Artist Ellen November combines quilting with cartography to reinterpret how we look at a particular location. To see more of her work, please visit her website.
Art quilting is a convergence of me as an artist and quilter.
With maps as my inspiration, I interpret lines, shapes, colors with new and upcycled materials creating a richer, historical vision of a specific location.
Trained as an illustrator at Art Center College of Design, the path to cartographic maps has been a steady progression combining my love of color, pattern drawing and photography.
I recently completed a series of 12 art quilts that are interpretations of the coastal areas of Southern California. The paper Thomas Guide maps are my inspiration. I am attempting to show the unique personality of each of our coastal areas in Los Angeles county from Malibu to Long Beach.
In creating a cartographic art quilt, my goal is to reimagine the way we look at a location from a geographic and historical perspective.
Each piece contains an aerial view as well as a focus on a something representative of the particular location. For example, with “Santa Monica” I chose the iconic Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. For Long Beach, the Queen Mary is the focal point.
Each piece begins with the initial laying of the background and a building of layers that incorporates not only quilting fabric, but clothing, men’s shirts, my photos printed on fabric, embroidery and illustration. I machine quilt as well as hand sew.
My latest projects include quilts of iconic Los Angeles locations: The Getty Center, USC Campus and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. On The Getty Center piece I have begun doing hand beading to represent the landscape features. I learned quickly that beads can rapidly add weight to a piece.
The USC piece features Tommy Trojan and the USC campus and surrounds; including freeway intersections and the Staples Center. The Cedars piece incorporates its current location blended with its original building, when it was called Cedars of Lebanon.
I am currently working on two different pieces that are interpretations of the Redondo Beach King Harbor. I discovered old nautical maps at an estate sale which became the inspiration for this work. I dyed cotton cheesecloth which I have sewn to represent the water and waves.
I love discovering new materials that enhance the look and feel of my work.
Ellen November invites you to follow her on Facebook.