Saturday, August 16, 2014

illustrated maps

work in progress - oil on gessobord - 24x18 inches
I've been wanting to tackle an illustrated map of Kingston.  I've been thinking about it for a long while. I have a wonderful copy of an illustrated map from my mother's home town, Stamford which is a gorgeous town in Lincolnshire, UK.  I've spent many happy hours looking at it and finding neighbourhoods I remember visiting.  It's quite detailed; I think the original is done in pen and ink and watercolour washes.  I've also enjoyed other versions of illustrated maps from various places we've visited, but I've never seen one of Kingston, so figured why not give it a go?
A couple of days ago I got out a huge sketch pad and began making rough sketches but I quickly lost my enthusiasm...I was feeling frustrated...painting is my thing, not drawing. I was getting hung up on accuracy and perspective. 
Today while I was having an acupuncture treatment, listening to nature sounds piped into the room I let my mind drift about possibilities and came to me that what I really wanted was to paint it. Eureka! of course...why didn't I think about that?  For some reason I was hung up on most of the other illustrated maps that I've seen which are mostly all pen and ink, or illustration inks on paper, so I guess I just thought that's what medium I should do! silly me.  Listening to my heart told me to paint it because painting is what I really love to do. As soon as I started to think about painting it, I knew I wanted to work on a slick smooth gessobord surface so that the brushmarks will remain visible and not soak in like they often do on canvas.
I've only blocked in the lay of the land at this point, but will need to let it dry before I work into it to add iconic Kingston landmarks.  stay tuned, I'll post again when done.  woohoo! this one's a blast:)


  1. Hi Sally, I have just been catching up on your blog - and WOW!!! So much has been happening in your life while I've been away - both on the personal front and the painting front. Congratulations on your daughter's marriage, and how exciting that you are soon to be a grandma! I love every one of your art works and how you are trying new styles. Your illustrated map is a great idea and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. It may make for a good print to sell to tourists and locals alike.xxxx

  2. Hi Wendy! Welcome home to Oz. Your trip was really lovely to catch glimpses of from your blog. It looked to be a wonderful saw so much. I'm sure you have many memories to last you for a good long time. thanks for your comment! Yes it's been a busy summer for us here, it was so fun. I am getting back into painting this month after a month of not too much but prep for the wedding etc. I will head to Halifax soon to help Rachel out when the babe arrives. Looking forward to that. The illustrated map is fun, hope I can pull it off. Yes I thought it would be a good print to sell, we'll see...I mustn't get ahead of to finish it first, and there's quite a bit of work yet. fingers crossed I can pull it off. xo

  3. Oh mom....what a fabulous idea!! You should keep it under lock and key until it is done. What a wonderful thing to create!! Im sure it will be a hot item for not only the gallery but all local shops! Best of luck with it, even without any details on it...BAM! it screams Kingston! OXxo

  4. yes Holly you are right, thanks for the encouragement, and I will not post again until it's complete and available as prints. I was so excited about getting started on it tho, that I had to share my enthusiasm for a painted version. We'll see how it progresses. I'm looking forward to adding to it. it will be fun and joyful, that's the most important to me. xo

  5. Wow! I'm impressed, what a project.
    A lovely and thoughtful idea.

    XOXOXOXOXO Barbara

  6. Hi Barbara,
    definately a side-step for me but challenging and fun


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