Elly's Shoes | TINA FULLER SOMERS
This series was inspired by the incredible shoe collection of my husband’s late grandmother, Eleanor “Elly” Clara Somers. Born 1925 in the Bronx, New York, she learned about beautiful clothes and shoes from her mother Serena, an expert seamstress who worked for the designer James Galanos. Elly originally studied fashion illustration, but when World War II started, she contributed to the war effort by using her artistic skills as a technical illustrator. In 1950 she moved to Los Angeles where she continued her career as a technical illustrator and art director. Along the way she collected and cared for countless pairs of beautiful shoes, always keeping each pair stuffed with tissue, wrapped in plastic, and stored in its original box. In 2012, Elly passed away, leaving behind a lifetime of shoes. Her diligently cared for shoe collection reflects her many interests from hiking to high fashion. Seeing all her shoes together has stirred in me such respect for how our choices of footwear reflect who we are. I find the collection to be an intriguing portrait of a woman whom I was lucky enough to have met, and whose family I am so lucky to have joined.
As an illustrator myself, I’m no stranger to meticulously detailed assignments. With a BA in Painting and a Master’s Certification in Science Illustration, I have illustrated a range of natural science subjects from botanical field guides in Hawaii to interpretive panels on the bluffs of the Seymour Center. This is the first time I’ve tackled fashion illustration. Painting each pair of shoes felt like a good way to honor and preserve Elly’s collection without keeping a storage locker of shoeboxes (with a few exceptions, we have donated a majority of her shoes). It has been such a fun and intimate experience to paint each pair. I have tried to present a style that is both detailed and accurate, but also loose enough to betray the brush strokes of my hand—a human touch for this human story. Though this series is unfinished (after painting 20 pairs, I’m less than halfway done), I’m excited to show them together for the first time. I look forward to painting the next 30 pairs and being able to share the stories that will reveal themselves through Elly’s shoes.
Wyatt J Hesemeyer is a traveling tattoo artist based out of the Central Valley of California, who goes by the moniker The Line Defined. Over a three year period he worked tirelessly to bring to life, THE LINE DEFINED TAROT.
The Line Defined Tarot takes the timeless symbolism of the tarot and updates it into a modern blackwork style, inspired heavily by imagery of the ancient occult, natural splendor, and mystic geometry.
On display will be the original drawings, complete with the wine stains, blood and tears required to make this extensive project a reality.
First Friday Artist Reception
Tina Fuller Somers at Stripe
Wyatt Hesemeyer at Stripe Men