Not a flop: Flip-Flop Art

Art Gallery

Shivananda’s most recent artwork.

flip flop 1 the first one
flip flop 8
flip flop 4
flip flop 10
flip flop 3
flip flop 9
flip flop 2
flip flop 7
flip flop 11a
flip flop 12a
flip flop 18
flip flop 6
flip flop 13
flip flop 14
flip flop 17a
flip flop 15
flip flop 19
flip flop 16


“OK, now it is getting serious,” I thought.

“You send me the photos, write a text and then we will publish your artwork in an article,” Punya said to me.

Painting, taking photos… no problem. But writing… mhhh… I feel resistance.

Despite the resistance I decide to write the text with the same playful attitude as when I paint the sandals.

“How did you get the idea to paint flip-flops?”, she had asked.

Well, we all know that when we walk on the beach, there is not only water, sand, seaweed and stones, but also many items that are proof of human existence. One morning I saw between some plastic bottles, driftwood and styrofoam also one single flip-flop. I took it in my hands. It felt so clean, washed by many days in seawater. Obviously it was a female flip-flop with faded feminine colours. “I will paint it,” I thought and put it in my backpack. And so it happened… and the result fascinated me.

First my painted flip-flop was lying on my bedside table and later I hung it on a wall. Looking at it, it created a happy feeling in me: a combination of holiday, sunshine, relaxation and the freedom to dress casual.

Two weeks later my niece from Switzerland came to visit me. When she saw it she got so excited about it, that I gave her the shoe as a gift.

I wrote her an email asking her to take a photo of it (as I had forgotten) and sent her the photos of all the sandals I had painted after she left. She replied, “This is a strike of genius. You are a true artist – it is fantastic!”

So, I guess, I have at least one flip-flop fan.

I like the word flip-flop; I always liked those words which express a sound and therefore can be used in different languages. Flip-flop… you can hear the sound of walking in them. Another one is ping-pong. There is something about the two words, a word with an “i” and one with an “o”. Like Ding-Dong or King Kong or Tip Top.

Anyway, that’s how I got to paint flip-flops. After I had painted the first sandal I went back to the beach, hoping to find more lonely single shoes. I found one, but I wanted more and of course the tourist shops were the perfect target. Let´s see how long the flip-flop ‘trip’ will give me joy in my life.

Now I feel so proud that I actually wrote a text, instead of painting or going for a walk, or surfing around on Facebook.

Text by Shivananda (!)

Shivananda’s artwork on stones: Gracious One, Play

Watch his painting video tutorials


ShivanandaShivananda was born in Switzerland. He worked as a trained typesetter and graphic designer, silkscreen printer, bookbinder and photographer. Twenty years ago he fully engaged himself as a painter, working in Brazil and Switzerland. Music, another expression of his creativity, has been his companion for all his life. He plays the guitar and sings. In summer he lives in Arillas on the Greek island Corfu, where he facilitates painting and singing workshops.

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