Mel Watkin American artist draws on secondhand surfaces because she likes materials that come with a certain amount of embedded history and automatic association. Cartography provides a predetermined structure, a map of history and culture, and a window into the mind of the original drafter.
For "The River Between Us" at Longue Vue, Watkin was inspired by many of the historic objects that fill the house, and most specifically a turn-of-the-century campaign table. For her installation "River Campaign," Watkin created a picnic set and altered outdated river navigational charts following the course of the Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans, which will be inserted throughout the historic house. Description While drawing is the focus of Mel Watkin's work, she prefers to work on surfaces other than plain white paper. She likes to work with materials that come with an imbedded history and automatic associations.
Over the years she had worked on surfaces such as china tea cups, lace, pillowcases, and maps. In this workshop she will walk participants through various experiments involving the creation of "inventive worlds, homes and gardens."