Our journey began this week with a drawing of a tree that we are watercolor washing. My students really seem to be enjoying the free nature of drawing a tree and adding character to the tree with texture using lines created with permanent marker. Watching the kids pull from techniques for drawing branches last year with the van Gogh 'Almond Blossoms" lesson was awesome to see. The delicate nature in which many students added branches that stretched and twisted and grew in all directions was personally fulfilling.
I have been slowly collecting maps and atlases for a couple of years.. Tucked away in a tupperware container I have maps that were in some glove compartments well over a decade ago. As a child, I enjoyed reading maps as we took family trips. I wonder if maps are even for sale on the racks at pit stops anymore now that technology has diminished the paper versions.
Using watercolor, I painted a map of the Greater New York area. Next week, my students will alter the maps by not only adding color to their own but by cutting them in a way that can create a beautiful, mixed-media background.
My main interest in maps has been the collage potential while using them and the pride that I took as a child in having a good sense of direction and being able to read maps well. A longtime colleague of mine from Grounds for Sculpture, Aylin Green, has used dress pattens in her gorgeous mixed media contemporary art that I have always admired the quality of.
When I saw the work of Australian artist, Loretta Grayson, I felt the same interest in the quality of her work and the use of beautiful, collaged papers to communicate to the viewer. The colors of the maps coupled with the arrangement of the assembled portions is simply beautiful.