Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not in Alberta or British Columbia

Watercolour and marker
©2017 Charlene Brown

I painted this mainly to round out the collection of paintings of all parts of Canada for my Haiku project which was definitely short of locations in the Maritime Provinces. I selected Lunenburg because it was so peaceful and seemed to be about the prettiest place in Nova Scotia.  And I was a little surprised when research revealed that is has a long (for Canada) and often-violent history.

Lunenburg was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, to protect its ‘unique architecture and civic design’ and because it was considered to be the best example of planned British colonial settlement in Canada. The aim of this British colonial settlement was to drive out the Mi’kmac and Acadian Catholics, which they apparently did very well.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Pingos in the Northwest Territories
Watercolour and crayon
©2017 Charlene Brown

One quarter of the world’s Arctic ice dome hills, called pingos, are located in a region near Tuktoyaktut just east of the delta of the Mackenzie River. In various stages of growth and collapse, their striking profiles dominate the skyline in this very flat area even though they are only 5 to 36 meters in height.

I plan to use this painting in my Haiku project.  I wonder if there is any significance in the fact that their other name, hydrolaccolith, has five syllables ?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Virtual Paintout in Malta

Hagar Qim Temple
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Malta this month. When I learned that, I headed immediately to Hagar Qim, one of the megalithic temples of Malta, as I’d been there in 1999, and wanted to see if I could find the location I’d painted at that time. I found it, even including the island of Filfla in the distance. 

The whole area is now nicely shaded by the canopy I’ve included in this painting. (We found a similar arrangement at Persepolis in Iran when we were there a couple of months ago.)

Here's a link to the Streetview of Hagar Qim above.

On the right is the painting I did eighteen years ago. I used to paint more carefully then.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Alberta Badlands (not)

Killdeer Badlands
©2017 Charlene Brown

Who knew there were spectacular badlands in Saskatchewan? Everyone but me, apparently, and the Killdeer Badlands have been described as the baddest of them all.

This wild, other-worldly landscape features free-standing flat-topped buttes, hoodoos and other weird formations… and, most years, very little grass. Even sage and cactus have a tough time surviving. This is noteworthy as they are part of Grasslands National Park. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nunavut again

Pangnirtung Fjord
Watercolour and crayon
©2007 Charlene Brown

Pangnirtung is the only place in Canada where I’ve actually seen chartreuse arctic poppies. I like these flowers so much that I transplanted them all the way to the painting of Yukon I posted last October. 

The northern end of this fjord is in Auyuittuq National Park the most accessible of the National Parks in Nunavut... which is to say, it’s hardly accessible at all

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A perfect place to paint or pot

A studio with a view
Watercolour and crayon
©2017 Charlene Brown

If an artist could choose a location for a studio anywhere in the world, I think Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands would be contenders – especially a spot that included a view of the ocean and some mountains.

The perfect place shown here is on the south coast of Vancouver Island, near Sooke, looking out across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic peninsula of Washington state. This particular location is already taken (by artisans who somehow find the time to look after llamas and a spectacular garden as well as potting and woodworking) but there are still a few perfect places available...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Virtual Paintout in Guatemala

Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Guatemala this month.  When I heard this, I headed directly for Tikal on Google Streetview.  Tikal has been on my bucket list for some time.

Of course I found no end of paintable locations in this magnificent Mayan ruin, but was finally able to settle on this view of the Temple of the Jaguar, which was started around 700 CE and is about 47 metres tall. (That makes it 17 metres taller and at least 100 years older than the much better known El Castillo at Chichen Itza in Mexico.) 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lake Louise from a brand new angle

Where was the photographer standing?
2017 Charlene Brown

This painting is based on a photo by Paul Zizka Photography for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, published in the Globe & Mail on May 19 this year. I looked at a Google Earth view of the area and decided he could have been on Mt. Saint Piran... but the angle of the view from Mt. Saint Piran isn’t quite right. Perhaps he was at the top of it controlling a drone-mounted camera hovering just a little to the east.

However it was done, I know I haven’t ever seen a picture of Lake Louise from this angle, and I really liked this one.  So, despite my plans to paint pictures of Canadian landscapes in provinces or territories other than British Columbia and Alberta for my Haiku project, here I am with another Alberta painting.