Children's feet are things of beauty.  Smooth skin without lumps, bumps, or callouses; underlying bones strong and flexible, arches high.  

Sometimes boys in high school talked about having flat feet.  I thought they were mutants.  If only my mind hadn't gone there...those kinds of thoughts come back to haunt you.  

25 or 30 years ago, my son, as usual, was late for school.

"Hurry up!  You'll miss the bus!" I hollered.

Hot steam rose from my freshly made International almond coffee. Cup in hand, I slowly made my way down from the second floor on plush, gray-carpeted stairs.  

Let it be known that I've disproved the theory that carpeting helps to prevent falls.  While it might decrease the odds of unwanted slips, it does not compensate for weak ankles. 

The left one suddenly twisted on the third to last step.  I heard a loud crack from inside my leg as I tumbled unceremoniously onto the ceramic floor.  A siren-less ambulance drove me to the nearest hospital where upon arrival, I was quickly whisked to the radiology department.  The technician was in a nasty mood.  She ordered me to turn my leg this way and that, but try as I might, I just couldn't.  

Grumpy morphed into Miss Sweetie Pie after viewing my X-rays.  (Too late! I really didn't like her much.) My left tibia and fibula had spiral fractures.  I would have been hard pressed to name these bones prior to the "event", but after 8 weeks in a full leg cast and 4 months in a knee to ankle orthotic device, the nomenclature became part of my medical terminology repertoire.  

Although the left ankle itself was not damaged, it remained swollen in perpetuity and grew as if subjected to a warp function in graphic software.  My legs were no longer symmetrical.  I adjusted to a new, lopsided body.


My left foot used to sport an arch worthy of any at the Roman Colosseum.  But no longer.  

It is F-L-A-T and my ankle is F-A-T!  Arthritis has kicked in (yes bad pun).  However, in the spirit of artistic creativity and adaptability, I've adhered to my philosophy, "if life hands you lemons, make art." Let's face it, in comparison to other people's lemons, my challenges are minor.

I decided to make footprints of my swollen, flat foot using paint from tube watercolours and had heaps of fun!  I wouldn't recommend doing this on a daily basis because it's probably not a healthy thing to do, especially when using cadmium red.  I assumed, wrongly, that I would have no difficulty washing off the paint. T'was not to be. Magnetically attracted to the crevasses of my foot, it took a week of brushing in the bath to finally get the colour completely out.

Even without an arch, the shapes were interesting.  They resembled groups of black ghosts who sometimes partied, sometimes held children.  

The first print was kind of standard. Two left feet. Ummm...this one looks like two right feet but that's because I accidentally flipped the image in my software. The one below too!  Oops. 

tried different kinds of paper...


 Less paint equals more texture.

This goofing around happened in the privacy of my studio.  I liked the prints but was flabbergasted when I saw my foot.  It had morphed into an exquisite three-dimensional sculpture!

I zoomed in to examine the wondrous interplay of colour and texture...

...and created interesting abstract compositions.

Possibilities?  Endless.

I integrated some footprints into this digital work.  No title yet, but I'm leaning towards "Fat Foot Lemonade".