100 days of Maps+Compasses: Halfway Point Highlights

We’re quite a bit past the halfway point now in #the100dayproject2019 but I have been meaning to share some of my work with you.

The theme I picked for my project is Maps + Compasses, and true to form it has been a winding road. The underlying theme is pilgrimage, especially interior pilgrimage, and my big question became how do I go about sharing that element in a visual way? I tried to narrow the scope as much as possible, by only working with watercolor crayons and pencils – trying to limit my tendency to overcomplicate my creative process.

Strangely enough, my first challenge that showed up was to allow myself to be flexible. To change the parameters of the project as needed instead of rigidly following the original prescription I set for it, allowing myself to find inspiration where ever I went.

Such as when I spotted a bumper sticker on a cherry red Fiat flying down the freeway, and drew it when I got home:

Another great instance of this was found in Julia Cameron’s wonderful book The Vein of Gold. I read about how writing by hand is like a pilgrimage, then curved my cursive of those words around a compass:

Although I tried to stick to my watercolor crayons and pencils, on many days I didn’t have the energy to figure out what I was going to draw/paint. Instead of criticizing myself when I skipped a few days for lack of ideas, I let myself change mediums and experiment a bit. Here I photographed a hiking compass of mine on white paper, and photoshopped it four different ways:

I did keep having to fight against my tendency to give in to tiredness and skip making entirely on the days I didn’t feel like it – even though I know I will feel energized when I am actually doing it! Then there’s the stalling – boy, you KNOW I’m procrastinating when I start doing dishes or laundry before I’ll sit myself down to start painting. What is with that!? I don’t suppose anyone else can relate…

Other rounds involved tracing out a map of France – one of my favorite countries in the world, which I plan to visit this year. Here is a detail of “the heart of France, on fire”. I had seen that exact headline in French shortly after the awful blaze at Notre Dame de Paris.

Then a couple weeks later I pulled out my Fantastic cities coloring book and went to town:

Since the halfway point came and went in late May, the last three weeks have held a whole lot of not making anything, largely due to my desire to create more complicated work bumping up against the daily nature of this project. So from here on out, it’s back on the bandwagon for the final few weeks and a focus on simplicity will be my priority.

If you’d like to journey with me on my ongoing creative pilgrimage, please follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/arsmagnalucisetumbrae/

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