Featured Artist Alisha K. Ard

Best known for her shoe paintings, contemporary realist artist Alisha K. Ard shares some of her work. Enjoy more of her paintings by visiting her website.

 

 “3 Sisters, 1 Pair” Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 10" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“3 Sisters, 1 Pair” Acrylic on Canvas, 10″ x 10″

 

The most common question I am asked about my artwork is: why shoes?

 

“Dance Slippers” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8" x 8" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dance Slippers” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8″ x 8″

 

I began painting in 2006, inspired by the Daily Painters movement to work on a small painting daily as a means of teaching myself to paint, refining my skills, and making additional income. Part of the challenge was finding a subject to paint for each of these small works.

 

“Duckling Shoes” Acrylic on Paper, 4" x 6" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Duckling Shoes” Acrylic on Paper, 4″ x 6″

 

When my daughter was two years old, I bought her first pair of patent leather Mary Janes and she was enchanted with their shine. As happens with little ones, her ability to wear the shoes did not last long. I decided to do a painting of them to commemorate her first dress shoes and posted the painting to the art blog I had at the time.

 

“Puddle Playtime” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 5" x 7" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Puddle Playtime” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 5″ x 7″

 

The response was immediate. So many people connected with the painting and shared their stories–how they once had a similar pair they adored, or how their daughter went through a phase where she would only wear Mary Janes for three years, or how their granddaughter just got her first pair.

 

“Red Pair 1” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8" x 8"by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Red Pair 1” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8″ x 8″

 

Next, I painted my son’s red tennis shoes from when he was an infant, and again people shared the memories that my painting recalled for them. Soon, the inquiries for commissioned shoe paintings began and my portfolio of shoe art grew.

 

“Rose Shoe” Acrylic on Clayboard Panel,6" x 6" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Rose Shoe” Acrylic on Clayboard Panel,6″ x 6″

 

When I plan a painting, I tend to use dramatic lighting to emphasize the details I find give the most character to each pair–the shininess, the worn creases, the scuffed toes, the varying textures.

 

“Running Shoes” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8" x 8" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Running Shoes” Acrylic on Canvas Panel, 8″ x 8″

 

For this reason, I request the actual shoes be sent to me for commissioned pieces. I typically leave the background simple to keep the focus on the shoes themselves, though I will add other components if they contribute to the story of the shoes.

 

“Siblings” Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 20" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Siblings” Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 20″

 

Ultimately, what I enjoy most about painting shoes as a subject is hearing the stories.

 

“Timeless” Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 10" by artist Alisha K. Ard. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Timeless” Acrylic on Canvas, 10″ x 10″

 

It’s amazing how a single pair can resonate with so many people for such a variety of reasons.

 

Artist Alisha K. Ard invites you to follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

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