The evolution of the Shoe Collection

Weapons of Mass Attraction - red shoes
Weapons of Mass Attraction

High heeled shoes have been a girl’s best friend ever since they were first invented.

We love them. Men love them. There’s something very special about them.

My first shoe painting was a little sketch of the back of a single stiletto shoe on a mini card. That first little sketch has evolved into a series of paintings of shoes with attitude.

That little sketch evolved into the she collection: Girls’ Best Friends, at twice life size, seemed to have a personality all of their own. They couldn’t be ignored. Other shoe personalities started to join the group. Cinderella and Debutant are fairy tale shoes. They are a young woman’s dream shoes – impossible to walk in, but oh, so so flirty and girly. But whereas Cinderella is still a bit unsophisticated and naive, debutant is confident and assured: she’s ready to take on the world.

Blue Louboutin shoes reference for watercolour paintings
My Best Friends

Pick me and Little Show Off came to life when I thought about the purpose of the red soles on my reference shoe photograph. They really do say, Hello world. Look at me!”

The last two of my red shoe series are Weapons of Mass Attraction and Weapons of Mass Distraction. There’a one more painting in the pipeline and once that’s done, the shoe series will be done for now.

One of the most satisfying aspects of this series is the reactions it evokes. I’ve always wanted to capture a mood or an idea in my paintings. I want them to make people think, or feel something different as a result of seeing them. Reactions to the shoe paintings have included phrases like, ‘sexy’, ‘powerful’, ‘confident’, ‘she’s not wearing them, so where is she?’

For me, they represent the enigma that is womanhood. The shoes have gentle curves and sharp lines, just like women who are flexible and at the same time, focused. When seen from behind, they represent women taking the lead and knowing where they are going. They most certainly are powerful and sexy – just like the women who would wear them. For me they are a celebration of the best aspects of femininity.

If you want to see the whole collection together, take a look at the Shoe Collection gallery.

Five by Five: The shoes have it

Debutant (watercolour 27cm x 40cm)
Debutant (watercolour 27cm x 40cm)

So, after eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate in the first 3 days of this challenge, I’ve  reached the Day 4 milestone. Today I thought I would focus on things that make me feel different.

– Hugs. Always make me feel good. There is something wonderfully warm about being physically close to someone you love. I got a few from my family this weekend, which made the time all the more special. (Hugs from children in the family are even more special, although they do quite often involve sticky hands and smears of chocolate).

– Reading. Curling up with a good book is a great feeling. Even better if it’s accompanied by a cup of hot coffee, in a cozy place. It creates the feeling of being solitary and reflective. There’s a sense of recharging the batteries that comes with reading a good book.

– Long beaches. When we visited Australia few years ago we took a walk along a seven mile beach. It’s a memory that has stayed with me because beach walks always

– Shoes. A good pair of shoes always makes a woman feel different. If you’re into heels, then the higher the better. They can make you feel on top of the world.

– Getting comments on my blog posts. I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years now. Sometimes my blogging has been a bit patchy and in the early days it felt a bit awkward because I didn’t really think I had anything to say that the wider world might want to read. Even now that I’ve been doing this for a while, comments on my blog make me smile: it’s lovely to know that my posts are read and enjoyed. Shares of my blog make my smile even wider – a reader enjoyed it enough to share it. Fantastic!

Hope you’re enjoying the Five by Five series. Only one more to go.

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Ready for the Ball

Ready for the Ball (small watercolour)
Ready for the Ball (small watercolour)
Ready for the Ball (small watercolour)

Went for a bit of variety yesterday and worked on something purely for the structure and form – and playing with a bit of light texture. (Although when I say variety, I clearly don’t mean colour as I’m still working in the red spectrum.)

The stiletto is an iconic shape. When taken to extreme, almost impossible to wear. There’s an architectural quality about a very high heeled shoe. Somehow it’s all about the angles. No attempt at realism in this painting – just playing with the shapes and exploring our perspective on the shoe.

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