Wednesday, February 27, 2019

range and divide (with endless sky) - New Music

   Continuing my inner resonance with the mystery of high peaks and big sky, this soundscape composition works with material made with steel guitar back in October of 2018, later shaped and altered digitally to create texture and harmonic haze.
 The shape and sound of this piece had been hovering in my mind for months, and in January of 2019   I awoke from a dream wherein I had heard--and seen-- it complete.
 That morning I sketched the score/map shown here,  and used it as a guide as I made the piece, which was finished and recorded in February.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Mountains, again....

This winter I have been focusing much of my painting time on mountains. The shapes and textures, the mystery and science of the way they change from day to day in different light and shadow continue to hold me in thrall.
 Along with a few recent watercolors of mountains in both Vermont and Colorado,  I'd also like to share an excerpt from my latest novel-in-progress. The words below are in the form of a journal entry by the book's narrator and protagonist, an artist named Euclid Lane who has, in the 1930s, come to paint in the high country of Northwest Colorado.

Paintings by Kevin Macnieil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, January 2019.

It’s a struggle, sometimes, to keep certain aspects of the painting in balance. The urge is to paint what you see. But then there’s that other urge, sometimes just as strong, to paint what you know.
The thing is, what you see and what you know do not always agree.
You can always fall back safely on what you see, but as you learn to see better—- to see more and to see more deeply—-you might find out that seeing is, after all, not enough.
One day, then, you find yourself using everything you see and everything you know, to start painting what you don’t know, won’t ever know. 
If you manage to get that all going together, well, you just might have a chance of painting the mountain--or anything, really—- and getting it almost right.  
- Kevin Macneil Brown, excerpt from a novel in progress, 2019.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Mountains in Winter

                                        Alpenglow on Worcester Range 
                         Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, 2018.

Sunburst Over Continental Divide
Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and gouache on paper, 2018.

Snow came in  November here in Vermont, and I prepared my winter palette earlier than usual. Having just finished the first draft of a new novel set in mountainous country, I found that mountains were very much in my heart and mind, and mountains are mostly what I have been painting in these last months of the year. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

two quiet autumn places in sound

During the month of October I  made two pieces of sound art inspired by a desire to create an audio analogue to the inner and outer energies of two quiet places in the autumn landscape.

The tools I used were simple: a steel guitar tuned to proportions that came from meditation and listening, a decades-old reverb unit with delay and echo settings I had made a long time ago, and a laptop for capture and mix.

The music was played and recorded in one pass, which resulted in the first piece below. The same material was shaped in mixing to create the second piece.As I worked I immersed myself in memories and  feelings from the places that were the inspirations.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October Colors and Textures (New Paintings)

Mountain Pond, October Morning
(watercolor and graphite)

October River ( watercolor and gouache)

                                                  October, View North ( watercolor and gouache)

                                            Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, October 2018.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Rust Mountain Poems

My dreams find
in distant mountains.

What can we bring
that would be a blessing
to this clean new edge of sky?

Awake and wash
at pond’s edge; ice
has not yet formed.

See and feel the
feathery clouds in
morning’s wind-washed sky;
listen as October leaf
falls and finds the damp, soft

Whoever built this gate
has gone away;
hear the latch snick shut as
rust meets wood meets emptiness.

Deer running sleek
in sacred places:
open meadow meets birch thicket;
not far now to go, to find
cool shade of hemlocks and sleep.


Not quite
crescent moon
white pine is
 dark and tall
and swaying
holding hard to

Easy to see the wind
stir quiet water, make
ripples outward—
but it might take this lifetime
to know and become
ripples deep and inward.

                                                   - Kevin Macneil Brown


Monday, July 16, 2018

Hinman Lake, July Morning

                                                      Hinman Lake, July Morning-
                                Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, gouache on paper, 2018.

This summer I've been focusing on painting in gouache. As my favored medium is watercolor, it has been challenging and satisfying to explore different ways of thinking about color, light, and texture; layering opaque, rather than transparent, colors..

 Working from sketchbooks and memory, I decided to make a gouache painting of a place that  continues to resonate inside  me: Hinman Lake in the Routt National Forest in Clark, Colorado.