As tough as old boots


Old boots 92 x 42cm bOld boots   watercolour 92 x 42cm

Recently we picked up an old boot on a farm walk.  Not knowing where it came from, we felt lucky when we found another one.  Then, over the next few weeks more and more appeared across the field and we discovered that the nearby moat had  been dredged and the earth had been spread across the field. They had found about 40 pairs. So, once upon a time farm workers must have thrown their old boots into the moat.  They are so evocative, taking you back to the time when so many people worked on the fields. But there is something sinister about them now.  They seem to have been dissected – peeled apart over time to reveal their sturdy construction through the disintegrating layers of leather and rows of rusting nails determined to stay put. One has a horseshoe-shaped heel.  I felt like a forensic artist as I painted them back to life. I aim to do another one soon showing the hobnails’ patterns on the soles and heels.