Some time I ago I blogged about drawing shoes with my Grate Frend Mike at the pilot for Janet Haigh’s drawing club. Well, last night when I was doing some sick visiting with the Medieval Historian in Southmead Hospital in Bristol, I happened upon three pieces of lovely work about shoes. These red ones were painted and absolutely delightful:
What I love about this painting – and the rest of the small series – is something that Janet H always insists on: Mariette Voke has captured the essence of this shoe perfectly. She has shown me why she wanted to buy it. She has made me care about it. And she has captured the fun in this shoe with its little rosebud lining.
Here’s another shot:
In the very short artist’s statement she says that she bought the shoes to cheer herself up. Who could fail to be cheered up by red shoes she asks and it’s a very good point. This is a photo (another not great phone camera picture) of a pair of my shoes which I call the ruby slippers:
I wear these if I think that I am going to be bored or have to deal with the vexatious or sometimes when I need a bit of oooph if I have to do a big lecture. A good friend of mine used to say you could scrap all the assertiveness training in the land if you just bought every woman an Estee Lauder Parallel Red lipstick.
There is something about bright red. It lifts the spirits and makes you more confident. My red shoes force a strut that gives you the self-confidence you need to confiscate smart phones in lectures, or face down the smart boys in the back row.
Hmmm, I seem to have strayed into the restorative powers of the colour red rather than talking about shoe drawings, so here is another of the pieces in the series:
Not shoes this time but a lovely pencil drawing with collage of an evening bag. This is a great illustration of Janet Haigh’s maxim about choosing the right medium for the job:
Again, I wish the photo were better but there was no way not to get the reflection in this, and I couldn’t pass it by. It is a cliche to talk about sensitive drawing, but this really is, so let’s use a cliche with gusto. The drawing of the diamante clasp is just gorgeous – you know it’s diamante – it couldn’t be anything else. And the pleated silk is tactile. Mariette loves this bag so I do too, even though I have never seen it. The drawing captures the emotion:
And love comes across in the final piece. I rather fell in love with the artist in this one:
I really love these shoes, she seems to be saying. I have worn them into the ground. I have worn them so much that there is hardly anything left of the tatty heel tip. But life’s too short to be going to the cobbler’s with them. See the gorgeously drawn detail of the worn down heel:
My wedding shoes, which I still have, are in exactly this state. I love them, but somehow never found time to have them re-heeled. Mariette and I would get on, I think! And she clearly loves the Mary Quant-style sixties as much as I do:
So, thank you Southmead Hospital for financing this unexpected treat. Hospitals are clearly for healing the sick, but it’s a lovely unintended consequence when they delight the visitors as well.