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Vermonter finds her way in the art world with maps - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonter finds her way in the art world with maps

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

When Johanne Durocher Yordan looks at maps, she knows she's moving in the right direction. "I appreciate maps they're beautiful -- the legends, the street name sections," Durocher Yordan said.

She gets inspired to make art. She rips up and glues down maps. Then she pulls out her acrylic paints to make gardens grow with her art. By painting over the decoupage maps it creates depth and detail that make you look twice. "They see the flower. They start to walk away and then they say, hey, that's a map," she said.

The self-taught artist uses maps from all over Vermont, the country and the world. Vermont maps work well to create sky because of the lake. "I've seen people find where they live, where relatives live. 'Oh, I grew up there,' so it becomes very familiar and personal at the same time," Durocher Yordan said.

She sometimes veers off the map, using sheet music and old books. Pieces range from $90 to $800. "I would rather see 30 people own my art than just a few at a very high price," She said.

After painting for her entire life Durocher Yordan started taking it more seriously about 16 years ago and went back to school for art. Her passion was landscapes and still life, but after her father died she didn't know what to paint anymore and eventually moved toward abstracts. Those weren't selling and people kept asking for her floral paintings, so she finally made a choice. "Somehow I had to maintain being an abstract painter but letting them have what they were familiar with," Durocher Yordan said.

That's when she found the perfect way to do it. "One day I was cleaning and I happened upon a map," she said. "I had an idea that I would marry the acrylic and the maps together."

Intrigued by the beauty, detail and emotion she realized she finally found her place with her Made in Vermont map art. "I've definitely found my voice," she said.

Durocher Yordan also does custom orders if you want a certain location on your map. 

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