My step-father’s birthday was a couple of days ago. My mother decided to buy him a globe as a present this year. It’s quite interesting. Globes may not be the most accurate way of getting information about the world. They aren’t detailed enough to tell you what the capitols and major cities in each country are. You can’t zoom in to street view to see what it looks like. Maybe in a few years they’ll be making globes that can do all of those things.
There’s something to be gained though in being forced to look at the world from such a distance. It helps you to conceptualize the whole. You can’t get a detailed view of any of the individual parts so you can’t get distracted by them. Instead you just appreciate the beauty of the whole. You notice the vast distances in between places.
We were using the longitude and latitude lines to determine where the exact opposite side of the world would be. We wondered if Australia would fit in the spot in the Atlantic Ocean directly opposite it on the other side of the globe. If you somehow pushed it right through the core of the Earth and out the other side, would there be space for it. It looks like there might be. Then people would be able to easily get from Europe and Africa all the way to America without flying. How different would it be if the continents had never split apart? These are the strange things you sometimes think of when you’re forced to look at something from afar.
Anyway, I quite liked the globe. I’ve never had much interest in maps and atlases but for some reason globes have always held an appeal for me. That’s why I decided to draw it today. I’m not sure I quite captured it. I can definitely see a few things I got wrong. It was quite an interesting subject for a still life though. I didn’t choose to focus on South America and the USA for any particular reason. I just drew the globe exactly how it was sitting when I happened to glance over at it. I also stayed across the room from it the entire time. Another forced distance. I couldn’t zoom in to get details. I just had to draw everything exactly how it looked to me. Not very accurate, but still recognizable. The planet that we all live on. It’s a fascinating thing.