My mother’s platform shoes from about 1978. She loved clothes.
She always encouraged me to draw – especially fashion illustrations. “Why don’t you draw a pretty summer dress for me,” she’d say. It was her way of keeping me out of her hair (there were 5 of us kids) but she knew I enjoyed drawing too.
I’ll never forget these whimsical shoes. And, thanks to my mother’s early encouragement, illustration is still a part of my life.
I admit to not knowing much about opera. I hear it occasionally – my husband has some opera music – but I don’t actively seek it out. However, I had written on a memo to draw Measha Brueggergosman, a Canadian soprano, after I heard an interview with her on CBC radio. I had found her to be so inspiring.
Singing since childhood, she obtained a music degree at the University of Toronto and pursued a Masters degree in Germany. At age 20, she played the lead in Beatrice Chancy, an opera that tells the story of a slave girl in rural Nova Scotia. Since that event, 18 years ago, she has performed with many operas and symphonies world wide, and won many awards.
In 2007, she travelled to war-torn East Africa to act as a musical therapist for children affected by the war and said the experience forever changed her.
On the radio she spoke about the music she likes to listen to, depending on her mood, Robyn and David Bowie among them, among other artists. I found her to be captivating and so positive. When that happens, I’m inspired to draw the person.
Working with the Brushes app, I have a system. I often get inspiration from the internet and work with it. I start with a black outline – a line drawing of sorts, then create a new layer in Brushes for the colour – hair, skin, clothing, etc. Then I create a separate layer for the shading/lighting. I’ve learned the hard way that keeping the outline, the colouring, and the shading and lighting in their own separate layers is easier – it makes it easier to apply changes, if necessary. But everybody’s got their own way of working, right?
As I get older, I’m less willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion. But I don’t think it has to be one or the other. To me, good fashion is also comfortable.
I recently bought a pair of really warm Hue brand leggings at a discount department store. They make me feel like I’m wearing sweater sleeves on my legs, which is really nice when it’s snowy and blustery outside, as it is today in Toronto.
That made me think that I’d now like a skirt in degrade mohair, or something similar. The accompanying image shows one idea that came to mind. I think this could be both worn in the corporate world and while relaxing on your sofa.
Simple summer dress worn on what appears to be a warm breezy day. When I look at this drawing, I imagine I’m standing at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, waiting for a traffic light to change. It’s lovely to be in the middle of the action, no?