Inside the Moat

Sometimes when you least expect it, small endeavors huddle up, start talking to each other, and conspire to become a major project.

Here’s a good example. My street sketching practice has officially become an obsession and how could it not with so much vivid subject matter all around? Chiang Mai is a treasure trove of color, line, and texture. There isn’t a direction to turn where I don’t see something I want to draw.

So, I decided to draw the entire city. Sort of.

The idea was born out of my love affair with Chiang Mai and a habit of making art out of it, propelled by the desire to share both of those things with as many people as possible. What if I made a book of my drawings, each of which had a little map attached so people could go and see the site for themselves? It would be a tour through the eyes of an artist.

The scope is limited to the “old city,” 1.5 square miles surrounded by a moat. Yes, my city has a moat. I’m so proud. I divided the map along natural street divisions and ended up with 23 “zones.” The goal is to sketch the entire area evenly, not giving extra attention to the denser sections.

I plan to walk every street, every soi (Thai for small street), and peer around every corner searching for subject matter. 1.5 square miles might not seem big, but after a month or so at this, it’s starting to feel like I’m climbing Everest. The more I look the more I see.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But, I feel like a tourist again.

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15 thoughts on “Inside the Moat

  1. Rita Moffitt

    Fantastic idea, did you know that your hometown of Gloucester, NJ is a mile square, a nice comfortable size, just like your little moat area. I hope to take the tour myself sometime to get the full effect.

  2. Teri

    I spent 5 months in Chaing Mai several years ago
    I stayed outside the most and loved the street markets and the foot massages right on the street
    Lovely work

  3. Joe Gorman

    Super cool. I can’t wait to read (and let my eyes and brain bathe in) the book. Wishing you every bit of inspiration and a steady flow of positive energy. Your art is enticing and makes me hope to visit some day.


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