Sneakers (and other shoes I miss)

On February 5, 2010, I set up a photo shoot on the kitchen table. Every pair of shoes I owned (minus my flip-flops and boots) received a carefully arranged close-up. Time at the start: 2:52 p.m. Finished at 4:54. Two hours, two minutes. The sneakers are wonderful. But I really, really miss wearing the dancing shoes, so will start with those.

Dancing Shoes and Rainbow Tights © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Somehow I got the idea that somebody, somewhere said, “A man’s tie shows who he wants to be, but his shoes reveal who he is.” Origin unknown. But the imagined (or possibly real) quote inspired this session. Ten years after, this footwear deserves a new spotlight. Shaq. Champion. Airwalk. Long-gone beauties and work companions.

Cool Graphics © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Stronger Than Dirt © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Pink Snakeskin and Silver © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Beloved © Catherine Rutgers 2020

The next four, I still have and wear. The Airwalks are wrapped in silvery gaffer’s tape to hold them together. The Pumas get compliments. The astonishing black-and-baby-blue Dunkmans are still incredibly comfortable. The Vans Neck Face Sk8-Low, in Arabian Spice, not so much (but they look so cool).

Magnificently Walking on Air © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Old School Lasts Forever © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Baby Blue and Arabian Spice © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Also, I miss these other dress-up shoes. Velveteen and rhinestones. Your sneakers show how you work (and play). The satin-bowed and twinkly shoes whisper “party on.”

Velveteen and Rhinestones © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Now I wish I had a photo of my famous silver L.A. Gear high tops, circa 1983. They drove everyone I knew to laughter, but I wore them to tatters, with pride. Love, Cat

00 Feature Sneaker, 01 Dancing Shoes and Rainbow Tights, 02 Cool Graphics,
03 Stronger Than Dirt,
04 Pink Snakeskin and Silver, 05 Beloved, 06 Magnificently Walking on Air, 07 Old School Lasts Forever, 08 Baby Blue and Arabian Spice,
09 Velveteen and Rhinestones

Images and words © Catherine Rutgers 2020

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00 Midnight Dune, 01 Subtle Approach, 02 Refracted Escape, 03 Salt Sparkle Reflection, 04 Dazzled, 05 Emersion, 06 Candescent, 07 Enter Here, 08 Sheer Pleasure
© Catherine Rutgers 2020

Subtle Approach © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Refracted Escape © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Salt Sparkle Reflection © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Dazzled © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Emersion © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Candescent © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Enter Here © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Sheer Pleasure © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Inspired by Nicole, who always encourages the impulse to create.

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Totemic Beginnings (Seven of In Threes)

Everything starts with “welcome.”
01 Pixie Wave, 02 December Monday (Past Tense), 03 Cicada Love
Images by Catherine Rutgers © 2020

Pixie Wave © Cat Rutgers 2020

December Monday (Past Tense) © Cat Rutgers 2020

Cicada Love © Cat Rutgers 2020


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The A.C. Collection (An Adventure in Collaboration)

Amy Chamberlain contacted me on Thursday, September 10, 2020. “Hello Cat ~ Do you have current options or would you design something new? Waterfall, Flowers and Landscapes are beautiful. Much appreciation for your use of color and a sense of movement, Thanks.”

Could I possibly have been happier to receive this message? No. I was entirely delighted. Wrote back that “each print is created for a particular person or event. And there are many options. Most images at [CatRutgers4Art] could become prints. I also have archives of work that I’ve already printed, so know what the quality will be. And we can create a new image as well. … You could choose a few that you like at the website, and send the image or link — and we can take it from there.”

And indeed we did take off from that point! Ms. Chamberlain chose six ideas, including the four below.

First Selections © Catherine Rutgers 2020

She also sent snapshots of the walls where they would be, which was truly helpful for envisioning a possible mix.

I hadn’t printed any of these images before. Would they express the same intensity when translated from screen to ink on paper?

I had mentioned that “because the source is digital, I can adjust colors (to a certain extent) and the sizes – up to 13 x 19 inch paper.” Now this was inspiration to experiment with colors, details, sizes, orientation. Should they be vertical or horizontal? What looks good larger or smaller? Do they work well together?

Experiments © Catherine Rutgers 2020

When tests were completed, I shared images and comments on the results and we enjoyed rounds of discussion via email. Gradually, a coherent scheme emerged and we agreed on four definitive choices: Treasured Orb, Bit by Bit, Twisting into Pink and Blue, and River.

They printed beautifully and were ready for a Skype debut. At the time, my paper supplies were running low and the largest size on hand was 11 x 14 inches. So I decided to also show larger print samples from an earlier series. We added two of those – The Center and The Gem Inside – and the collection was complete.

The Treasured Orb © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Bit by Bit and Twisting into Pink and Blue © Catherine Rutgers 2020

River © Catherine Rutgers 2020

The next step? Fresh prints, signed and ready for her visit to the studio on Friday, October 30, 2020. As an artist, this couldn’t have been more thrilling.

What was the experience like for the collector? Here’s the word from Ms. Chamberlain:
“What a joy this was! I am so appreciative of this journey with Catherine Rutgers. Her work is so unique, vibrant, and lush. She is such a talent – so humble, bright, and easy to work with. Her artwork, on the walls of my new home, makes the space come alive with warmth and vitality.”

The Center © Catherine Rutgers 2020

The Gem Inside © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Images and text by Catherine Rutgers © 2020
With thanks to Amy Chamberlain, including for agreeing to contribute to this post!

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This Old Chestnut (Six of In Threes)

We might be magic …
01 Wondering Why, 02 Vinyl Reborn, 03 Floating World © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Wondering Why © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Vinyl Reborn © Catherine Rutgers 2020

Floating World © Catherine Rutgers 2020


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