A seminal event in my adult creative development was a three-year stint selling ladies shoes. Interacting with thousands of women, and hearing their stories gave me a great jumping off point for any number of creative paths. One day I told my painting prof that I saw women's feet and legs in the foreground and Desert in the background-His eyes lit up and he said "Do that!"
When I began the shoescape series, I started with magazine photos. I quickly realized the controlled lighting did not provide me enough information to paint from in order to achieve what I was seeking. I needed details and faithful lighting. I needed to shoot my own photos. I generally compose with the projector, trace, and paint following fairly conventional oil techniques. There is a mix of underpainting, glazing, and opaque or impasto layers. Like many artists, my goal is to paint light and evoke an emotion.
Several terific women were generous of their time, creativity, and passion. WIthout them my work would be much less. Yes, there was a business offer, but it was very modest and no one got rich. Some models provided their own wardrobe. "Tom Lea Park" is blessed with Cynthia's own Enzo Angiolini boots that reflected every pattern of light on a chilly but sunny March day in El Paso. Heather teetered on heels in cactus patches that I had to carry her to so she would not scratch up her legs . Pam was game for everything I asked of her and so fun to work with. The pictures I took at White Sands of Pam were some of most exciting I've ever done. Cathy's corset photos have not yet been painted but they will emerge some day. Susan joined in with her own wardrobe and creative ideas and Krista not only posed but provided shoes that she designed. I truly have been blessed.