Inside the Moat

posted in: All, Art Lessons, Thailand | 15

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 Responses

  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. Anna

    Wow, Amy! You definitely have the energy and …. your talent is boundless. Beautiful work, my friend.

  4. Gigi Godfrey

    I just LOVE this Amy. You make me smile and my heart skip a little beat with inspiration! Go get em’.

  5. Sherman Miles

    Wow Amy! What an endeavor. I’m back in Chiang Mai. Hope to see one evening at WWB. Smiles

  6. 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.

  7. Jennifer Waldron

    Oh Amy! What a wonderful idea and everyone will benefit! I want to come to Chaing Mai again just to have your book and see the sights from your artist’s viewpoint. Such fun!

  8. Denny Fechner

    Wow, Amy, what a terrific idea and I love the drawing at the top. A book would be great!

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