Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Camp I

Conducting research at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre  
The be-jewelled cape in this photo is a symbolic replacement for the mountain goat’s hair, used in traditional Coast Salish weaving.* 

I signed up for an on-line art blogging workshop called Creative Content Camp with ArtBiz coach Alyson B. Stanfield at the last minute and hit the ground running (in confused little circles) on June 17, just in time to download Lesson 1.

Upon studying the schedule I realized that I was going to miss the Lesson 1 Q&A session as I’d be AFK from 7am June 21 to 7pm June 23 on an Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expedition to a Picasso show at the Vancouver Art Gallery and a tour of the new Audain Art Museum and the Squamish/Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.

Fortunately this interruption tied in nicely with Activity 2 of Lesson 1, which was to ‘research what’s going on in your local art scene - if you are within driving distance of a major metropolitan area or know you’ll be visiting one in the near future, research the museums in that city‘ in preparation for Challenge 1: Mind-mapping content categories. 

*The mountain goat hair used by the Coast Salish weavers was gathered from trees the animals rubbed against to help shed their winter coats, should you be wondering how they obtained it – I know I certainly was.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mid-Year Review

Drifting… an hour later
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

A new project, an offshoot of the fine Art of Physics book I completed in April of 2015, is a compilation of things I have written about visualizing information.  In February, I illustrated some computer-generated ‘Clean Energy Haiku’ with haiga-like computer-posterized versions of watercolour sketches of Japan, beginning with Shirakawa, and in May I began a series of blog posts on ‘found’ haiku, using posterized Canadian landscapes.  

In May I completed a five-day NYU/Scientific American on-line course, The Psychology of Creativity, including six blog posts on Enhancing Creativity, and recently I have embarked on another of these on-line courses, Mysteries of the Universe. 

So far this year, all my travel journaling has been virtual, as I’ve participated in each of the six Virtual Paintouts: Inverness and Edinburgh in Scotland, Majorca, Sydney and Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales, Sri Lanka, Acadia National Park in Maine and Napa Valley in California. Charlene Brown

Monday, June 20, 2016

Drifting down the east coast

... as the sun was rising
Watercolour and crayon
2016 Charlene Brown



Along the east coast of Newfoundland, it’s not unusual to wake up in the morning to find that an iceberg has meandered into the neighbourhood. This painting is based on a Maclean’s Magazine photo by Darren Calabrese, showing an iceberg about six kilometres off the coast near the Bonavista Peninsula.  The 10,000-year-old ice masses appeared early this year due to an El Niño weather system. The tips of these icebergs reach up to 24 m high, with as much as another 100 m beneath the surface.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Virtual Paintout in Napa Valley

Soda Springs Rd.
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Virtual Paintout is in the Napa Valley in California this month. Here is a link to the Google Streetview of Soda Springs Rd. 

This is at least the fifth time it’s been in this admittedly very paintable western state.  But the western provinces of Canada are also very paintable and the Virtual Paintout hasn’t been there once!  Their three (!) ventures north of the border have all been down east, to Nova ScotiaPrince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Not that I’m complaining... But I think I might summon up the nerve to make a suggestion sometime soon…

Monday, June 6, 2016

Yet another purple forest

Above the Stawamus Chief
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The Chief, in the left foreground, towers 700 m. above the end of the Howe Sound fjord. It is (allegedly) the second largest granite monolith in the world.

From this point, on a hiking trail around the plateau at the top of Sea to Sky Gondola, we could see the town of Squamish, the port, the university campus and even Black Tusk, the core of an extinct volcano near the Whistler ski area. I included as much of this as possible, plus the mix of burnt and surviving timber and new growth covering that part of the mountainside – a theme I’ve used before.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mayne Island: So near and yet so far

Been there (on one of those ferries) done that (sailed right on by)
Watercolour and crayon
©2016 Charlene Brown

The big ferries (2000 passengers and crew, 400 cars) that run regularly between Vancouver Island and the mainland barely slow down as they go by each other in Active Pass between Galiano and Mayne Island. Thus, while most of us who live on Vancouver Island have sailed by Mayne dozens of times, a surprising number of us have never actually been there.
One of the fundraising projects of a group I belong to, the Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, is to organize tours of artists’ studios on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. For (quite) a few dollars more than we have to pay for lunches, a chartered bus and ferries, we take the participants round to the often idyllically-located studios which may be deep in the forest, on a cliff overlooking the ocean, or in vineyards and orchards.  A couple of weeks ago, we toured Mayne, many of us for the first time, met some wonderfully creative people, all very involved in the activities of the close-knit artistic community there.
 I have previously written about studio tours on SaltSpring Island, Saturna Island, Campbell River, Quadra Island, Hornby Island and Denman Island