Friday, May 18, 2018

Not my usual style

This one was a quickie, tentatively titled Southbound 35 Oklahoma Spring ...


which is a lot of title for a little piece.

It has a backstory of course ...


so settle in ... this one's a real shaggy dog (as my mom used to call my ramblings).

Just before we headed to St Louis a couple of weeks ago, my eye caught on this illustration in a New York Times article ... 


which led to a Google search for information ...


and more images ...


planting a seed in my mind.

While in St Louis, I jotted ideas down for a new Triangulation piece (the original Triangulation project can be viewed at  
in anticipation of our planned summer road trip to Taos, New Mexico and Glenwood Springs, Colorado with a quick hop over to St Louis before heading home ...


Now I've mentioned before how much I love driving through Oklahoma
as memorialized in this Remember 2016 patch (which also brings me back to Girl Scout days) ...


But I wasn't always a fan of road trips, as noted in a 2009 blog post entitled Crazy Country: A Little Farther West, which was about our original journey from Virginia to Texas ...
Thankfully, I've learned that driving in the Southwest and Midwest is nothing like East Coast driving.

Anyway, it was with Triangulation II in mind that I decided to create a test piece. During the drive down I-35 from Oklahoma City to the Texas state line I made careful mental notes of the sights along the way and mused over which bits of thrift store linen might stand in for them. 

Once we got home, I quickly sketched out some possibilities ...


In truth, I almost abandoned the project as the colors were so vastly different from my usual comfort zone, but decided to soldier on, trying to be true to what I recalled seeing.

The fresh green of spring grass and the clear blue of cloud dotted sky ...


splashes of Indian paintbrush orange and masses of little yellow flowers ...


the dusky purple of wildflowers along the edge of a red dirt infused stock tank ...


and above all, incredibly dense patches of pink primrose ...


And the highway, in grey patches that I almost stitched together, but ultimately left apart to recall my less-than-steady attentions, the left slightly wider to denote my preference for taking the fast lane ...


I made sure to note the striping, how white precedes black with long intervals between both, here still tinged with the vestiges of water-erasable marker ...


Last, but not least, the power line ...


one of many that sailed overhead as my inner soundtrack played "oh what a beautiful morning ..."

And if some of the clouds are a bit scawumpus and the power line not quite the right arc, still I'm OK with it (now humming "LA HO MA ... Oklahoma!")

13 comments:

Mo Crow said...

(((Liz))) what an amazing way to record your journey, it goes straight to my heart as I was born in Tulsa a very long time ago!

Liz A said...

Mo - I don't know if that iconic picture of you jumping a fence on horseback was from your Tulsa time, but it is the one that comes to mind when I think of you growing up in Oklahoma

alsokaizen said...

I like this snapshot method of capturing the trip, and I love the detail of the dotted lines getting more closely spaced as they reach into the distance.

Liz A said...

Anna Lisa - a snapshot ... yes, exactly. Thank you for that. As for the line details, I appreciate your noticing the variation, but I must confess that I'm on the fence about whether to leave them in or take them out.

Mo Crow said...

I love the line details, it gives the piece depth, if you want to increase the sense of perspective just take out the last seven stitches and decrease the size in increments to a dot in the end
PS the pic of me riding Stormy was taken when I was 18 here in Australia, we left Tulsa in 1964 when I was 9.

patricia said...

Hi Liz. I really resonate with this piece. And marvel at the sense of fluidity and movement you were able to create with squares. I do wonder about the title of this piece and assume it refers to your return home? Wonderful!

Liz A said...

Mo - still pondering

Patricia - You're correct, it is indeed about the trip home. I have mentioned in the past that I usually have a sound track playing in my head (something that may be attributable to my near deafness). Driving south on I-35, I usually "listen" to an Americana song titled "Southbound 35" but on this last trip, I was definitely hearing the show tunes from the musical "Oklahoma" in my head.

Liz said...

Hi Liz, so glad I finally am back to reading blogs, love what you’re doing here.

Liz A said...

Liz - Thanks much ... good to see you again

susan hemann said...

what a stunning piece, enjoyed reading the story behind the work

Liz A said...

Susan - thanks much ... I learned several things in this trial, the most important of which was determining that the glue would hold two dozen patches while I stitched them all down, and that I actually enjoyed the process (a good thing to know before starting on a much larger piece).

Fiona Dempster said...

Wow! What a gorgeous representation; and I love how you mind goes there, comes back, tries this then that and it all comes together so beautifully in this piece. It is full of heart and a remarkable reflection...

Liz A said...

Fiona - Thank you ... I have become quite selfish about memory, wanting to preserve moments that touch in some tangible form for future reflection. The blog is much about that, too.