The power of great shoes

February 22, 2013

Feet can be very difficult when it comes to shoes. Especially if they are naturally fairly narrow but have a pretty bulbous bunion just down from each big toe. Now, some of my best friends have bunions, and we could probably form a friendly society for frustrating feet, whose anthem would be the lament of the coveted shoe. My sports shoes are always from the men’s range – nice and wide, a bit bulky, and no colour choices (why that is I don’t know).

Searching for some sensible flats, I spotted a gorgeous shoe of the kind that I dream, on the specials table, noted the generous width, slipped it on, and it was obviously for me.

newshoes

I’m not a big retail therapy kind of girl but this saved me an eventual trip to a shrink for the madness bunions can cause.

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Yesterday I had the great pleasure to sit on the ground for about an hour and draw an old shed at my friend’s house.

The subject is a classic, though often maligned as well as misrepresented. Like me, many artists shy away from the lure of the ruin, because there is a tendency to go all nostalgic and sentimental, at the cost of a strong image. But how to do justice to the people who built and have used it, and the persistence of the building itself?

Perhaps it’s about the first impulse – if it gets under your skin. And then to use the power of that in the drawing process. The big shape, and the colour, are what got me.

And this red shed has a good story. Built by a circus performer who had worked in the United States, he built it tall to hold the tents. As soon as I saw it against the gorgeous autumn sky, I felt the pull to record it, with gusto.

Christmas aftermath

December 28, 2010

Yesterday was for rest. Today I can’t think, only do – a good thing. Today I wiped down much of the house, following the discovery on Boxing Day of a flea infestation which we subsequently ‘bombed’. This is fast becoming the era of the bug. I haven’t put grasshopper-proof shade-cloth over the car grill yet but the pressure is on.

I remember an Easter Sunday when we discovered lice in 4 out of 5 family members’ hair. Not a chemist open. Only an experienced mum and hairdresser over the back fence who graciously cut off most of my hair – an early nineties acid perm. We were staying with friends at the time because all of our belongings had gone to our new home town in a truck.

Christmas is fraught with traps, and that thing called hope. I like the funny moments, when no-one is thinking too much. The quiet after lunch is good too.

ChristmasDay 4pm 2010