Anne West's book Mapping the Intelligence of Artistic Work arrived from Maine College of Art's Moth Press in February. Katarina Weslien, the editor of Mapping, kindly gave me permission to photograph it long ago. If you look closely at the above image, you'll see that the corners are slightly tattered and that the book is bulging with bookmarks. For months I've literally been carrying it and my sketchbook in a red tote bag around the house with me wherever I go.
Sandra Brownlee, a friend and colleague of Anne West, told me about the book in the summer of 2010, then I read a mention of it in an article by Warren Seelig in Surface Design Journal, so I ordered it. The shipping to Canada was affordable, quick, and efficient.
Mapping is rich with quotes, photographs, and images. It's so rich that I can only dip into it in small doses. Anne West beckons us to dig deep into our creative practices. This is a book to be savoured slowly. It invites you to take your time to reflect, and imagine. I tried going through Mapping in a linear fashion but found myself zigzagging through it instead.
I see Mapping as a companion to Martin Venezky's It is Beautiful Then Gone, an influential book that I've written about here.
Whether you are a student or an artist wishing to go deeper into your practice, or to develop a concept for a new body of work, this book is worth your time and money.