Back to mapping the land

Mapping the land #2Over the last few months I have been looking at Aboriginal Art, especially works which map the land using an aerial perspective. It fascinates me, but it turns out I find it quite hard to do; the traditional Western viewpoint is so strongly ingrained. You can see my original post about this here, and some unsuccessful attempts here.  

Yesterday I was having a ‘play’ day – just spending time with paint, stamps, glue etc. I did some mono-prints, some mixed-media collage, a little scrapbooking. A bit of this and a bit of that. I sifted through a few books on my shelf, including some that show the land from above.

After I had relaxed a bit I pulled out some heavier weight watercolour paper and did some monoprints using a bonded plastic bag I had saved from something-or-other. I started just casually working on top of the monoprint. And there it was – the first attempt at aerial mapping that starts to approach what I had in mind. It feels like I have broken through an unseen barrier.

My mapping went “awol”

As you saw a few posts back, I am fascinated with the way modern Aboriginal artists map the land, often from memory. I had a play a week or so back and at the weekend found time to have another shot.It’s not as easy as it looks! Why? Because my brain automatically decides to do “western perspective” landscapes instead, and not very well at that. I think producing something that satisfies my idea of ‘mapping’ the land around me is going to be way more of a learning curve than I had imagined. Bring it on I say…

In the meantime, here are just four of the many I did at the weekend, all on Fabriano Artistico140lb 5×7″ watercolour paper with Golden Fluid acrylics. It was interesting to see the work got looser and more abstract the longer I had a brush in my hand.