Saturday, August 29, 2015

the long lake between mountains with all the sky above (new music)

                                         (Photo by KMB)

I tend to keep a sort of sonic easel, a place to hold ongoing soundworks for long stretches of time, often the length of a season. I think of these long-form works as actual places I can go to,  places made of sound and space, usually inspired by my re-imagining of  real places in the world.
While there in the music, I treat the sounds, notes, timbres, and textures like paint on paper or canvas, working and playing with proportions, moods, the evocation of landscape and memory. I might keep a work going for months, listening, layering, listening again, until one day it begins to feel finished.

This latest soundwork was begun in the spring and finished in late summer. The energy behind it is the sense of a walk along the stretch of Lake Champlain shoreline from Oakledge to Perkins Pier in Burlington, Vermont. This walk takes the form of pilgrimage,  an immersion in what is there, the way  the elements experienced resonate with something deep and eternal:  a shifting and shimmering of shapes, landforms, waterway and sky, all things rearranging in slow change from angle to angle, aspect to aspect.

I find that these soundworks tell me things that I need to know: things that I might not reach in any other way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Strange Summer Light (watercolor painting)

For a few minutes on a July afternoon, just before clouds thickened and thunder rolled, the light  across Lake Champlain a got very strange-- a sort of luminous, saturated, high-contrast mistiness that suffused the sky and water and shore in and around Burlington Bay.
 I stopped and made this very quick watercolor from the sea-wall at Blanchard Beach. I used very light washes contrasted with dark dry-brush pigments. I had to do a lot of scraping down to bare paper in an attempt to capture the crazy brightness that hit the sails and some places on the water.- KMB

Afternoon, Before a Summer Storm, Lake Champlain- Painting by  Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, July 29, 2015.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Day of Painting at Burlington Bay

Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, June 17, 2015

Too long between trips to the lake—my eyes, heart, soul were more than ready for the water and sky on this perfect cool, clear June morning.  As usual, I began the day with painting--and large iced coffee -- at Perkins Pier, lost in a bliss of morning sun, boats and water and light in motion.

Time vanishes when I paint.

 Running along the bike path , beaches, shore, with my paints and brushes and paper in backpack, I stopped when spirit moved me, painted some more, the distances, shapes and textures of lak e, islands, mountains, and sky shifting as I changed angle and vantage. At Oakledge I stopped for waves and sun for hours. In the afternoon I made my way back the way I had come, but this time in that shimmer of afternoon light that is one of the miracles of Burlington Bay.

 Painting seemed such a flow today, a deep and energetic meditation. Perhaps it helped that I had found a new watercolor paper block that I really liked, in a size and dimensions perfect for what I was seeing. Also, I felt like I had arrived at just the right summer palette: Prussian Blue, Cerulean Blue, Permanent Rose, Yellow Ochre, Viridian, Payne’s Gray, White. 

But even putting matters of technique and material to the side, it  remains that every time I come to this familiar place, I find something new to see, feel, and paint.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lake Champlain, almost sunset, almost spring

LAKE CHAMPLAIN, ALMOST SUNSET, ALMOST SPRING- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2015.

My first lake painting for 2015 comes from the energies and movements of changing light, changing skies, the liminal seasonal transformations of ice and open water.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Lake Champlain and Adirondacks ( Winter Sky in Motion) --watercolor painting

For the second year in a row, the National Weather Service has declared Lake Champlain closed-- that is, completely frozen over. As the lake is more than 100 miles long and around 12 miles across at the widest point, that's a lot of ice.
This watercolor, finished recently, was begun back in late December,when there was open water to be found.

Lake Champlain and Adirondacks (Winter Sky in Motion)  Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2015,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Three December Watercolors

 From one moment to another, the lake and shore and mountains change with the movement of sunlight and clouds.
 This seems especially true during the seasons when the sun stays low in the sky.  Within seconds the mood can change, from timeless stillness  to the moving energies of a broken overcast or distant storms.
 These sights and moods somehow open my spirit to a sense of deep mystery, and I paint to explore them further and hold them in my heart.
   Thanks to all who visit here to share these images, sounds, words. I'll be back with more in 2015.

                                                Lake Champlain, December 

                                    Lake Champlain: Juniper Island and Adirondacks, 
                                                       Breaking December Light                                                  

December :Lake Champlain, Juniper Island, and Adirondacks 

Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, 2014.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October's Changing Light (watercolor painting)

                Lake Champlain, October Afternoon- Painting by KMB, watercolor on paper, 2014.

Last week I once again spent an entire day wandering the shoreline and beaches between Oakledge and Perkins Pier alongside Burlington Bay. I made many sketches, observations, meditations. As often happens, there was one moment-- amidst and within all the changing light, shifting forms and textures--that wanted to stay with me.  Over the following week, in good painting light, I revisited that moment and made this watercolor. -KMB