Thursday, April 2, 2009

Valley Ridge Art Studio Bliss

What could be lovelier than a weekend spent in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin creating art in a beautiful space with creative people?

I had such an opportunity last weekend when I went to Valley Ridge Art Studio for an amazing workshop taught by the super smart and talented Jill K. Berry called Personal Geographies: Mapping Your Life.

And map we did! Here's an example of the body map we did with layers of vellum telling the story our body holds - with words & symbols.
Then it was on to mapping our brains. I managed to censor most of my darkest thoughts, but that pesky fear of falling had to have it's way!
And then onto a cheerier subject - a map of my basic needs!
Everyone really loved this folded map. We all mapped a place we were familiar with. I chose Wilson Park circa 1977 and even included the pine trees aka the 'make-out woods'.
We created a happy mess. Here's Kathy's artfully arranged work station and glimpse of her amazing mind map loaded with Egyptian imagery.
This is a simple strip map of my journey to Valley Ridge. I decided on a more metaphorical route and took some time after the class finishing this. Here's a hint - don't work on items that require good spelling when you're tired. Can you find the typo? I didn't find it until I was done. Completely. Neat, eh?
This was the largest type of map we did - a timeline. This is a brief history of my life. I didn't bring a lot of personal images to use, so I went for symbolism. It's not what I intended, but I felt like I needed to jump in and just try it and let go of the result.
And finally, the finale... a well-crafted atlas holder to carry our maps home. I had to snag some of Jill's hand-painted paper to use on the cover as a remembrance of this wonderful class.

What did I learn? A whole lot of cartographic history. Jill is a storehouse of knowledge and freely shared stories of stolen maps and history gone wrong with the class. I also learned that my drawing skills are very very rusty. I need to practice! I learned that to enjoy the process and let go of the outcome. I also learned that I can push a car up an icy hill. But that's a story for another day!

Thank you Kathy, Jill and all the wonderful women in the workshop. You made it memorable and spectacular!

1 comment:

CricketsNumberOneFan said...

I love all of these maps, especially the strip map. It depicts such a lovely little jaunt. I suspect that Terra Ingonito is not to scale and shows up here too big.