Memory and Maps

I’ve been reading a book titled The Memory Code by Lynne Kelly, in which she posits that preliterate cultures used landmarks as memory cues to encode survival knowledge. It’s changed my approach to location drawing, it’s changed which things I pick out and how specific I am in drawing them. I feel like I’m drawing maps.

Tree stump at picnic tables, walkway in background

X marks the direction to where I’m sitting, and the little cone and sphere at the top of the sketch note the direction of light.

Two Trees, restroom and playground

I use an oval to mark my eye level (at the base of the leftmost tree). Of course I make mistakes.

Trees in front of Dimond Avenue entrance

If I’ve done this right, you would be able to figure out from the drawing where I was sitting when I drew it, and match up the trees in the drawing with the trees in real life. “x2.5” means that if I had more paper, the spot where I was sitting would be 2.5 times the distance from eye level to the x mark.


At first I thought this spot was pretty boring, but could I still mark this spot specifically? I chose the number and placement of posts, and the shape of certain trees in the background.

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