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September 2012

Inspired by Places of the Heart; Artful Maps Part II

Of the eleven map designers in The Artful Map, A One-Page Journal, five elected to create maps unrelated to the North Cascades environment. Being in a place where the tools, materials, and design instruction were available to them allowed them to fulfill their concepts of maps that illustrated other meaningful places and heartfelt experience.

Patricia Resseguie's map was inspired by a certain heart-related incident.
 In these photos, her design takes shape and color becomes an important element. Added to her drawn central images, she designed a partial border of banners, spheres, and significant words.
Please click on this image to see a larger view of her finished map.

As a child and as a young adult, the Girl Scout Camp Robbinswold played an important part in Ardi Butler's life. She brought reference materials (photos and a basic map) to use for her own illustrated map.
Carefully done drawings and map graphics enhance the overall piece and evoke memories.

Sarah Baylinson took an image of a heart and created a metaphorical map. Careful design decisions and precise rendering yielded a clean, crisp image. Click on the image to the right for a close-up view of her heart-as-map.

Starting with the inspiration to map her own Camano Island home, Mary Ann Weeks used a GoogleEarth image to help get her started. She transferred her elegantly-shaped pencil renderings (above) to final paper. On the left you see her applying one of many layers of colored pencil to her drawing.

Above, Shannon Finch diligently works at transferring map, insets, titles, and illustrations to one sheet of paper.
Shannon map
Memories and iconic images of Ohai, CA, help make up Shannon's comemmoration of her many years of visiting the city where her parents previously lived. Drawing and watercoloring were things she had done little of, so making this complex map challenged her.

Here we are (minus Stephanie, Libby, and Jessica) at the trailhead sign for the Happy Creek Trail located 6 miles east of the Learning Center. I designed the map on this newly installed Park sign. This was our lunchtime field trip taken on Saturday, Sept. 8. Judging by the smiles, everyone was ready to leave projects on desks and get out into the forest.

After the end of the Artists' Retreat, each class visits the studios of the others that were also part of the retreat. Here you can see our classroom filled with visitors viewing the finished maps along with the work-ups done by everyone.
Well done, cartographers!

Inspired by Place, Challenged by Design: Artful Maps in the Mountains (Part I)

DSCF9303For eleven determined map designers, the ever-available view of the North Cascades' Colonial Peak and Pyramid Peak from the North Cascades Institute's Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake may have helped give them perspective as they navigated their ways through the complex process of drawing maps during The Artful Map, A One-Page Nature Journal (Sept. 6-9). This class does not offer templates; each participant designs her or his individual representation of a Place. As we all learned, this requires the courage of a mountain climber and the calm of a monk. They earned their badges, as their work will testify. Some had considerable art experience, and some had very little at all. Each one pushed to learn new technical skills and develop keen eyes for design. I have divided the review into two parts. Part I, here, shows the maps that were based on the local or regional areas in the North Cascades. Scroll down further to read Part II:

Robin and Stephanie both used frosted mylar, ink, and colored pencil. Both maps are 11" x 17."


Robin Downs (her map is on the left) was inspired to render the waters and glaciers of the North Cascades punctuated with black bird icons. Above, Stephanie Bennett chose to feature "The Pickets,", a series of rugged peaks in the N. Cascades. The elevation lines created rich linear texture while carefully drawn peaks showed through in vignette form.



Jennifer Klamm arrived in class knowing she wanted to work with colored pencils. Other than that, she had no pre-conceived idea. The result: a richly illustrated map with her own poetic words featuring the beautiful little Peninsula Trail at the edge of Diablo Lake. Her studious and methodical way of working can be seen above.





My dry-erase marker set comes in handy in my workshops at the Learning Center. To offer a little daily lettering design lesson, I will select a quote to put up on the board. The maps made in the class told many stories. Below, Libby Mills incorporated as many possible visual stories related to this region as she could fit on one small journal page. Click on her map to see a larger view, and have fun reading this map.


Libby Mills' one-page "favorite distractions and highights" featuring sightings of Dippers along the SR 20 route to the Learning Center.

Brain Peterman composed his page with three columns and a very nicely lettered title stretching across the top. Illustrations and detailed journal notes complemented the central map showing the hiking route he and his wife followed the week before the class.
The completed, artful map. Recently retired from a career in computer-related work, Brian enjoyed making something entirely by hand.


DSCF9350Jessica Haag's map (not complete yet) features a stylized Deer Creek Trail, an enchanting path near campus, with some favorite highlights. A shelter, a hummingbird's nest, native plants, and various icons enhance her circular map. One of Jessica's intents was to incorporate classic map elements in unconventional ways. Her scale is represented in hoof prints.

Part II may be seen below.