Friday, November 5, 2010
On the Map
With all of the things happening in and around Fond du Lac, where I currently live, neither I nor Brian have been able to travel much. In fact, we haven't really taken a trip far away at all this year, which in one way is good because we were able to save more money.
But in so many other ways, that's bad! I love to travel. Hotels, new restaurants, fun sightseeing - I love it all. So I suppose it's no surprise that I ADORE maps.
I love maps of all kinds. I even took a fabulous workshop called "Personal Geographies" with the amazing Jill K. Berry last year. It taught me to see my own journeys in a cartographic sense.
I am terrible with directions. I always have been. And I come by it naturally - my mom and Grammie are not so hot, either. Good thing I married Brian - I always kid that he has a steel plate in his head - the man can go somewhere ONCE and remember how to get there. I wish I had that ability! Sometimes it takes me five times before I remember!
But oh, do I love the design of maps. The compass roses, the little scale lines, that gorgeous light blue that seems ubiquitous on road maps, the tiny highway signs, beautiful globes - it's all wonderful. I suppose some people may argue the validity of maps in the ephemeral sense - we do use them more than once, after all - but more and more, they're becoming dinosaurs. Now that so many people are using their GPS devices to find their way, maps seem almost quaint now. Which is a shame, in my opinion. Map-reading will eventually be a lost art if we rely on electronics and satellites to tell us where to go.
It sure is easy to obtain old maps! I find them all over the place - junque shops, antique stores, closeouts - you name it, you'll be able to find old maps. And, as you probably have surmised by now, I LOVE using them in my artwork - so much so, in fact, that I started my own Flickr group called Map Art (I was shocked to learn that a similar group didnt' exist!). Here are some of my favorite collages I've done with maps: