Monday, 21 November 2016

The Red Shoes

I started ballet as an adult and have been going to ballet classes in London for the last 20 years and have been performing every year as a member of an amateur ballet company for the last 15 years or so.  Guess my age, an older girl is still on pointe and going!

This year I was given the title role in Red Shoes, a short piece choreographed by one of the company members.  SO. I had to prepare the red shoes myself.  I selected a pair of old pointe shoes that still have life left in them and got down to painting them.

And here they are, my very own red shoes.  I used mixture of red acrylic paints (permanent alizarin crimson and naphthol red light - which is like cadmium red) and added some water and also some flow improver to make the paints go further.

Pink pointe shoes are cute, but red shoes have something different.  They are mysterious and attractive.  Having painted the shoes and having a pair of red shoes in my own hands made me strangely excited - an effect I didn't expect!   In the story of Red Shoes, a girl got given a pair of red shoes, not knowing they have the life of their own and make her dance till she drops dead.  It's a dark story, but then I felt like "Yeah, I can understand you want to dance till you drop wearing the red shoes".  Well, the prop helped me to be in the spirit of the roll I'll be dancing!

And naturally I wanted to paint them.  Very fitting after homage to Rodin's Dancers paintings.  But shoes are difficult subject to paint!

Drawing/painting a pair of shoes is complicated enough, and these ribbons!!  They make the matter even more complicated.  I will need to paint a lot more of these shoes to get the hang of it.

Meanwhile, my feet in the said red shoes.  Mmmm, aren't they special.
...and the costume.  Oh I loved the costume, the peppermint green goes so well with the red.



  1. Just wonderful! My favorite movie ever.
    Whenever I come home very tired I say to myself the closing line of the film,
    "Carol, take off the red shoes.."
    Very pretty indeed and a challange to paint. I'm tempted.

    1. Hi, Carol, you've got to get a pair of red shoes to match your glasses! I'd love to see your paintings of red shoes!