mapping and nature

My next painting assignment is to employ the formal technique of “Mapping” with a nature/environment theme. I’m not totally sure what mapping means in a 2-d art application. Mapping could be something like the video of fruit erroding. Or it could be mapping the progress of a disease, or mapping a snail’s path on a window. I think chuck close’s paintings could be considered mappings of the human face. I’m having trouble thinking up something to do. I thought about doing a coyote on top of a hill and layers and layers of houses creaping up the hill toward it. Maybe play with transparencies. But I don’t know. Got any ideas? I could do it in a grid, like a comic strip, but I’d rather do one scene if possible. 2-d painting doesn’t seem like all that easy of a medium to express mapping. I can’t find any good articles on the interweb to help me out.

We had our first critique yesterday. I was really impressed with my teacher’s abilities to come up with thoughtful questions and observations about people’s paintings. Words that came up about by abstract were “whimsical, playful, decorative” I’ve heard all those words before. People seemed to like it. I think it was a successful experiment.