Thursday, January 14, 2010

For the Love of Letters and Cities

I'm having such a great time with the new letters and maps I have purchased.

This is a 1940's street map of New York City. It is as dry and fragile as an (extremely) elderly lady's skin. Now unfurled, it will remain so. It has the most beautiful shade of blue for the water. I've already mercilessly cut into it for another one of my text pieces, which I have finished. My husband has snagged that to take to work. Hopefully, I'll eventually get a photo of it.

This map is from an awesome 1950's book of world cities. I have had a copy of this book for several years. I looked through it the other day and found there were dozens and dozens of beautifully colored city street maps. I almost cut the book up, but couldn't. At least until I purchased another copy. I did. Now, I've cut up the newly received copy, which was not in as good condition as the one I already had. I intend on purchasing all of the copies I can find.

This is another 6 x 6" piece in progress. My hubby says the black shapes are tombstones, I say they are houses. I love that birch bark fabric in the background. Lots of tree imagery here.

I think this one is going to have some black root shapes embroidered around the edge. Not sure what else to do to this piece.

There will be more of these pieces. The more I do the more I want to do. Now that I've got my hands on letter stamps and maps, I'm like a shark that has smelled a drop of blood. I feel a frenzy coming on.

Looking at that book of maps has encouraged me to get on Google Maps and explore. American cities are not quite what they were back in the 1950's. Those maps show hotel locations with wonderful names (Pickwick Hotel, Congress Hotel, Hotel Citizen) instead of Motel 6. And theaters (Empire, Rivoli, Lyric). Artistic works in masonry. No doubt plowed down and paved over.

I took a Google Map trip to downtown Atlanta. What did I see? Banks, hotels, parking garages. I saw nothing (but a Hard Rock Cafe) that had any possibility of luring a pedestrian in. Where are the cafes? The shops? Shoe repair? Barbers? Not picking on Atlanta here. I just haven't had a chance to cruise lots of other cities yet.

Are there any cities that are, well, still cities? Downtowns where people still live, work, shop and entertain themselves?

If you know of such a city, please let me know. I love killing time on Google Maps.

13 comments:

paula said...

holy cow woman you are moving at warp speed...seriously i'm really loving this new body of work, the feel and energy is STRONG.

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Martys Fiber Musings said...

Your new maps are great as are your 6" x 6" works. Show me more!!

ArtPropelled said...

Exciting work Kim! I'm impressed.

BTW, you won!

Sunder said...

I love maps - I collect the inserted maps out of old National Geographics...I've spent years trying to come up with a project worthy of them, maybe I should just do anything and worry about finding more of them later!

lori vliegen said...

i've always loved the graphic, cozy feel to your work....and now that you've gone shark crazy with the letter stamps and maps, i'm SO excited to see where you'll end up in this new direction!!! these pieces are fabulous!!! ;))

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What great maps! I love the blue turquoise colors.

Margaret Ryall said...

Kim,
This work is very inviting to me. It has so many elements I love, letters, hints of nature, neutral colours, houses, trees. Keep it going, I feel your energy.

As for a small city with a vibrant downtown where people live, shop, work and do everything related to the arts check out St. John's, Newfoundland on Google Maps. I hope you won't be disappointed.

jason said...

these are great! Seriously.

kendalee said...

oh yeah, the mojo's clearly back Kim! And looking great. I'm loving these. I love maps too - always have - and am just amazed by Google maps...

Colleen Kole said...

The blue turquoise is a tempting color. I love the new work with all the letters and the neutral colors. This is exciting.

Puddleduck said...

I love your work! (Found your blog from a link at ATC'sforAll) So pleased I dropped by..............
I love maps and aerial views too... Google Earth is amazing hey?
Sandi

bridgette said...

These are great kim!

Chicago is definitely a living city. People live and work in the downtown. I don't live downtown, but I live in the city, and it's still very city. every neighborhood has its own character as well.

You should check out Seattle and Portland as well. downtown seattle has been going through a resurgence with people moving back downtown. It's nothing like chicago, as it is a very small city comparing. But I also like how they try to integrate the beautiful natural surroundings with the urbanscape.