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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One more for the Bucket List

Ballooning over Bagan
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

As I mentioned in a post at the beginning of this month, I’m starting a ‘Bucket List’ PinterestBoard. Several of my Virtual Paintout paintings – of places I haven’t been to but would like to see – have found their way onto this board, and there will be paintings of photos, like this on in Myanmar, that I've come across on the internet – often on other people’s Pinterest Boards.

Apparently, this fantastic sunrise shot can only be obtained from a hot-air balloon and it seems to be impossible to take the picture without including all the other folks out in balloons doing the same thing.  I could have left them out of the painting, of course, but chose not to.  And I’ll probably include a sunrise hot air balloon ride in my itinerary when I eventually get to Bagan…  I’ve tried ballooning a couple of times, in Sedona, Arizona and the Masai Mara in Kenya, and it is truly an other-worldly experience. 

Update: There were several casualties, including at least four fatalities, and many of the temples, pavilions and pagodas were damaged in the earthquake that hit Bagan a week ago – a sad set-back in the on-going restoration of this UNESCO World Heritage site.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Even more haiku and haiga

Mt. Lefroy
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2016 Charlene Brown

You might think, because I’ve used this particular verse before, that my haiku-generating computer has limited content to work with.  Not at all – so far I have input over 200 lines, with literally thousands of possible three-line combinations, and I find more material just about every time I read a newspaper or magazine or online article on environmental or economic aspects of clean energy technology development.

The thing is, I may compile samples of this clean energy haiku into a book, and I will only be using Canadian landscapes for the haiga illustrations. This particular haiga is a computer-stylized version of a painting I wrote about two years ago

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

More ‘found’ haiku and computer-stylized haiga

Whistler Village
Watercolour and Photoshop™
©2016 Chalrene Brown

This is a continuation of a series I began a year ago, consisting of computer-generated haiku poems and haiga illustrations. 
The poems  (actually haiku-like non-sequiturs) have three lines, containing:
     . a clean energy-related concept (5 syllables)        
     . a tangentially related environmental or economic concept (7)
     . a transformation (5)
The haiga illustrations are computer-stylized versions of some of my Canadian landscape paintings.
I’ve set up a new PinterestBoard about Clean Energy Haiku. The pin descriptions aren’t filled in yet, but if you have a minute, check out this board anyway – I`ve added some clean energy haiku from THE ENTIRE IPCC REPORT IN 19 ILLUSTRATED HAIKU, by Anna Fahey, ©2013 Sightline Institute, Seattle; used with permission. Unlike my ‘found’ non-sequiturs, these are actual haiku verses!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Virtual Paintout still in Norway

The Bridge at Tromso
Watercolour and Photoshop™
Charlene Brown

Tromso is quite close to Bleiksv, one of the other locations I painted in Norway.  They’re only about 100 km apart, but between five and six hours driving time, depending on the ferry... not unlike getting from here in Victoria to Vancouver on the British Columbia mainland. Tromso is considered to be the northermost city (population over 50,000) in the world.

This Streetview of Tromso includes the Arctic Cathedral, which can be seen just to the right of the bridge.  It is called a cathedral just because it looks like it should be one, but is in reality a parish church.