Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Classic Period - a great era for both art and science

Quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
(click on image to enlarge)


Carthage overlaid with Phoenician alphabet
Photograph and Photoshop®
©2009 Charlene Brown

This computer painting combines photographs of the Punic ruins at Carthage and a bas relief of the Phoenician alphabet on a stone plaque at the Bardo museum in Tunis. 
The alphabet has been described as civilization’s first abstract art. The Greeks added vowels to it and created a visual communications breakthrough in the same remarkable ‘Classic Period’ that they solidified the spatial concepts of Euclidean geometry.  And they named the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ – works of art as much as science – and almost all of them Greek, while they were at it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Visualizing n dimensions

Quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
(click on image to enlarge)


4D object + its 3D shadow
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

In devising a geometry of  more than three dimensions, mathematicians have determined that a four-dimensional cube would consist of eight cubes, just as a three-dimensional cube is made up of six squares. The hypercube (also called a tesseract) in Salvador Dali’s ‘Crucifixion’  has been suggested as an ‘aesthetically pleasing’ visualization of this concept… I don’t think so.
When I referred to the difficulty most people, including most geniuses, have in visualizing more than the usual four dimensions, in my blog post on Cubism on June 19, I wasn’t specifically referring to Dali, but now I am. I prefer my interpretation in 4D object + its 3D shadow.  The required eight cubes are aligned along the four extended diagonals of the purple cube, the four blue ones on the diagonals projecting out the back four corners of the cube and the orange ones on those emerging out the front.  Just as a three-dimensional object casts a two-dimensional shadow, a four-dimensional object casts a three-dimensional shadow, in this case the purple cube.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to illustrate a physics textbook

Quantum, physics, Charlene Brown
(click on image to enlarge)

Glacier on a staircase
Watercolour, crayon and gouache
©2013 Charlene Brown

Marcel Duchamp intended his famous Nude Descending a Staircase to be “an expression of time and space through the abstract presentation of motion.” 
Duchamp’s masterpiece was initially rejected by both the Cubists and the Futurists, with one critic dismissing it as ‘an explosion in a shingle factory.’ This startling turn of phrase seemed like a good guideline for generating an ‘abstract presentation of motion’ – in this case the disappearance of a glacier over the hundred-year period from 1910 to 2010  as previously illustrated on 1150 Words.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Virtual Paintout in Charleston, South Carolina

(click on image to enlarge)



Christmas at Marion Square
Watercolour and marker
©2013 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in Charleston, South Carolina this month.  The Google Streetview of Marion Square, which you can see by clicking here was, of course, photographed during the day, and even then the Community Christmas Tree looked pretty impressive, but I thought it would be better with the lights on.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The most spectacular scenic walk in Victoria

(click on image to enlarge)


Na’Tsa’maht – the unity wall
Watercolour and crayon
©2013 Charlene Brown

An 800-meter granite and concrete breakwater was completed at Ogden Point on the south shore of the city of Victoria in 1916 in anticipation of a massive increase in trade from vessels using the recently-opened Panama Canal. 
For various reasons, most of the really massive stuff has always sailed right by Victoria to Seattle or Vancouver, but in the last few years, more and more Alaska-bound cruise ships have found their way here.

The Ogden Point Enhancement Society, which includes some excellent aboriginal artists, decided it would be nice to have something besides a 90-year-old stretch of blackened breakwater surrounding the cruise ship docks…  Now the first thing many visitors to Victoria see is this illustrationof the legends and culture of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. When completed, the 2000 m2 mural will be among the largest in the world.