Friday 9 May 2014

From Behind the Easel: What's in a Name?

From Behind the Easel: What's in a Name?

 "Pumped" | American Robin | 12”x16” | acrylic on board (sold)

There are many ways we can be inspired.  Our senses feed our spirit and our intuition and experience lead us down the path.  When it comes to concepts for paintings, I will work with any method that keeps me excited which, in turn, yields my best work.  And sometimes, that method can feel like I’m working backwards.  Usually, I will title my paintings as they are nearing completion or after I’ve lived with them for a little while.  But in the case of “Pumped”, the name inspired the concept.

While looking through reference to start a new painting for a show some time ago, my eye caught an image of an old well.  Trying to think of how I could use the reference, I kept coming back to the interesting pump… I realized that I needed to listen to what the pump is saying to me.

I’m usually not a fan of silly or punny titles, but in this case the pump led to the idea of being “pumped”.  I thought a nice little bird all pumped up would look great sitting on the pump.  The orange patina of the painted handle led me to look for a bird that would work well in that color scheme.  Quite happily, I found some reference of a puffed up robin with his brilliant red breast on display that complemented the design.  And when the painting “Pumped” was finished and well received, I was pretty pumped too!

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