A Gift for Rob

Prompt 1 – ‘The Opal Cone’

After hanging with Rob, both in the studio and the brewery, I got the feeling that he could handle himself in the outdoors. An avid surfer, climber and skier, he talked enthusiastically about the outdoor beauty of British Columbia. I share this love of the wild. So, it seemed straight forward to make Rob a gift related to the outdoors.

I had first thought of making a small piece of camping gear but, after some thought, it seemed like Rob, having worked at MEC, probably had all the gear he needed. Also, people can be a little particular about their own gear. Plus, I had a new idea of making a ‘map’ of one of my favorite multi-day hikes.

See Image Above.

The above ‘map’ is a graphic depiction of a popular backpacking route in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The ‘map’ is both a memory diagram of the experiential qualities of the hike and an abstracted or unfolded ‘birds eye’ view.

Starting at the trailhead parking lot high above Squamish (bottom left corner of the above piece) the route leads up and out of deep evergreen forests to the alpine along the south west slopes of Mount Garibaldi and Diamond Head. The locations of two overnight camping areas, one at Elfin Lakes and the second at Rampart Ponds, are illustrated as small groupings of shed-like structures. The route returns at Mamquam Lake (center right hand side of the piece.) In the center of the piece and in the header at the top of the piece, is a depiction of the Opal Cone; the cinder remains of an extinct volcano that dominates the surrounding area.

The following sketches show the development of the piece. They are displayed in chronological order. In many ways the images speak for themselves. However to aid their legibility, enlargements and brief descriptive text have been added.

Pg. 1 (above). Vignette of Mount Garibaldi (enlargement shown below) which was developed from a photo that I had taken a couple of years ago while camped at Rampart Ponds. At the time, I was captivated by the relationship between the heavy cold stone and the ephemeral cloud that formed and reformed on top of the mountain.

Pg. 2 (above left). Further studies of Mount Garibaldi and the Opal Cone (enlargement shown below).

Pg. 3 (above right). Studies of how to depict pieces of the route, both experientially and three dimensionally.

Pg. 4 (above left). First small attempts at layout. Loose and focused on ‘unfolding’ the route into a balanced and accessible page (enlargement shown below).

Pg. 5 (above right). First full size attempt.

Pg. 6 and 7 (above). Geometry added (enlargement shown below). The diamond shape kept reappearing in the sketches. Sometimes over the Cone or Mountain and sometimes in the positioning and layout of the overall field. I became interested in formalizing it into the piece.

Pg. 8. (above left). Finished geometry.

Pr. 9. (above right). First draft. An attempt is made to convey both an emotional and a spatial aspect, with as little linework as possible (enlargement shown below).

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