Friday, December 12, 2014

Shoe Dreams

SHOE DREAMS   acrylic mixed media 16" x 20" x 2" cradled panel 

At three years old, little Amira has an above average attraction to high heeled shoes.

Amira, shoe shopping, the day before she turned three, December 8th, 2014

When I spied an amazing golden shoe painting online, I wanted to buy it, but it was already sold. The image inspired the concept for Amira's third birthday painting. Initially I thought I'd paint a collage of different shoes in equal-sized squares, quilt like. When I saw a decorator piece of art of panels of irregular sizes interspersed with wide ribbons of scroll patterns, I knew this would create an even more interesting format. 

After explaining my plan to and telling Marcela Strasdas about how her painting had inspired me, I asked her if I could use it in my arrangement. She graciously sent me her reference photo.

The drawing for SHOE DREAMS
I intended to incorporate a lot more of Amira's favourite colour - purple - but the painting began to take on a life of its own and in the end there is only one purple shoe (top left).  
The backgrounds were masked and painted separately. The mottled effect created by spritzing water on wet paint and waiting a minute or three before gently laying down a piece of paper towel to blot and lift the paint where the water drops were. I stenciled the borders with iridescent light gold on metallic gold. 

The removed pieces of contact paper, used to mask out the shoes, begged to be photographed

Marcela's gorgeous shoe took me 4.5 hours to paint

The peacock shoe has the heart of a real peacock feather imbedded in it

This shoe has real lace affixed to it

The purple shoe has rhinestones attached

It was wonderful to be able to gift the painting, in person, on the eve of her birthday ...

I do believe she likes it!

Showing Mom and Pappa Shoe Dreams


  1. What a wonderful post - that photo of Amira at the top explains EVERYTHING that follows. The shoes are marvellous, and it's wonderful to see the close-ups of each to get a sense of the mixed-media fun the painting holds. Delightful!

    1. Many thanks, Win.
      It was a really fun painting to make, strange but fun ... and I've made a few strange paintings this year!

  2. Just delightful! Amira is one lucky little girl! Alice, I can see a handbag painting as a perfect accompaniment to this one.

    1. Thanks Laura. Oh and the little one loves handbags too!

  3. Great idea! Cool execution. I think the ladies upstairs have an interest in shoes... they have a 365 day calendar with a shoe for each day. And I guess the Bata shoe museum is something else!!

  4. Thank you Meg. I have passed the BataShie Museum many times it have never gone in! Perhaps one day I'll get to take Amira there?

  5. Talk about fabulous shoes!!! What a great gift for Amira!! I am sure when she is a teen- all of her girlfriends will be jelli of the coolest painting on her bedroom wall!!
    Truly stunning piece Alice- your details blow me a way- the gold one! WOW!
    I wish I could walk in a pair of these, but would be afraid of breaking the least-my neck! heehee
    ps. so glad you found me- and I you! ") Merry Christmas!

    1. Many thanks, JackieP. I'm thrilled that you've taken a look and so pleased that you've commented. I'll be checking in on you!

  6. Love it! I love to see how we all do the same thing differently! Thank you Alice! Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Marcela! I didn't mean to, but I fell back into my old ways once I printed the original photo you sent me.
      I hope things are well with you and family - MERRY CHRISTMAS!