Original Photo Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

One of my favorite ideas to explore when making art is a sense of place — either small spaces, like a bouquet of flowers in front of a window; scenic locations often viewed through a window; and large landscapes.

Admittedly, I never really noticed this pattern before. It wasn’t intentional, it just keeps showing up, and I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern. I mostly enjoy making art that when I look at it, I can kind of imagine I’m taken into the piece and find comfort and happiness there.

But, I mean, occassionally I’ll draw something like a croissant as the moon… so like I said, it’s just ONE of the themes in my work.

Anyway, I say all this because I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of place. I suppose one finds the time, when one doesn’t leave their place for months… But the real inspiration was in maps and mapmaking.

I think old maps are super neat, even though I don’t know anything about them. I just thought they were really pretty, and super interesting as a part of history. (Side note: the Galileo Museum was a hidden gem in Florence, Italy. It has so many old maps! They were incredible!).

A celestial globe at the Galileo Museum

Apparently I also didn’t realize that hand-drawn map making is still a thing, a genre of illustration. Once I learned, I was like, “I have to try this…why did I never think of this before?!” (Side note part two: I think for like one second in the Galileo Museum I was inspired to make my own map-styled art, but never thought about it again, because it was Florence ITALY and I was inspired by everything…)

So, I’ve bought a book on map making, because learning always starts with a book! And now I’m learning to make maps! I am still at the very very beginning, but I really like it so far. I’m excited to explore new ways for representing places in my work. I haven’t decided what kind of maps to make… I immediately thought made-up fantasy maps would be a lot of fun, but I’m just excited for all the different possibilities!

A compass rose!

It’s also exciting to be able to work on map stuff while I wait for watercolors or ink to dry… I’ve realized that painting is a game of patience (ugh!). So while normally I stick to one project at a time, I’m looking forward to having a couple different pieces to work on right now. After all, the days are long and I can only do so much puzzlin’!

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