Paint Schoodic

Join Carol L. Douglas at beautiful Acadia National Park, August 6-11, 2017. More details here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bicycle artist

Rat, Michael Wallace, 2013. The pictures are by necessity crude, and the charming wobble comes from the accuracy of GPS, which records changes of a few feet.
Michael Wallace draws pictures using his bicycle, his Samsung Galaxy smartphone, two GPS apps, and the streets of Southeast Baltimore. It’s a simple concept: his phone records his rides (the double apps are in case of crashes). In five years, he has completed nearly 500 drawing-rides.

Wallace prints out Google maps and sketches his route over them. Then he consults Google Maps Satellite View to verify that the route he’s planned actually exists. In an online interview, Wallace said he doesn’t climb or jump fences. When obstacles require changes on the fly, Wallace consults the printed map he's carrying.

Downtown Crab, Michael Wallace, 2013.
Wallace isn’t blindly following his GPS; the act of mapping out the pictures makes him memorize the route. This is analogous to what happens when an artist draws a subject before painting; he can draw it again, much faster and more expressively, because he has memorized the subject. In some way, Wallace is duplicating this drawing process, but while using his whole body.

Sailboat, Michael Wallace, 2013.
I have the same phone and a bicycle. I’m going to try this when I get back to the Duchy.

Message me if you want information about next year’s classes and workshops.

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