Map to an Undiscovered Country
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
I’m going to post a bit more about some of the pieces in October’s Floating Gallery for the next couple of weeks, starting with this one! If there’s a piece you’re curious about, feel free to ask.
This painting was directly inspired by a patron’s reaction to one of last month’s pieces. You know who you are, and thank you! It’s been a month of being fascinated with maps, for me, so this was a good way to explore that.
There’s two kinds of pen and ink on here, my teeny tiny Micron pen outlining the fjords and inlets around this strange country, and the thicker Japanese Pilot fountain pens in deep green and dark brown forming the inner details.
The line across the middle feels like a river and lake to me, but what if it’s a border, a fault, a plateau or crater? I love the mystery created by the map, making you wonder if the yellow is beaches or deserts or something else. Are those deep green spaces forests or mountains? If the brown aren’t roads, what are they? Are there even people in this undiscovered land, or are you the first to gaze upon it?
Map to an Undiscovered Country, 5″x7″ pen & ink and watercolor on Arches cover white paper.
Above, you can see a close-up of the paper texture interacting with the media to create detail, the tiny hand-drawn borders making strange borders, the thicker lines intersecting and the edge of the shape in the center. Below, you can see it in the frame I got especially for this piece, though of course once it finds a new home I’ll be able to re-purpose this, should the frame not go with it.
I’ll end on a note about works in pen and ink. Most colored inks are made with dyes and are less lightfast than the pigments in paint. If you put your art somewhere that gets direct sunlight, it will fade like an old map despite the high quality art paper. So don’t do that.
Actually, don’t do that to any art, because even the most lightfast pigments degrade over time. Also, it’s just not nice.