Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mapped Journey

Hi! Deborah here. This month's theme really resonates with me. My family and I were on a big journey this summer. We moved from Maryland to Texas. My husband is in the Navy and it's our twelfth move during our 21 years of marriage.

I took these moves and the adventures we've experienced as my "journey" inspiration.

I started simply by printing out a few outline maps of the US and just taped them into my sketchbook.

I added water color details by filling in the states in which I have lived and adding the orange and blue patterned background.

Next I outlined the states and wrote the names of the cities where I have lived. Then added those big circles and some small doodly details. I filled in the circles with another layer of water color. Too messy? Maybe. But, I was just exploring and playing with materials and colors.

Here's a detail where you can see the names of the cities. I lived in two different cities in Minnesota, Florida and Kansas.

Just a simple wash on this page. I like the way the tape creates a random mask and adds more interest to the page.

Next I used a Sharpie to make a dot in all the locations where I have lived, then drew dotted lines showing the moves from one place to another. I wish I would have taken a picture of that just the set of lines and dots. But, then I added the list of where I was in each year. That's the red writing on the left. I like how it both obscures and blends with what's underneath.

I used a blue Sharpie to add the names of the people with whom I lived in each of those places. I've only lived alone once... in Lawrence, Kansas when I was in college.

For this page, I was going for a tie dye look with Dallas as the center of the circle. The blue and the purple look kind of cool, but the red looks like a bleeding wound. Right? Not good. 

I doodled a star over the offending section. After all, Texas is the "lone star" state.

More doodling with a pattern of little house shapes and a subtle bit of script over the top. It says "returning." In all my moves, this is the first time we have moved back somewhere. Back to the same house, familiar faces and favorite restaurants.

A map is a great starting point for sketchbook explorations. You can easily print out a map like the one I used... or any other configuration as inspiration. Road maps? Bus Routes? Trail maps and mountain elevations? Imagine the possibilities!


  1. I love this post! Thanks for sharing your process, Deborah!

  2. I really like this idea - thanks for the inspiration!


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