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As many of you know, I love to create maps using my original paintings. My World maps are extremely popular with my country maps running behind in second. Sometime last year, I got a special request to produce a map of India. I was delighted to work on this piece because India is a very uniquely shaped country which for an artist keeps it interesting. I finished the work and listed it on Fine Art America. It wasn’t long before another artist who was Indian pointed out that I had left off the upper most region. This region is called Kashmir.
The region is divided among three countries in a territorial dispute: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas and ‘Azad’ Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh, and the People’s Republic of China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract). India controls the majority of the Siachen Glacier area, including the Saltoro Ridge passes, whilst Pakistan controls the lower territory just southwest of the Saltoro Ridge. India controls 101,338 km2 (39,127 sq mi) of the disputed territory, Pakistan controls 85,846 km2(33,145 sq mi), and the People’s Republic of China controls the remaining 37,555 km2 (14,500 sq mi).
A lot of the maps I looked at before putting mine together left this area off or had it shaded out. So I left it off too. However, after consulting with a few Indian friends and my Southeast Asian studies professor husband, I decided to include it in my map. As you can see, my map clearly shows this highly contentious region.
Two countries would like to see this map changed and it is possible with enough fighting that it will. As an artist, it is not for me to take sides. I am not making a statement here. It is simply for me to create and if change is required in the future, I will do so.
Until then…..enjoy India!
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Do as the Romans do. I always thought that meant something scintillating, but all it really means is: It is polite, and possibly also advantageous, to abide by the customs of a society when one is a visitor. Oh well.
Today’s map study is the beautiful country of Italy! When I think of this place, my first thoughts are always about food. Italian plays a part in my heritage so I can tell you that there is nothing like a homemade pasta sauce with fresh herbs and spices. There is an art to perfect marinara. It cooks slowly all day long. The smells that fill the house are insanely taunting. Turns out that I have Celiac disease and all of that pasta I grew up with was tormenting my insides. 5 years ago I switched to Gluten Free fare and get to still enjoy those delicious tastes!
Some fun facts about Italy:
* Italy is approximately 116,400 square miles (including Sicily and Sardinia), which is slightly larger than Arizona.
* Italy is one of the most crowded nations in Europe.a Its population is estimated to reach 58,126,212 by July 2009. The population of United States is estimated to reach 307,212,123 by that same date.
* Italy is said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world.
* In 2007, a dog named Rocco discovered a truffle in Tuscany that weighed 3.3 pounds. It sold at auction for $333,000 (USD), a world record for a truffle.
* When McDonald’s opened in 1986 in Rome, food purists outside the restaurant gave away free spaghetti to remind people of their culinary heritage.
* Parmesan cheese originated in the area around Parma, Italy. Italians also created many other cheeses, including gorgonzola, mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta. No one knows when the pizza was invented, but the people of Naples made it popular.
*Vatican City is the only nation in the world that can lock its own gates at night. It has its own phone company, radio, T.V. stations, money, and stamps. It even has its own army, the historic Swiss Guard.
*Over 50 million tourists a year visit Italy. Tourism is vital to Italy’s economy and provides nearly 63% of Italy’s national income.
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This isn’t the piece I had planned on listing today. When a new father living in Seattle contacted me yesterday to tell me how much he loved my maps and that he wanted a special piece for his new baby girl but could not find anything, I couldn’t resist creating this one.
In his email he explained that he grew up in New England and that he wanted to share his heritage with his daughter. He wanted things in their home to remind him of his childhood and to teach her about it as well. Once I finished the work and sent him a preview, his response was:
And that is what makes my job so rewarding. I can make people that happy just by doing things that come naturally to me. 🙂
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I am continuing to work on my map series and England is my next offering. Why not the United Kingdom? The United Kingdom is not a country. It is actually 4 countries grouped together (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Seems Scotland is working towards independence so who knows what that map will look like in the near future. So I just chose England as a stand alone. It’s a beautiful shape for an artist to work with and I am pleased with the finished image.
Some fun facts about England:
1. Big Ben does not refer to the clock, but actually the bell.
2. London has been called Londonium, Ludenwic, and Ludenburg in the past.
3. French was the official language for about 300 years
4. The shortest war against England was with Zanzibar in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.
5. There is nowhere in Britain that is more than 74.5 miles from the sea.
6. The first telephone directory published in England contained 25 names.
7. While the Great Fire of London was largely destructive, the casualty rate was just 8.
8. The first hot chocolate store opened in London.
9. There are over 300 languages spoken in England.
10. The English drink more tea than anyone else in the world.
Oh and how about a flag? England has a fine flag with a red cross over a white background. I have not done an image for that yet. But I do love the United Kingdom’s flag for it’s bright contrasting colors and interesting design. It’s so distinctive and eye catching. Another artist’s dream. 🙂
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Canada is “from sea to sea”. That’s their motto and it is quite fitting. There is so much to see in this huge country. From gorgeous coastlines to wooded mountains it has many breathtaking views. Ontario is so big that it is “yours to discover”. Their major cities such as Quebec and Montreal just to name two have World class dining, theater and more.
My knowledge of Canada is limited to what I’ve seen in pictures, movies and hockey. My daughter is a die hard hockey fan and we watch every Tampa Bay Lightning game. With Canada boasting 7 teams we have watched them played many times as well.
I have been creating colorful maps lately and was delighted to work on a piece for Canada. The country itself has an interesting shape with all of the inlets and islands. Vivid and alive just as the Canadians I have had the pleasure to know. 🙂
A few interesting facts:
* At 9 984 670 sq km and comprised of 6 time zones, Canada is huge!
* Canada is also home to the longest street in the world. Yonge Street in Ontario starts at Lake Ontario, and runs north through Ontario to the Minnesota border, a distance of almost 2000 kilometres.
* While we’re talking ‘longest’, here’s another record: Canada has the world’s longest coastline at 202 080 km.
* A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh.
* The Blackberry Smartphone was developed in Ontario, at Research In Motion’s Waterloo offices.
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Seems it never rains in southern California….Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before….It never rains in California…
I grew up with the words of this Albert Hammond song and thought it must be really dry in that state! Apparently it is right now as there is a drought! But that is not my experience. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I got to visit this great place. And it was anything but dry. Lush vibrant landscapes and gentle breezes coming off of the ocean are what is in my memory banks. I stayed in San Diego for a week and it was heavenly. The food was fabulous and the great places to walk and bike ride were perfection. I’d like to go back and see some other cities. The last trip was paid for by a foundation that awarded my husband for his first book. I need to get him winning awards again!
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I am one of those people who gets focused on one thing and I cannot let go. “A dog with a bone” as one of my friends likes to say. Even though I am preoccupied with Society 6 at the moment, my work is still going places. Namely to Michigan, New York and Massachusetts. 🙂 I have been to two of these states so far and plan to pick up New York on my way to Canada soon.
Where are YOU going?
More maps are on their way including some fun country pieces. I love creating these as they combine my love of color and my attraction to interesting shapes. 🙂
Stay tuned for the next adventure!
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I get asked that question often. A lot of people I know love to travel. My In-Laws just got back from Africa recently. A good friend had an adventure in Cuba last month. My husband lived in Indonesia for a few years. And the list goes on. I like the “idea” of traveling more than the actual experience. I love to “see” the world and wish there was a way to beam myself to various locals just long enough to take it in. Bypassing the long flights, nasty airports, restrooms….sleeping in strange place. Odd food. I am not exactly a homebody though. I’ve been to a few places as far away as Hawaii which is pretty far considering I live in Florida. And I have been to many cities all over the United States, but I have never been to another country. I’ve got plans….. I know it isn’t too far, but Canada is the first place I want to visit off of U.S. soil. Where have you been? And where do you want to go?
Pick your spot on one of my colorful maps….