Thursday, December 20, 2012

Island Passage, Morning.

Island Passage, Morning 
   painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on  paper, 2012

As 2012 ends, I meditate upon  how grateful I am to have found the water, sky, and landforms of  this powerful, amazing lake and shore-- and for the chance to keep exploring and expressing the connections and transformations I experience.
 Thank you, all who share the journeys with me here!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Liminal, Lake Champlain (watercolor painting)

NOVEMBER LIMINAL, LAKE CHAMPLAIN- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Light , Lake Champlain (Watercolor Series)

AUTUMN LIGHT, LAKE CHAMPLAIN II and III- Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper, 2012.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


 My new novel is set on the waters and shores of Lake Champlain.  This excerpt describes the thoughts and feelings of Malcombe Caulwell, the keeper of an inn that was once a lighthouse, as he walks along the shoreline of Burlington Bay.

     ....  Malcombe Caulwell walked every day, clambering over the rocks that lined the lake along the Cove. Always in sight of silver water, always in sight of the bone-white piled granite of the long breakwater built to keep the inner harbor safe from the storm-whipped winds and waters that in any season could come racing down the long, narrow waterway.

       That single sailboat was still moored here today, rocking a bit on the waves, sails furled-up tight around the wooden boom, a trim and well-kept blue sloop that was always first and last in the water. Today, beneath a suddenly overcast sky, the boat’s usual brightwork seemed dull and old.

       Descending from a boulder, Malcombe stepped onto the hard sand at water’s edge on North Beach. Waves, a foot high, maybe, hissed and plopped hollowly, bringing small branches, even a few small wild apples, to rest for a while at the shoreline. He stepped around a nest of beer bottles, a couple of used condoms that looked like dead jellyfish lying spent in the sand. The power plant tower, smoke-stained red-brown brick, rose to the south. Not belching smoke today, he was glad to see.

       Malcombe always did his best to see beyond the way the lake and shore were misused, disrespected. Not just nowadays, but all through history. His reading and research told him that. For all the sublime and transcendent power made manifest in this confluence of water, mountains, islands, stone, and sky that Lake Champlain revealed, there were also those darker things. Pollution from factories and farms, the slicks of oil that eddied near the tanker piers and often broke loose to wander, sometimes adding a sickening petroleum stench to the heat and humidity of the dog days in August.

       And the blood of battle on these waters: 1776 and Benedict Arnold’s fleet at Valcour, 1814, and Macdonough defeating the British at Plattsburgh… How many ghosts, how many severed limbs, how much flesh and blood and bone under these deep waters, or washed up against isolated stretches of shore? Not to mention the shipwrecks…

       At the place where the sand became a tiny rock-strewn beach, Malcombe stopped to skim a few flat stones. His best effort today lifted seven times; in the flat gray light there was an optical illusion suggesting that it might skip all the way across the water and actually reach those mountains.

       Malcombe smiled, and a word came into his head. Solitude. Certainly not loneliness.

       He never said it aloud anymore, but he knew what really kept him going, from day to day, either alone or as a provider of meals, conversation, and information to passing strangers, was nothing other than love.

       Could you love the whole of a place, a lake, this shoreline for instance, like it was alive? Its past, present, future all flowing together into your heart, your imaginings, your…spirit?

       Yes. He’d shared all this in words with Lauren in the years they’d had together; now it seemed that he quietly, simply lived it.

       Back a few feet from shore now, and up along a higher path, Malcombe walked with the lake to one side and the railroad tracks, three lines of track straight-edging through a swath of cinder and a faint smell of creosote, to the other. From this vantage he could see the curve of the harbor, and beyond to the ancient iron railroad bridge that marked the entry to the old barge canal.

       This was Malcombe Caulwell’s usual turnaround point, about a half hour out from the inn. Time now to head back, bake the single loaf he’d shaped and then left to rise one last time in the cool kitchen.

       So he turned around, began walking back toward home. A juniper-scented wind came out of the north to meet him.
                                          -Kevin Macneil Brown

        THE LAKE OF LIVING WATER is available for purchase at

            Also available  in Kindle Edition :


Sunday, September 23, 2012

September: Suffusion and Suspension...

Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, September 2012.


Much of September at the shore of Lake Champlain seems to be suspended between seasons. The light and atmosphere and textures of water are suffused with something slowly changing. These paintings are from those days when summer has not quite yet departed, and autumn is quietly spilling forth.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Changing Light, Lake Champlain (painting).

Changing Light, Lake Champlain- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Viridian (new music)

Offshore; Viridian and Rust- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and gouache on paper.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dream Passage (watercolor painting)

DREAM PASSAGE- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lake Champlain Beach, Summer Evening (watercolor painting.)

Lake Champlain Beach, Summer Evening  - Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper,  2012.

The ever-changing liminality and layering of water, landforms, and sky at Lake Champlain never ceases to engage me.-kmb

(This painting is available as a giclee print in a signed limited edition. Please email me at the address on the profile page for more information.)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lake Champlain, Summer: Odzihozo, Juniper Island, Changing Skies

Lake Champlain, Summer: Odzihozo, Juniper Island, Changing Skies painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Sketchbook, Burlington Bay, Lake Champlain

Some pages from my watercolor sketchbook, June 20, 2012. A hot hazy day, with a strange glim to sky and water...-kmb

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Passage

June Passage- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, june 2012.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunset, the Cove- watercolor

SUNSET, THE COVE, LAKE CHAMPLAIN- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Available for purchase as limited edition giclee print. For more information, please contact me via the email address on the blog profile page- kmb

Sunday, May 13, 2012

THE INNER HARBOR: Music and Three Paintings.

The Inner Harbor is a place: blue-green northern waters surrounded by long arms of rock and earth. It's also a perception, an awareness. It's the ending and beginning place for all voyages, both sea change and still-point of flowing possibility -kmb

Monday, April 23, 2012


LAKE CHAMPLAIN, APRIL LIGHT- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.


Available for purchase as a giclee print. Limited edition of ten signed prints, printed with archival inks on heavy, textured watercolor paper. 8x 8 inches, 25 dollars plus shipping. Please visit the profile page for email address to contact me. -KMB.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


SKY AND WATER MEDITATION (LAKE CHAMPLAIN) Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

From My New Book, RUNNING DEEP:


...My urge for off-road running is satisfied, if only briefly, by the rocky, rooted trail up into the cliffs at Oakledge Park. Here, I might be forgiven for thinking I’m at the seashore somewhere in northern Maine as I run on shaded, pine-needle-cushioned trails, or leap from rock to rock while waves break, wetting my shoes. At times, the narrow trail comes dangerously close to the exposed red quartzite cliffs. It’s a sheer drop into the lake from here, and I have to balance my greed for the amazing maritime view with a more pressing need to focus on the slippery, wet rock beneath my feet.
Out there in the lake below, between Shelburne Point and pine-clad Juniper Island, sits a massive rock that in Western Abenaki tradition is considered the most important feature on Lake Champlain. Odzihozo-- Rock Dunder to the “English” -- is the creator/transformer in Western Abenaki cosmology. After he created the world--and, most importantly, Lake Champlain-- he shaped himself into this rock, where he could rest for eternity and forever admire his work.
Time after time, as I run along the edges of Burlington Bay, I find myself looking toward Odzihozo; as if to get my bearings; as if to get myself centered somehow within the huge sweep of history and landscape this shoreline reveals. Perhaps it’s fitting that an ancient creator deity would be ever-present, yet ever-changing; appearing slightly different from day to day, from hour to hour and with each shift in the light, the weather, the angle of view.
Leaving the shade of the cliffs, I turn around and head north for a few miles. By now the sun is high and the day is hotter. I watch the silver wakes of boats limn the deep blue water. By now I’m sweating hard, and ready for refreshment. At North Beach I take a quick swim, then rent a kayak for an hour’s paddle out around Lone Rock Point to Apple Tree Bay. After that, it’s time for a lunch of energy bar and sports drink, and some time spent basking in the sun.
Burlington Bay is sublime in the sunshine. But the towering afternoon clouds rolling in are magnificent, too. They filter the lowering, slanting light, sending green-gold rays beaming across the mountaintops, the water, and the sails that dot the horizon.
Though my legs are still a little tired, I feel, in the cooling air, a surprising resurgence of energy. Suddenly, it crosses my mind that the ferry across the broad lake runs all day and into the evening. A new temptation appears before me. After all, I could make it to the dock in time to catch the next crossing, and treat myself to another run, over on the New York side...

by Kevin Macneil Brown

Print copies available here:;jsessionid=723B8B748B1993E1BBEA46680381E1D8

Kindle Edition:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Secret Shore

Secret Shore 3- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lake, Mountains, Changing Sky

Changing Skies, Adirondacks, and Lake Champlain- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, February 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lake Champlain, January Glim

Lake Champlain, January Glim-- painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, Cascading Winter Light


painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012.

The view from the rocks at Oakledge in South Burlington, Vermont, has become for me a vital center: ever-changing; ever-revealing the compelling mysteries of water, mountains; time, space, spirit. This painting comes from a wind-swept afternoon when the water, sky, and land were saying something other-worldly to me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter Passage

Winter Passage- Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2012