Since I mostly paint at an easel while standing on a hardwood floor, my feet can be very “owie” by the end of the day …
In my late 30’s I started to feel like an old lady hobbling around in the morning and I wondered what was going on. I figured it was just an occupational hazard of being an artist, but when it started to get really bad, I found out that I have plantar fasciitis. Very painful for sure. I tried quite a few things including padded rubber mats to stand on, exercises to stretch and strenghthen the tendons in my feet, and squishy shoes. But there have been only been 2 things that have made a world of difference.
My first beloved friend is my funky painting shoes above. I stared wearing Dansko shoes– like nurses in hospitals. They took quite a while to get used to- many “owies” for a few weeks, but then my feet seemed to settle in and now my feet almost sigh happily when I put them on. Now I have a bunch of them that I wear while running around, but these stay in my studio for 2 reasons. One, they keep down tracking dust from my studio to the rest of my house. When I leave my studio, I kick them off. (although I have been known to take them to workshops) And secondly, they act as my “art catalyst”—When the shoes go on, I am in full painting mode. I don’t answer the phone, (unless it is a sick child at school) I don’t have the computer on, and I try not to think about laundry or anything else. I am in “go-go painting mode”. It truly helps to get me out of “mommy mode”. And they save my feet.
The second thing that has helped my feet (and this one will sound a bit crazy) is Lemongrass essential oil.
Yup. Kills the pain immediately and if I use it at night on my feet I have no pain the next day. Victory! If you try this, be sure to use only therapeutic-grade essential oil. I use and highly recommend Young Living essential oils since they are the purest distillation you can get.
If you buy the crap in a grocery store, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work. For some reason, lemongrass is very effective in helping with tendon pain and inflammation, which is what causes the pain in my feet. Essential oils have greatly affected my family for the better over the past few years, but I am not going to go into that here. If you have questions, let me know. Just know that pure Lemongrass is a true friend!
And happy feet means a happy artist!