Sunday, July 18, 2021

My Recent (Virtual) Camping/Kayaking trip

Upper Kananaskis Lake
Watercolour, crayon and computer
©2021 Charlene Brown

Like all of the Alberta paintings I’ve done since the pandemic confined us to Vancouver Island, this painting is based on photos taken by my daughter. She and her family camped at this idyllic location, a 4-kilometre kayak trip along the lake, a couple of weeks ago.

I have been to that lake for real, though not in a kayak actually I’ve never been anywhere in a kayak and wrote about a spectacular climb up from there to Rawson Lake

BTW, my daughter mentioned that the Rawson Lake trail is closed this year because there are grizzlies in the area.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Call for Entry!

Shirakawa-go, Japan
Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed, Canada
Takht-e Soleyman (Throne of Solomon), Iran

Call for Entry! notices for competitions and juried exhibitions are always exciting.  And when the entries being called for are to be online no framing! no shipping! my enthusiasm is boundless. I did hesitate for a couple of days before starting to look for paintings to enter in the ART2LIFE International Juried Art Exhibition 2021, however, simply because all of the demonstrations I’ve watched on Nicholas Wilton’s ART2LIFE series are totally abstract, and my paintings aren’t.

But then Mr. Wilton himself pointed out that with any huge competition, “There is so much art being looked at, only the most compelling and different work has a chance to stand out.” I inferred from this and other things he said that even the most experienced international judges may doze off from time to time. 

I looked at my blog, intending to hit ‘abstract’ on the ‘What This Blog is About’ list, but hit ‘archaeology’ instead (it’s nearer the top of the list). The three paintings above are my first selection for possible entry.  That could change.  We’ve got until July 23 to decide.  


Sunday, July 4, 2021

What are you missing the most about not being young anymore?

Squamish, British Columbia
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown: Painting based on a photograph credited to Destination BC/Mitch Winton that appeared on the cover of the Summer 2021 issue of Right Sizing magazine 

I recently read a terrific article in Crow’s Feet  by Ruby Lee.  She had surveyed her friends on Facebook and compiled a list of the 10 things about being young that they miss the most. I think most of the replies came from people approaching 70.  

You may want to go through them to see how they compare to your own observations about aging.  I know I certainly did.

I’m happy to say that there are several things on the list that I’m not yet missing, like:

·         being able to get up off the floor (although I’ll admit I haven’t tried it ‘no hands’ lately)

·         having my original body parts, except for small parts of most of my teeth. (I’m not counting other missing things like a gall bladder or my wisdom teeth because they haven’t been replaced)

·         being able to eat anything I want (but then I never did want to eat spicy stuff that started to hurt before you even swallowed it)

·         having good eyesight and hearing (in fact, since I had my cataracts done, my eyesight is the best it’s been since I turned forty (in 1982)

·         being able to walk barefoot

 One thing on the list that I’m sure I’ve lost (but don’t miss) is:

  •          being able to stay up all night and still function the next day.

Throughout my fifties we lived in Dubai, where a lot of things didn’t even start until well into the cool of the evening.  When we returned to Canada, I was happy to revert to dining at unfashionable hours in broad daylight.

The list also mentioned:

  •          thinking that I knew everything

I think they meant that, although they realized many years ago that they didn’t know everything, until fairly recently they continued believing they could figure out anything they didn’t already know.  At that time, it became apparent (to me anyway) that there are certain things that millennials were born knowing and the rest of us will never figure out.

I’m hoping that one of the things on Ruby Lee’s list that’s also on my ‘missing’ list was more pandemic-caused than age-related:

  •          being impulsive and deciding to do things on the spur of the moment

I used to go to Squamish and Calgary, where our daughters and their families live, a lot – not exactly on the spur of the moment, but pretty much whenever I felt like it. This applied especially to Squamish (pictured above) which is only 90 miles from here as the crow flies  (much longer via a 2-hour ferry, three bridges, one tunnel, downtown Vancouver, and the Sea-to-Sky Highway, but still… )  Now that the barriers between Health Regions are being lifted, I’m about to find out if I can resume being impulsive.

Finally, there are a couple of things on the list that I too am definitely missing:

  •        having infinite energy (not that I ever had that – what I miss is having any energy at all some days).
  •        the feeling that the world is at my feet and that I have all the time in the world to explore it.  Okay, this is a scary one, but I’m pretty sure I still have time and enough energy to explore quite a few more things.

I inferred that there were some things about being young that Ruby Lee doesn’t miss at all, from her summary statement:

 “It took me a long time to get to the place where I am now. Even though my body is starting to have issues and I can’t lose weight, I don’t want to go through those life lessons that got me to where I am now.”

And with that, I agree completely.