Saturday, May 9, 2009

Still Life: Vintage Mary Janes, Art Tip #13

" Mary Janes "
Vintage baby shoes that I found on eBay..they came with the original box dated 1915! Real patent leather made in the good old USA. "Baby Beaver" shoes, size 0. A piece of leather stiffened the bottom of the box and they were sold at W.T. Grant stores, a mass marketing chain. I looked the store up on Wikipedia..the store went out of business in the 1970's. I grew up in Spokane and remember a W. T. Grant store there. They were a "5 & Dime" store and fun to visit if you just had a dime or two in your pocket!
Art Tip #13: Place a clear piece of glass over black paper for a wonder reflective surface to set a still life on. "Mary Janes" was set up this way, black wall on left and back, piece of pink paper off to the right that reflects onto the shoes.


nancy elstad said...

oh what cute shoes. and great tip about the glass on black paper, thanks! And love that they are vintage.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Nancy. I do love vingage things...they represent real people. In this case I have been wondering what became of the baby girl who wore these shoes?

Karen Hargett said...

This is a great painting. I love it - makes me think of my childhood even though I'm not 1915 vintage ;-) but 1950.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Karen. Yes, I don't think I have had any patent leather shoes since babyhood!

Frank Gardner said...

Great reflections in the shoes AND in the glass. A perfect background for this subject.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Frank. Using glass as a prop allows more design options, repeating of colors and shapes for one. This little painting went together as I invisioned it in my mind's eye..that doesn't happen very often. Usually it's a battle the ends with compromise.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

It seems all shoes now have some type of molded soles. Usually rubber or 'composite' or something. Everything's vinyl.
Does anyone remember leather shoe bottoms? How about getting shoes at a shoe store where they measured your feet!! Today, everyone mostly wears one size fits all, plastic shoes or sneakers
Am I dating myself ? ;)
I love the shoe series.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

You are right about the today's shoe biz. All three of these baby shoes are old enough to have leather soles..these vintage black patent ones were called Baby Beavers so maybe the soles and the patent leather came from beavers? Glad you like the shoes...I've been thinking some fun Jimmy Chu spike heels might be next.