Naked with Black Socks – Inspired by Word Prompt
When I was in art school I owned a pair of very loved tennis shoes, high tops actually. They were once white with silver and white laces, comfortable and really cute. We needed to come up with a still live subject to paint in oils, and I really didn’t ‘vibe’ with the regular flowers, or fruit still life subjects most gravitate to in art school. So I decided to paint my favorite tennis shoes.
Now, those shoes were grey, rumpled and very worn out. The laces were frayed and no longer shinny. The biggest thing was their funny wonky, floppy droop. The tops no longer stood up very well. I didn’t care. When I looked at the shoes I remembered how much I loved them. And yes, once I was naked (ok I was younger) with black socks in them, and probably also wore black leg warmers – just because that’s what everyone wore back then in exercise class (and beyond), but mostly I just loved them
I remembered buying them and how I’d saved up because they were Reebok’s. I remember how happy I was the first times I wore them and people complimented me on them. Like Uggs today. I remember how I wore them with my suit when going to work because I had to walk a long way from my parking lot to work in downtown Dallas. And I remember when they got so old I was embarrassed to wear them out of the house. So, I painted an oil painting of them. A big one. 36 inches by 45 inches. In your face beautiful.
I remember my teacher commenting: “You can make anything look good if you paint it well.” That was a compliment.
I painted them with ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson (my two favorite colors). Big, lush brush strokes loaded with a lot of paint. The painting showed how I loved those shoes.
What happened to the painting? I got an A on the assignment. Yeah! I hung them for a long time in my studio. And then 10 years later I sold them on a corner for $50 because I needed to move and had to rent a stupid truck. So someone, somewhere (hopefully) has that painting of high top Reebok’s on their wall. I later went on to paint professionally. But I remember those shoes.
Naked with black socks never felt that happy.