Since this painting is no longer in my possession, I figured I’d take a few moments to talk about it. Oh, and add it to my Gallery, of course. I painted this over 5 years ago (my! how the years go by) and swore that I would paint another version similar to this one. I never have.
This was probably the first “serious” acrylic painting I ever did, mainly because I love the slow-drying quality of oil paints, and therefore did not own any decent acrylics. I didn’t think acrylics could behave like oils, and so I didn’t use them. That is, until I discovered that there are additives one can mix with acrylics to make them dry more slowly. That fact is a big “duh” to me now, but years ago I was very proud of my discovery! You would have thought that I invented the stuff…
For many years, this painting didn’t have an official title. I’ll admit, I am notoriously un-motivated in this way, never really giving my artworks appropriate titles unless I’m faced with an exhibit or something official. A huge amount of great and important artworks have stupid titles, and I find it difficult to come up with one that doesn’t sound so contrived. Alas, I generally just avoid titles, tiptoeing around it until I’m forced to label the artwork for practical purposes. That being said, I eventually decided on sort of a “pet” name for my shoe painting. On a whim, I named it Strappy–kind of like you’d name a fish Goldie, or a dog Shaggy, or a beetle Staggy.
This shoe was from an actual pair that I owned and loved, though I wore them only twice. Then, while the pair was being stored in my closet, somebody’s bathroom in the next-door apartment flooded, and the floor of MY closet bore the brunt of the water’s fury. Sadly, the left shoe became soggy and useless, and ended up in the garbage. For some reason, I held on to the other shoe for a few days, and it was then that I decided to paint it as a still-life.
I’ve commented before on the architectural quality that shoes have, and Strappy really emphasizes this. I really love the coldness of the colors…it comes across like a formal, steel skyscraper. I can almost see the tiny, ant-sized business men and women scurrying in and out of it with their briefcases. I really enjoyed painting the way the shadow fell onto the cloth, with it’s gradual blurring and the “crispness” right near the toe.
All this reminiscing is making me want to raid my closet for shoes to paint. Maybe it won’t be too much longer ’til I have another version after all!