Francis Stanton

  Francis Stanton
  820 W Wingra Dr #259121
Madison, Wisconsin 53715
United States
Map It
  (608) 334-9037
What is your connection to UW-Madison Continuing Studies? (Choose all that apply)

  • Student

Please supply some detail about your connection to UW-Madison Continuing Studies.
  I have taken courses in Spanish (Julie Dahl); Linocut and Screenprinting (Rachael Griffin).
Dislay period choice

  • Any/all dates

Artist's Statement

I’ve spent a good part of my life in the Intermountain West of the US, and have a fondness for the deserts and semi-deserts “out west,” where the terrain is revealed due to a minimum of vegetation.

As a cartographer, one of the features of maps I enjoy is the depiction of terrain. The interpretation and representation of the land’s shape is one of the elemental functions of a general cartographer. To successfully draw terrain a cartographer must know geomorphology (literally: “the shape of the earth”), plus geology and meteorology.

Most clients and map publishers wanted basic maps of places where “things” are happening—that’s understandably where the market is, and thus my livelihood as a cartographer. But every so often a client would want a map with a terrain background—shaded relief (or hill-shaded) – to convey information or just make the map look more interesting. In the early days I did these by hand with pencil, airbrush and a smudge stick on tracing paper or frosted plastic, tracing over a topographic map on a light table. Then the digital age hit, and when the software came out to do this work it became cheaper and a lot faster; despite a lot of pixel-level work in Photoshop to clean up any data problems.

I began to occasionally create terrain images on my own just to see how they would look; sometimes experimenting with lighting and color. Over time the data got better, and so did my techniques and approach. One constant is that the software dictates that the coloration varies with elevation. These images are intended to be an artistic, yet realistic, approximation of a landscape; mostly I’m trying to impart an overall feeling of the land and the interesting features on it.

Francis Stanton

What is your primary medium?
  Computer Art
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