Bull Night


Unusual subject Dixie, but makes a good painting with the polish, brushes etc included!

Nicely done Paul 😊

Spit and polish. I remember it well. Like your drawing.

Thank you Tessa, Stephen and Lew. Certainly something that you never forget Lew once you have been through the system. The term bull night comes from at least every month there was a bull (bullshit ) night when everyone had to clean all their uniforms, webbing etc to parade standards. Often told by a corporal “ I want to see my face in the toe caps” very under breath answer yes and I want to see my toe cap in your face but never never load enough to be heard .

Normal everyday objects or even clothes I find totally exciting to paint, you have implemented these boots perfectly! Also fits the rough paper to it extremely well. I heard from my grandparents at the time, they had to rub their boots with potato peels so that no unsightly snow / water edges arise ...

Posted by Tanja G. on Tue 28 Mar 12:47:00

That’s something very different for you Paul but really nicely done.

Gala, Fiona and Spencer thank you for you comments I appreciate them. Nice to do something different occasionally Spencer , it helps keep the interest going and use slightly different skills etc.

That is absolutely smashing, Dixie. I am quite intrigued with the different paper and surfaces you use in your paintings!

Lovely old pair of boots Paul

Lovely imaginative narrative painting, Paul

Great painting Paul, they look well worn and comfy boots.

Thank you David, Heather , Thalia, Val-Irene and Val for you kind comments. According to one old store man when I asked for new boots he said thay don’t wear out lad they were in. I had to get a signed note from my boss to get new ones.

Big ol' tough boots - captured perfectly!

Good work, Paul!

Aaah Paul I remember those days of bull and more bull plus bed boxes! Like most ex service personnel those days were laborious and to many of us pointless at the time. Anyway Paul a lovely composition to remind us of those happy days.

This is great Paul.

Great stuff Paul, reminds me of my cadet days, oh the pain trying to get a shine in them, and they were never good enough of course!

Cathy , Anne, Chris, Denise, and Clive thank you for your comments. Hour and hours spent on them Chris and Clive then you had to wear then out on the assault course, oh dear look you will need to do them again. On smart or so the thought guy painted his toe caps with black paint of the nose cone of the Blue Streak missiles , unfortunately a week later the whole toe cap fell of on parade , the chemicals had rotted the stitches etc.

Nice story. My dad used to talk about using a hot spoon on his RAF boots - not sure if that helped. Anyway you are in good company as I remember Van Gogh painted his shoes more than once. Well done.

Your dad was spot on Andrew , a spoon heated over a candle was used to melt the polish into and nicks or small cuts on the toe cap. Thanks for your comment.

I really like this Paul, great work.

These Boots are made for walking....love em.

Many thanks Russell , Sylvia and Coral, yes they did walk a very long way and not always on nice paths .

Great idea well done Dixie. I was never in the Services but my dad used to make me clean my shoes in the same way. Memories

A wonderful interpretation Paul. Well done.

Thank you Martin and George. It was a the done thing years ago , polished shoes for school, best shoes for outings etc, a pair of old shoes can look really quite smart with a bit of polish. I think it’s a bit of a case of buy new ones these days if they look shoddy. On my goodness sounds like pull up a sandbag and I’ll tell you a story time.

Paul thank you for taking the time to look and comment I really appreciate it.

Quite a different subject from you Paul, and it’s great! I remember my late husband when he was in the army having bull nights!! Even after leaving the army he would have a bull night cleaning our children’s shoes and mine! Thanks for the memories!

Thank you Gillian , I still dislike having dirty shoes sadly one of the first things I do when I meet a salesman, officer worker etc is look at their shoes.

Interesting painting , I too remember but I don’t think my boots were so long in the leg , a lot of character in this , really good 👍

Thanks Alan for your comment, the normal boots were actually shorter , these were boots used in jungle areas etc protected your angles and bits getting into your boots . Unfortunately the were not that tough and soon started to deteriorate, the stitch’s were the first thing to rot if I remember rightly. We covered then in thick dubbing to waterproof then, then had to clean it all off for inspection etc, it did get quite wet in the Belize jungle areas.

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A4 watercolour on hand made 100% linen rag , rough surface paper . I was telling my granddaughters about how we had to polish our boot when I was a recruit. I then looked on line and several photos of old boots came up, I decided to do a painting whilst influenced by the photos this is a made up scene . I cannot name a photographer as I did not use any particular one, but to comply with the gallery rules I acknowledge that I was influenced by several photographers, the scene is from my imagination.

About the Artist
Paul (Dixie) Dean

I have sketched most of my life on and off I became interested in watercolour following a spinal injury whilst in hospital but did not follow it up. My eldest daughter bought me a beautiful wooden box set of half pans about twenty five years ago I dabbled on and off until retirement twelve years…

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