Linda Legman

Vintage Map Series

About the Series

Linda Legman at The Next Big Thing 2018, Studio Channel Islands

Through my Vintage Map series I hope to create compelling images that the viewer connects with at a deep emotional level and with intellectual curiosity. I am intensely interested in our human impact on the planet. This is why my emphasis is on endemic, threatened, and endangered California animals whose vulnerability is often unknown to many people. This series also contains drawings of people and events about which many Californians have no knowledge. I draw on old family camping maps or historic USGS topographic maps that contain the habitat in which each animal, or historic person lives or once lived.

I hope my art inspires people to remember our shared responsibility to the careful stewardship of our beautiful planet and all its precious inhabitants.

A note where it began: My Vintage Map Series first started in late 2017 when my husband presented me with a set of California regional maps that his father used to plan camping trips over sixty years ago. These maps from the 1950s are folded and creased with various signs of age that inspired me to draw on them. I first drew animals in black charcoal directly onto the map that contains its habitat and incorporated the patterns on the map into the composition of the drawing.

Initially, I intended to only draw realistically in black charcoal on these old maps. As the series developed, I started drawing on USGS historical topographic maps, drawing over the topographic lines to enhance the images and create shapes. I also allowed more of the map to take over the image. The first use of color was with blue tinted charcoal for the water in the Monterey Bay Two-Spot Octopus. As my work evolved, I started adding other hints of color with pastel. Art is an ever-changing process that takes on a life of its own. I look forward to seeing where this series takes me. I hope you enjoy the results.

This page was last updated in August 2022.