Why A Personalized Map Is A Great Wedding Gift*

Why A Personalized Map Is A Great Wedding Gift*

Original watercolor map art - Richmond VA - Blue Jay BayWedding Registries Are Useful

Many engaged couples create a wedding registry of things they desire for their new household. Registries provide a useful tool to share the particular items a couple wants or needs (like that Kitchen Aid mixer in a rainbow of color choices!), and they are great for the busy shopper who wants to ensure her money will be well spent on a bridal shower gift or wedding present. I appreciate the ease with which I can choose and purchase a gift from a registry, particularly when I don’t know the recipients well.

And Personalized Gifts Are Thoughtful

Despite the conveniences of registries, sometimes folks prefer to find a thoughtful gift idea that they know will be meaningful and unique for the special couple.  Something that’s a bit “outside the box” of the typical wedding registry… When my husband and I were married, we were blessed with the gift of a beautifully made antique quilt, and a good friend gifted us a lovely piece of pottery personalized with our last name and wedding date. We also received a number of useful household items off our gift registry, like a Wusthof knife set and the aforementioned mixer! We were so appreciative of all the different types of ways our friends and family helped us celebrate our marriage and start our new household.

If you are leaning towards the personalized gift approach, then please read on for my take on an uncommon and meaningful wedding gift idea that will be treasured as a family keepsake.

A Personalized Map Is A Thoughtful Wedding Gift

Everyone has a handful of places in this world that are meaningful to them, and newlyweds are no exception. It may be a shared hometown or home state, a place where the couple first met (aka “where it all began”), the town where they purchase their first home, or the location where they celebrate their wedding.  A personalized map painted especially for the couple is a unique and thoughtful wedding gift idea that will be cherished for years to come.

About These Maps

I have a graduate degree in geospatial sciences and love working with maps.  My original watercolor map paintings are created with a mixture of science + art.  I analyze the topography of a region (such as Block Island) and distill the geography into a semi-abstract art map. Using one of my color schemes, I paint the map region using two watercolor paints that mix and flow in a vibrant, attractive manner.

These unique watercolor maps evoke the major terrain features.  Shorelines and areas with larger water bodies are highlighted by the the absence of paint, where the white watercolor paper is visible.  I use high quality, professional artists materials in the creation of these works, and no two maps are alike!

Personalize Your Map - Blue Jay Bay

Customization Options

There are several options for you to customize your watercolor map painting:
1. Choose from amongst my many different color schemes (blue-green is a popular choice for maps).
2. Choose what type of symbol (typically a heart, star, or dot) to mark special locations on the map, in your choice of paint color.
3. Create a personalized map title, such as the couple’s names, wedding date, and / or other meaningful information.
4. Submit your order via my BlueJayBay Etsy shop, and I will hand paint your one of a kind, personalized map!  I take great pride in creating a piece of art that you will be delighted to give to your favorite people!

Order Your Map Today

I have an ever expanding catalog of watercolor art maps from around the world, so take a look at my shop to see if your desired location is already mapped!  If I don’t have a design of your favorite place, use this listing to order a new map, custom made for you, with your specific input on what regions to include or exclude.  And feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have regarding my map art.  These are my favorite paintings to create!

* Of course, these maps also make great gifts for many other occasions, such as celebrating an anniversary or purchase of a new home and commemorating travel to special places!

Arizona Map Watercolor Art

Arizona Map Watercolor Art

Personalized Arizona Map

This Arizona map watercolor was ordered from my shop as a special, personalized Christmas gift for a couple who spent the first few years of their marriage stationed at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. The customer inquired whether I might be able to create a color scheme that would evoke the desert scenery common to Arizona; I was happy to oblige! This map’s red-tan color scheme recalls the Painted Desert landscape, with a range of warm reds, oranges, burnt siennas, and yellows.

As with all of my made-to-order paintings, this map can be personalized with your choice of color schemes. A heart, dot, or star symbol can be hand painted onto the map at special locations, and I will hand-letter your customized map title. This type of artwork makes for a meaningful gift to celebrate special occasions and milestones.

Painted Desert landscape in Arizona (opensource image)
Claddagh Ring Family Name Sign

Claddagh Ring Family Name Sign

Love, Loyalty, + Friendship

This modern style Claddagh ring watercolor design symbolizes LOVE, LOYALTY, and FRIENDSHIP. The HANDS represent friendship; the HEART represents love; and the CROWN represents loyalty. It is a centuries old design that was first produced in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, outside of Galway.

This made-to-order painting can be personalized with a special phrase or name to create a meaningful gift. In one example, you will see the design painted with the Gaelic phrase “Grá mo Chroí”(pronounced graw mu cree), which translates to Love of My Heart. This design is a lovely choice for a last name sign for an Irish family, as seen in the Brogan-Hoefler example. Order one for your favorite Irish person today!

Brooklyn Map Watercolor

Brooklyn Map Watercolor

No Sleep Till Brooklyn!

I have designed a new map watercolor of this awesome NYC borough. This is the perfect gift for your Brooklyn hipster friends – personalize the map with a meaningful title and your choice of colors. Special places can be marked with a heart, star, or dot symbol.

This Brooklyn, New York neighborhood map watercolor painting can be personalized to create an uncommon piece of art. You can create your own map title with a meaningful date, phrase, or other text (such as “where it all began” or a street address). You also can request specific location(s) on the map to be marked with a star, heart, or dot symbol in a contrasting color of your choice. This map is available in two painting sizes: 5x7 and 8x10 inches plus a mat.

This personalized map art is a fun gift idea for engagement parties, weddings, birthdays, family Christmas gifts, housewarming parties, going away celebrations, and other special occasions. Why settle for a print when you can have an original watercolor painting made to your liking? See this listing for all the details.

Love Your Mother… Mother Earth World Map

Love Your Mother… Mother Earth World Map

Heart Shaped World Map

Are you looking for a unique gift for an eco-conscious new mother? If so, my original, made-to-order heart shaped map of the Earth is an uncommon and beautiful choice!

I have been excited about this cordate (aka heart shaped) map projection for years. I decided to try replicating it in watercolors, and am so pleased with how it turned out.  This heart shaped watercolor painting of the Earth is my original design, based on a unique antique map projection. The oceans and major water bodies are painted in a wash of light blue, and the continents are recognizable despite the distortion relative to the more common world maps.

Order one for you or a friend (or both!)

This personalized watercolor map can be painted in your choice of color schemes. You can create your own map title with a meaningful date, phrase, or other text.  I think there’s a lot of potential for unique and interesting map titles to go with this design. So far I have painted it with “Home Sweet Home, ” “Love Your Mother,” and “I’m with Her”…  This is a lovely gift idea for your travel loving, environmentally friendly loved ones!

Bird Spotting in Costa Rica – Blue-Crowned Motmot Watercolor

Bird Spotting in Costa Rica – Blue-Crowned Motmot Watercolor

Painting Goals

In the new year, I am trying to prioritize finding time to paint for my own enjoyment… Taking on new subjects, trying out new paint colors, different painting techniques and styles, etc.  I have thousands upon thousands of photographs taken over the past couple decades, and enjoy browsing them for painting inspirations.  It was in my folder of Costa Rica photos that I found a series of images of a beautiful male blue-crowned motmot, and decided to use him as inspiration for a new bird watercolor.

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last spring with a trip to Costa Rica.  We visited Monteverde and Manuel Antonio, and took lots of photos.  We photographed a blue-crowned motmot on the side of the road after leaving a cloud forest preserve in Monteverde. We saw him fly across the dirt road and perch in a nearby tree…  His long tail was easily visible with those blue racquet tips, and he stayed in one spot long enough for us both to get a good look.  What a gorgeous bird he is!

My watercolor palette is almost entirely devoted to Winsor & Newton paints, but I have one luminescent blue paint from Daniel Smith that I love to incorporate into certain designs.  It was the perfect paint to use on the turquoise areas of my motmot! It brings a bit of sparkle and iridescent shine to the feathers.  All in all, a lovely bird.

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