Sunday, August 3, 2014

If the Shoe Fits...

After the Little People left, I vowed to do some Spring Cleaning early, you know, some deep cleaning, organizing and junking stuff that will never be used, especially in my workroom, which is really my playroom, but don't tell my family (I keep the ironing board set up and ready to go to keep up appearances). In the corner, a framed pen & watercolor painting from the 1990s leaned against the wall, out of use and forgotten.

It was just at this moment that the cat decided to have an accident (he tried to tell me he was desperate) on the frame of the painting...which in turn required a thorough cleaning of the whole corner. I took the picture out of the frame, washed the frame and put it in the garage for future use. The painting was yellowed so I tried to put it in a drawer, however, it was too big. I'd have to roll it up.

Then I looked it at, I mean I looked at it. I remembered...I remembered the lovely Tunisian wedding shoes with the tapped design in silver foil, nailed onto a wooden clog. They dated from 1940 and belonged to my Tunisian mother-in-law. The craftsmanship was outstanding, but one shoe was obviously made by an apprentice and the other by the master, seen in the clarity of the detail work.

Then I remembered the hours spent gripping a Rotring pen (maybe a 0.2 or smaller). It probably took me more time to draw them than it took to make them. I framed it up with a patchwork design. 

These clogs are not particularly comfortable, but the modern ones are worse. My daughter's wedding shoes are too narrow, less attention is paid to the craftsmanship, and the designs have been simplified. Yet, they're pretty to look at.

Lately, I have been reflecting on the sketchbook as a "travail de mémoire", Memory, which is linked to recycling as well. I took my "fancy" sketchbook (Stillman & Birn with heavy paper), painted a background with watercolors, then cut out and glued on one of the shoes.
Of course, I had to tell the story of the shoes and the painting. Maybe one day a family member will read it. Memory, memory...
The patchwork sections frame a watercolor of figs. I like the contrast of the yellowed paper and the stark white of the journal.
That old painting has taken on a new life and I like to look at that "fancy" sketchbook often. Now the shoe fits much better... 

11 comments:

Kahna said...

Wow mom! I loved this post. I remembered the first painting you post on here, so vividly. The figs are amazing, worth thousands of dollars at least. At the end of the day, I take it you don't regret Bibi having an accident in your workroom after all right? Keep up the amazing work!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Thank you, loving daughter. About the cat's accident...sometimes a bad thing is a good thing.

Emma said...

The shoes are beautiful but why do we wear, the world over, such ornate & uncomfortable things on such an important day?!

Jodi said...

Gorgeous painting(s)! And Emma is right - eek. (I enjoyed reading the exchange between you and your daughter :-) sweet.

Debbie said...

Very neat idea.....a great save of sweet memories.

Susan Christensen said...

Delightful post, Nadia. Such interesting memories, and a nifty re-use of the lovely drawings in your new journal. I am inspired!
-sus

Anneliese said...

Really wonderful post, I also love daughter-mom- conversation - and I love as always your sketches and designs and the whole spirit of your blog.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Those shoes don't look the least bit comfortable, but they are certainly beautiful to look at!

Norma Schlager said...

Love what you did with both sections of the original painting. Inspiring, as always!

Threadpainter said...

I am inspired ! ... would never have thought to cut up an old/soiled watercolour ... sure that the water-colour police would find me !
Your sketchbook is amazing !

Janet M. Atwill said...

These are so beautiful!