It was late October, 2017 when I first received an email from a couple who sought an artist to create a map for their family retreat property in Vermont. After years of thoughtful property development and construction of a home, a cabin, and outbuildings, they wanted it all mapped for practical but artistic wayfinding. Their wish to commemorate family members through naming woodland trails, structures and overlooks after their ancestors and current family members was their hearts' desire. This passion and their overall joy in active family togetherness compelled me to accept the challenge of designing their map. I said yes without having seen photos or existing documentation of the land. Once I began receiving those aids, I quickly realized the awesome task ahead of me! Through the months, we worked closely and harmoniously toward the map's creation.
For this post I've compiled a few images to illustrate to readers the design approach I took. A photo of the finished, framed map in place is at the bottom of this column.
Samples of lettering, icon drawings, and paint colors were essential in making choices for the final rendering of the complex map.
Nine months after the initial phone conversation, the map was completed and shipped to my clients. Starting with their sending an abundance of photographs, images of antique area maps, Colonial signage examples and modern land documents, they were involved in every stage of development of this heirloom piece of artwork. After my pencil draft was developed enough to review with them in person, I traveled with my husband to Vermont to meet them at Hidden Hill. There I, too, fell in love with this land and deeply admired the visionary trail planning and artisan construction work completed throughout it. To be the chosen mapmaker will always feel like an honor.