016

This is my 100th Virtual Paintout!

St. John’s Harbour from Signal Hill
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is making one of its rare excursions into Canada this month – to the island portion of the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. 

Signal Hill was the site of St. John’s harbour defences from the 17th century to the Second World War, and where Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.  It’s a great place for hiking, and even better for motoring around in the Google car or whatever they used to find this Streetview. Here’s another view of St. John’s from the gun emplacement in the centre of my painting. They must have used something besides their car to get to that one.

Monday, October 3, 2016

This is my 500th blog post!

Gabriola Island
Entrance Island Light
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The latest artist studio tour for our fundraising group from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was to Gabriola Island, about a twenty-minute ferry ride from the up-island city of Nanaimo. As always we visited several fascinating and productive (and idyllically-situated) workspaces – two of which are included in the mix in this painting.

The Entrance Island lighthouse off the northern tip of Gabriola, has been there since 1876. Situated so close to Nanaimo, it has watched over thousands of boaters and kayakers, and for many years the annual flotilla of bathtubs in a race to Vancouver.  The lighthouse keepers have rescued many in distress, regularly saving lives over the years, and the boating community, in turn, keeps its eye on the lighthouse.  In 1995 when it was announced that Entrance Island might lose its keepers, more than 100 kayakers, in an act of protest, formed a ‘human life preserver’ around the island. Since then, almost every newly-elected Provincial and Federal government has included this integral part of the Gabriola Island community in their budget-cutting  plans... but the lighthouse keepers carry on.