Our Year in Places

I saw the fantastic artist Bridget Gleason post a delightful image of a drawing she had made of her relationship in places. I loved the idea of making paintings of the places that represent elements or portions of our lives. So, I decided to create an image of our year in places. I started by brainstorming the places that have meant a lot to us or been a consistent part our lives this year. 

 

The first three places to represent our year

The first three places to represent our year

The first three paintings are: [top left] Jane visited the Rural Studio, in Alabama, with her office. [top right] Gregg went to wrestling and explored L.A. with his friends Ellen and Nick. [bottom] Jane traveled to Costa Rica with her sister Claire.

 

The remaining eight places to represent our year

The remaining eight places to represent our year

From top left to bottom right: 1. Gregg traveled to Montreal a lot for work. 2. Jane traveled a lot to St. Louis for work. 3. We visited family, in Wisconsin, for a play with our nieces, birthday party, and play performances by our niece Emily. 4. We got married at the Chicago Cultural Center! 5. We traveled to Paris, Gregg worked and Jane painted. 6. We got engaged in Rome! 7. We went for lots of walks near our home, including many visits to the Baha’i Temple. 8. We got to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and celebrate the wedding of Jane’s cousin’s wedding in Washington, DC.

Using Adobe Illustrator to compose the layout and add text.

Using Adobe Illustrator to compose the layout and add text.

Once I had all of the paintings completed, I used Adobe Illustrator to create a composition and add text and banner illustration. For now, my illustration is a 5x7 postcard, which I’ll have printed and use as holiday cards. I may also format it for creating a larger print to be framed. This was such a fun project for me! I love the opportunity to reflect and make art to represent my experiences. I was fascinated in Laura Vanderkam’s book 168 Hours to read about the neurological explaination of why time sometimes seems to go more quickly than we would like. Vanderkam explains that when we perform the same routines day after day, our brains do not record any new tracks, so there are no “signposts” in our memories. We have to do things, which are outside of our ordinary experiences, for our brain to take note. The more we do this, the more time it can seem we have because we have more distinct memories to mark the passage of time. I love looking for the opportunities to create signposts in our memories and create depictions of those special memories and the associated places. I think it would be so amazing to amass a collection of years worth of these depictions. I also love doing commissions for this type of work. It is really special to get to create these types of memories for other people. Contact me if you are interested in a commission of your year in places, your relationship in places, your trip in places, your favorite places or any other collection you might want!