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Ballpoint Pen Illustrations on Vintage Maps by Mark Powell

It’s been some time since we last checked in on Mark Powell, who produces ballpoint pen portraits and drawings of birds and people on vintage envelopes. Recently Powell has developed his practice to include old maps as another form of canvas, drawing detailed faces and bodies that are given texture by the haphazard roads and regions that comprise the United States or Paris.

Powell chooses to draw on paper with historical marks in order to imbue his works with a greater story, adding a deeper background to his subjects.

“They compliment each other, and I hope leads the viewer to wonder, and maybe create, a history for the two,” said Powell. “I rarely connect the portrait and ‘canvas’ as they are both strangers to me.”