While on holiday in Ilfracombe I strolled along the beach each evening and watched the sun go down. One night the tide brought in a stiletto shoe. I fished it out and put it in my suitcase to bring home. Looking at it I saw much mental and manual effort had gone into the design of the stiletto. I read up and found that a chap called Roger Vivier (a shoe designer who worked for Dior) invented the tall thin heel that tips the body of the shoe. I wonder if he patented the design - probably sold it for 100 francs and died on a street bench smelling of urine, sweat and cider.
One evening I was feeling a little jittery and put a canvas in my hands to hold them down. That white linen canvas was begging to be covered. Inspired by the shoe (shoved down the side of my desk) I thought I'd paint a pair of stilettos. Before starting I needed something to spur me on and when in a certain mood I watch documentaries about Nick Drake the gifted 26-year-old musician who killed himself and for whom fame came too late. There're two hour-long documentaries about him on Youtube and I told myself I'd watch them both and finish the painting in that time. This would take me up to bedtime. Here is the result.
I used a knife to thrown on the background (not sure what the rising line is in the background) and then moved onto the shoes. I had excess red paint I'd thought I'd use it up. Painting the shoes flowed so well I forgot to take many photos and soon it was too late. As I heard my dad coming upstairs to bed at 10pm I added some slithers of light and there was nothing else to do but sign it. All done.
Why are some people fascinated by shoes? Someone once asked me what I'd grab if the house was on fire and I said my 12TB hard drive which is bulging with precious stuff. When I repeated the question to her she said "my Christian Louboutin mules." I knew who he was but I'm afraid I had to look up what mules were. What is it people and their shoe collections? Does the average woman in the UK really own 24 pairs? I've got six and most leak. Would you grab a pair of shoes if your house was aflame? I'd probably grab my Evel Knievel autograph, the thong Pamela Anderson mailed me (only $14,000) and my favourite fountain pen.
This harmless painting could be on your bedroom wall within 48 hours. It's your for £44,000. It would have been £26 but I need to raise some money quickly. I thought a airplane runway was a motorway and I smashed the car into a £380 million Airbus A380. After a lengthy court case I'm paying off the damage at £20/week.
I've visited the grave where Nick Drake's ashes joined those of his parents and the link is here:- http://johnhalley.uk/Grave%20-%20Nick%20Drake.htm