Monday, October 1, 2012

Driving

Driving

My first car was a 1974 Ford Maverick. My parents bought it for me when I was 16 or 17 mostly because I needed to drive to school and work. Honestly, I don't remember too much about it. I'm not much into cars. In fact, I had to email my dad to ask what year it was. White top? Two doors or four doors? 

What I do remember is forging my independence at that age. I suppose my parents had that in mind too. It won't be long before my own daughter is 16 and as hard as it is to imagine, she will need increasing independence and responsibility too.  A car can make that possible.

I worked at a retail clothing store at the local mall and I remember driving back and forth to work through the wide, open, flat landscape of central Nebraska. Through wheat fields and industrial areas. In all seasons. When the sun was shining and when the moon was rising.

I don't include photographic images in my work too often, but I am really pleased with how this car works in my fabric collage. (In fact, as I look over my 12x12 galleries, I have never before included any kind of photograph.) This seems like the perfect occasion to include a picture -- a literal Maverick!

The other motifs, colors and symbols in the quilt are a loose combination of things I enjoy and references to the car and my memories of driving it. The color palette of the whole quilt is inspired by the brown car with the white top. I chose this smaller rectangle of white fabric because it had that contrasting white shiny stripe --- just like the striping on the car.


The gray blocks could be industrial buildings and the grid could be parking lot lines. Those green embroidered stalks could be lines of wheat.

I think the quilt has a feeling of wide-open, whimsical possibility. But, it's a bit dark and jumbled. Isn't that what it feels like to be sixteen or seventeen?

14 comments:

kathy york said...

Love it!

Kristin L said...

Definitely whimsical! I wonder what kind of music you are listening too n your drive. I especially like the composition below the car and hope to see more of that in future work.

Gerrie said...

Ah, the wanna be Mustang! My mother had one of these - it was red, I think. You have created a sense of driving through wide open space and who doesn't love doing that. I marvel at all your special details that you have incorporated into this piece.

Karen said...

I recognized this right away as your's Deborah, but it's also a little different than your usual pieces. I love the story behind this, driving through the countryside on your way to work.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...I love this piece. It brings back fond memories of our home in Grand Island, NE and your Maverick parked in the driveway. Love the road, stars and crescent moon too.
Love, mom

Diane Perin Hock said...

Deborah, I love how you've used your collage style and incorporated some of your usual elements to tell a specific story. This has a sense of magic to it, a bit of a car flying through the night in a way that feels wonderful and safe and mysterious.

You've reminded me of a time when, before I went to college, my dad took me to test drive a used car. It was a Maverick, and I wanted it so much just because of the name (and it was a pretty color blue.) But my dad determined that it wasn't in great condition, wouldn't suit my college-student needs, so we walked away. I remember my disappointment walking away because I wanted to know that I was driving a Maverick!!

Françoise said...

Very nice Deborah. I especially like the moon and the little stars. They remind me of the sense of freedom I had driving my first car at night.

Terri Stegmiller said...

How fun that your first car was a Maverick. I can still remember the car I drove as a teenager. What memories!!! Your quilt is wonderful!

kirsty said...

How did you do that? Whimsy and sophistication at the same time!

Amy Parra Morusiewicz Fun from A to Z! said...

love the layers and it feels like October, and I can feel the mystery in the night air. The red "look at me" lines around the car and being jauntily angled on the road read teenager! Love the 16 stars and the the lively plants. Without the lollipop blooms (or trees?), the leaves, lavender and new growth, it's could read teenage angst - 4-sided angular shapes,bare tree trunk, browns and greys...Nicely done! The bottom blue edge reflects the moonlight and the rough cut edges echo the curves in the road! Can't wait to see it in person!

Nikki said...

It does feel magical, flying. I love all the little details, as always, and that each has meaning.

My first car, a 1980 VW Scirocco, doesn't feel that long ago--probably because my husband still drives my second car to work every day.

Helen Conway said...

Its interesting to see your signature style without your signature colour theme. Another maverick characteristic or the beginning of a new direction?

Terry Grant said...

Oh, this really does what I love art to do. It takes me to a place and a time and I can almost even smell the smells of fall and crisp cool evenings and feel, again, that feeling of someplace to go. It is more than a piece of art, it's a short story.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

How fitting that your maverick symbolises independence. I especially like the composition in the top section. If you cropped it to 12x12(ish), a different emphasis emerges but you would loose the expansiveness and sense of possibilities.