Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Virtual Paintout still in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires
Plaza Naciones Unidas - Floralis generica
watercolour and crayon
2017 Charlene Brown

This relatively new (inaugurated in 2002) icon of Buenos Aires officially goes by the name of Floralis Generica, but is generally known as the Big Steel Flower. It is 23 metres high and 32 metres wide when the petals are open.  They actually close down to 16 metres at night. It sits in the centre of a pool of water which reflects the flower and protects it from vandals. Here is a link to the Streetview I have painted

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Virtual Paintout in Buenos Aires

Bosques de Palermo
Watercolour and crayon
2017 Charlene Brown

My first thought was to paint a Steetview of 9 Julio Avenue (July 9 is Argentina’s Independence Day), a boulevard said to be the widest city street in the world. It has seven lanes in each direction and is flanked on either side by parallel streets of two lanes each. Rapid transit lines, inaugurated since I saw 9 Julio Ave in 2002, runs for three kilometres down the centre of this spectacular street. 
But then I recalled that ‘too much pavement’ is often a problem when you’re looking for a paintable Streetview, because the Google camera is usually mounted on a vehicle driving on the pavement, and it occurred to me 20-some lanes of it would be hard to work around.
I decided to concentrate my search on the pathways of the many parks in Buenos Aires. Here is a link to the Bosques de Palermo, one of many very paintable locations I found.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Haiga selection

 Cape Dorset - Inuit Art Central

Haiga is a style of illustration that reflects the pure, minimalist aesthetics of haiku poetry.  In my haiku project, the haiga on which I place the haiku are computer-simplified versions of some of my Canadian landscape paintings.

Last week I explained that lines of haiku are selected randomly from lists of ‘found’ phrases, in order to create potentially-brilliant juxtapositions of unrelated concepts. 

I used the same procedure to find unrelated haiga backgrounds for the poems…  within reason, of course. If you know where Cape Dorset is, you will know that the selection of a line beginning with ‘remote’ was not entirely random.  Or even slightly random.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Random definitions of 'random'

Haiku on Mont Royal

My haiku-generating project makes random selections of phrases I have found in newspaper and magazine articles about clean energy research. These 5 and 7-syllable phrases are grouped together, again randomly, into haiku poems 3 lines of unrelated, enigmatic and potentially-brilliant combinations of concepts related to environmental and economic aspects of the development of clean energy technology.

Just to be clear by ‘random’ selection I mean something about halfway between the pure randomness that statisticians have devoted their lives to generating, and the early-21st century buzzword which I think just meant crazy unpredictable. So, the lines of haiku are selected and grouped ‘by chance without a plan or system.’ Next week I’ll talk about the selection of the haiga illustrations for the background of each haiku.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Canada C3 (Coast to Coast to Coast)

Pond Inlet Nunavut

Pond Inlet
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown
(based on image from

Participants in Canada C3, the 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, will be in Pond Inlet from August 12 to August 14.

This is one of the most picturesque communities in Canada’s Arctic.  It is surrounded by parts of Sirmilik National Park, with mountain ranges and several dozen glaciers viewable in all directions. This is, of course, why I picked this location to paint, but here are some additional interesting facts about the place...

Climate change has caused this part of the Baffin Island coastline to be ice-free for longer periods and in recent years it has been navigable for as long as three and a half months. In addition to the short sea cargo shipping season, food and other supplies are flown in from Montreal, 2500 km away, year-round, and are very expensive. There are three schools, Ulaajuk (elementary), Nasivvik (junior and senior high) and the Nunavut Arctic College. The record high temperature for August is 19 degrees C; the average high temperature in August is not quite 9 degrees C.