Over on my road trip blog, I recently made a post about Michael. We have known each other for 21 years and have had more ups and downs then a Dorney Park roller coaster but back in 2009, I felt very strongly that I needed to create a piece about him. We weren't actually a part of each other's lives at that time, but it was a project my heart really wanted to do so I got to work. I gathered all kinds of fabric and utilized some new techniques (such as printing photos onto adhesive backed fabric). I even went into my 'Michael memory box' and pulled out some really special treasures that I felt should be a part of the piece.
But when it was time to put the piece together - I just couldn't - my emotions just made it impossible to put something together that looked half decent. So I packed it away and hoped I would feel up to the challenge of finishing it at a later time.
Fast forward 5 years to a completely different emotionally complicated now - but a now that was inspiring me to complete this piece. A big part of it was that although he has given me the gift of his photographs (go see here) on more then one occasion, I hadn't every gifted him with any of my original artwork. So after he arrived in Chicago, I spent a solid 4 days and finished the piece.
- There is a photo of Michael and his dog, Molly on a hike - that is a photo printed on adhesive backed fabric (as is the tiny photo of the two of us together)
- There are license plates from the 3 states where he has lived/is living - Illinois, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. These are all cut from fabric printed with license places from each state. (If anyone has any of this laying about that they aren't using - I'd be happy to take it off your hands!)
- When we first met - he had a grey '88 Grand Prix - I LOVED THAT CAR! I honed my driving skills driving cross country in "Esmeralda". It had over 205,000 miles on it when it was finally dragged off to the junk yard (kicking & screaming, I'd like to think). There is actually a name plate from the car sewn onto the piece along with my car keys....2 very special items that are difficult to part with but add so much meaning to the finished artwork. The name plate was yanked off the car and came away in 3 sections so isn't in the best condition - it took a lot of thread to anchor it securely.
A close-up of the name plate & car keys....
I have tried to sign every piece I make but I usually just write on the back with a sharpie (unlike my mom who carefully embroiders her name, date & the recipient on the back of each of her creations! so gorgeous!) but this time I used the 'print on adhesive backed fabric thing' and stuck it to the back. Of course the sharpie still made an appearance because I had to edit the label.