Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Project: Lotus Blossom Shoes

"Onward Ho!!" as they said when they were trailblazing back in the pioneer days....I have never been afraid to be a trailblazer....
Back in 2010 when I started GoodKharmaReThreads, the upcycling and repurposing craze was underway but I don't think there were many people doing what I was, using items from thrift stores, especially stores with 'causes', so that my initial investment of raw materials for any project was purchased with funds that would partially go to help something or someone.  And of course I have donated many items for fundraisers, and also made specific items for special causes.  I love what I do! I feel fantastic knowing that there are more artists and artisans that share my philosophy these days. 
Okay, on to this project, which I am personally in love with: the lotus blossom shoes!   I am having so much fun doing these shoes - and covering up my original and ugly crap with these lovely flowers and greenery.  I'm not going to lie....it is a challenge to paint such beautiful examples of nature's wonder, and somehow capture and preserve that natural wonder in my work.  I will say that it takes a great deal of time to get these beauties 'right'.  I am still working on the first shoe, but it isn't too far from being done, I think. 
Mostly, I'm having to figure in the covering-up of my original little branches that I had painted on the shoes, before I decided to do the lotus blossoms.  I am also pretty much finished with each 'blossom' as I go, but I will go back and work on the lily pads and other greenery to give it the depth that goes along with that of the blossoms themselves.
As I said before, this is really a challenging project, due to the layers of color that I am finding necessary for the blooms.  But, those same layers work great when I have made a little mistake and can just keep painting till that little blip is no more.
Here, I am letting the pictures sort of tell the story of the progression of the project....as one blossom gets completed I have to figure what will be next and start looking for the perfect image to paint for that area of the shoe, always trying to envision the end result....never would have imagined that I'd be turning shoes into works of art, but it really is fun!!  It is going to take a while, getting BOTH shoes completed, which I don't mind....I want them to be awesome, and awesome can't be rushed.  The base product, a pair of Merrell clogs, in great condition, made of some fabric that has many of the properties of burlap (as far as weave, texture, feel), make for a great canvas. 
I will keep everyone posted on the progress of these guys....and I'd love to hear from you....a little input can be a good thing....since I have questions about a couple of things, ideas....such as, should I make these seem like they are part of a koi pond, and possibly add a watery look, or add a koi somewhere?  Let me know what you think!  I would love some feedback....                                                     


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