About the creation of the maps and why I only have what I have so far,:
They are all HAND CREATED, with pencil, liquid acrylic, and paint pens, on paper. Nothing is done on the computer to begin with. They are then photographed, and printed digitally. Once they are in digital format, I can then go in and add people's names or addresses. But the original painting of each map is hand done by just me.
I am not a company of a group of people. It is just me. I make everything on this website with my hands. Except for the frames.
I am working towards a complete series of Massachusetts towns. Each map can take 2-4 weeks to complete. I began almost 6 years ago after my Mom passed away, with my own home town, ATHOL, and then did the other 8 towns in North Quabbin (a regional name given to the 9 towns in 1980). From there, I completed all the towns that surround the Quabbin Reservoir, which is of utmost interest to me personally. A store called LOOT Found+Made in Turners Falls began carrying my maps, and so I then made sure to create the towns in the Turners Falls area for her customers. I also hang out quite a bit in Amherst, Nothampton, and Easthampton, where I also sell to stores. I used to live in the Boston neighborhoods Jamaica Plain and Roslindale, so that's why I have those. And then there are a few randoms, like Lake Mattawa, which where the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange takes place, and is one my best shows. Belfast ME, is where my cousin owns Three Tides and Marshall Wharf Brewery, so that's why I have that... and so on and so forth.
By no means am I intentionally not doing certain towns. I hope, one day, to have them all, as well as all of the Boston Neighborhoods, and there are over 20 of those...
When I don't have a town done, it's simply because I just haven't done it yet. I am a full time painter and DJ. And although I love making the maps, I sometimes need a break from their technical nature. Plus, there are so many other types of painting I love to do and need to do for shows and stores; so I work in "spurts".
When I don't know much about a town, I usually reach out to it's Historical Society to find out what makes the town unique. My parameters are not just "historical". I also aim to highlight any destinations or businesses that make that town tick. I rely on locals to fill me in. I do as much research as I can, and even try to visit places to see things with my own eyes. But I prefer getting first hand input from locals willing to connect on the phone.
In a nutshell, the majority of the maps I have represent the area where I currently live and do business. As the years go by, I hope to explore vending in more areas and will then create those maps. In the meantime, I have a running list of towns that have priority either because a customer has literally commissioned me to create one by a certain deadline, or because they interest me personally. If I apply to be vender at a show in a town where I have no map, well, I then prioritize doing that town in time for the show, and maybe even a few around it if time permits.
I want them to look somewhat folk-art-like, or vintage. I want them to hold up in time. I know that businesses come and go, and so it is hard to not run into that issue from time to time. I at least want to pay homage to the ones that really matter or had/have some sort of positive impact on the community. But in some cases, I have taken artistic license and have needed something to fill in a hole, or balance the image visually, so yes, I'm sure there are things on each map that at least one person might question. But my thinking is, that, the more each map contains, the more people will connect to it.
The gathering of information for each town has been very different. The execution of the art work is always the same.
I get the shape of the town down, and then see what I have for space on the paper afterwards. Some towns are more vertical, some, horizontal. Some are plain, some are very ornate. Towns like Northampton are going to have 400x more information than a town like Oakham. And so on...
All these challenges determine how that maps come out looking. And I am getting more and more detailed with them as time goos on.
I really try to make my maps stand out from other maps, by going in as deep as I can into the minutiae of a town.
They are a labor of love from a small town girl.
All of my work is done with the same liquid acrylic paint; the maps, stones, wood blocks, paintings on wood, canvas, or burlap...everything.
Apologies for the varied levels of photography quality, some were taken by my boyfriend (good) and some were taken by me (bad)....
I am a painter. Not a photographer/web designer...
I tend to, or hope to, do certain shows every year, where the dates may vary slightly, but tend to fall on the same weekend. I also have some new shows this year: