Susan Shie explains:
We bought a new car on July 24, 2001. We hadn’t had a brand new car in the whole time we’ve been together, some 25 years at the time. So this was cause for celebration, and we also loved our old car dearly, hating to have to sell it. But since it had over 205,000 miles on it, and we couldn’t afford to keep two cars, we had to say goodbye to Babycakes the Isuzu Trooper, and greet our new Subaru Outback by naming her various things. First was Aunt Louise, a name Jimmy offered, since my favorite aunt had just died. Then I came up with Mlle. Kissey, and later, after the making of this piece, Jimmy invented Green Bean. She is called by any of these names, at any given time, but we have come to love our Outback.
We still miss Babycakes very much though!
I began the piece as an airbrush demonstration to Turtle Art Camp students here in our home in our August, 2001 camp. Before their week was gone, I had sandwiched both panels into their quilt state and begun to sew them. And Jimmy did his machine free motion work over small sections of my cursive writing on each panel, as another demo for the students. Then I went for a week later in August to Hilton Head Island, with a pack of old and new friends who were all turning 50 within a year of each other. They are now known as Pat’s YaYa, and I am the oldest YaYa. I sat and sewed a lot on my two Car Handover panels during the ride to Hilton Head, and whenever the heat and humidity, as well as the super bright Southern sun kept me inside during our holiday there.
Our dog Hattie is at the bottom of the Trooper panel, and Marigold, one of our five cats, has the same space on the Outback panel. When the two panels are hung beside each other, a big pie forms in the middle. It’s a honey pie, a turtle pie, and a butter pie. These are all word images I just enjoy!
This is one of those pieces I hate having had to stop working on. I would keep sewing on it, especially embroidering over all the airbrushed black word lines, if I had time. But I am trying to paint more and sew less, so I can get more art images made. It’s not easy to let go, and I could have spent two more months on this one!"