For a while I’ve been brainstorming ways to combine plants and maps. I was originally inspired by a call for art from the Arboretum, but it’s also been interesting to me since they’re two things I get really excited about so there must be some way they can work together. I had an idea to do something specimen-inspired, and drew out some ideas:
I tried drawing on actual leaves, which was fun but less than archival. But I had more success drawing around leaf prints.
I tried a few ways to make prints, including painting leaves with wash and leaving them pressed against watercolor paper to dry:
The detail came out pretty well, although I was initially disappointed by the spottiness. As I played with the forms, though, I realized I could draw hybrids of leaves and maps, using mapping to fill out the missing spaces of the leaf print. I like how they came out!
The above array of leaf prints was accepted into the Arboretum show, so it will be on view for the reception on Thursday, September 18th from 6-8 and through JP Open Studios weekend (September 20-21) from 10am-5pm at the Arboretum exhibition hall.
I’ve been posting some map progress photos and sketches on my new Instagram account (@emilymap). Check out the images below for a sample, then head over to http://instagram.com/emilymap to see more!