memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Imelda baby

 

One my musical heroes, Mark Knopfler, once wrote a song based on Imelda, wife of the ex-President of The Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos and her predilection for buying shoes – she had over 2,700 pairs!

We got all of madame’s requisites and all in madame’s size

Madame’s taste is truly exquisite she must accessorise

The belts are alligator the bags are kangaroo

Enchanté may I say the jade was made for you

Imelda baby Imelda baby what to do

All the poor people saying that they gotta quit paying for you

Imelda baby Imelda baby what to do

All the poor people saying that they gotta quit paying for you

  So with all this vaguely at the back of my mind I took up a new sheet of gummed A3 paper and my, these days, more obedient pencil and started to sketch. At the end of the hour I wasn’t displeased with the result: so far so good I thought to myself.

STAGE 1

As usual on the second day, with my incursion into colour, things started to go pear-shaped. I had daubed Imelda in a particularly sickly and unsuitable first coat; moreover she was ageing by the day (like a sort of Dorian Grey in reverse) so I left her hair white.

STAGE 2

Oh dear, oh dear Imelda; what shall we do with you? Shall we just bin you or shall we plug on for one more day? (I temporised by working on her face).

STAGE 3

Next afternoon I remembered that yellow was a great warmer-upper of certain colours including green and red so gave the relevant areas of a quick wash of cadmium yellow, did the eye make-up, firmed up those earrings and there you go Imelda baby!

IMELDA BABY

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