Names Are Important

When it came down for me to chose a title for each painting, I wanted people to talk about it or think about why I might have chosen the title that I did. Some of them are really out there but every single one of my titles has a purpose or story behind it. In this post, I will go into each one of my series paintings and the titles I chose so that you can understand the means. Some are pretty straight forward and others are not. Sorry in advance because this post is so long. Most of my posts will not ever be this long.

Rock Band:

I am starting with this one because it looks the most confusing. What do a bunch of crystals and mushrooms have to do with a Rock Band? I don’t get it. This painting is a depiction of a cave full of bioluminescent mushrooms and crystals.  The idea behind this one is that someone went exploring and came across this cave.  When they walk into the entrance, they spook these blue butterflies that are flying to get away from the person.  As they pass or land on a mushroom, they trigger the bioluminescent glow of these mushrooms and the glow lights up the cave around them.

When I was done with the painting I was talking to a friend and she said she loved the bioluminescent mushrooms. I was super excited about the mushrooms as well and told her I was going to name it, The Bioluminescent Mushrooms! pretty straightforward. She said that I made it sound like I was introducing a new local rock band onto a stage and we both laughed. I said that would be a mouthful of a name for a rock band. Later I decided to name it Rock Band because of this conversation and backstory we came up with that was totally unrelated to the painting itself. I thought it would be funny to see that title and think of the conversation but also to think about people being super confused about the correlation between mushrooms and rock bands.

Bulbs:

The main idea behind this painting came from the idea that artificial lighting in cities make it so that you cannot see the stars most nights.  So instead of having stars in the sky, I replaced them with light bulbs and the light from the bulbs is strong enough to grow flowers here on Earth, in essence, replacing the need for the sun (our main star) as well. This one was really just a play on words because both the light bulbs and the flowers could be called bulbs. As you will notice as I continue, I like when things have a play on words. It makes me feel intelligent.

Antique Waves:

The painting depicts an antique keyhole on a door and when you look inside you expect to see the room within but instead you see waves that are a little turbulent on the other side.  Inside the keyhole is another world and the entrance to this world is through this door that comes out into their ocean.  The butterfly in this painting came from our world and flew into the keyhole and is now in the other world. The title was more a description of what you see. An antique door knob and lock and then waves on the other side of the lock.

Butterfingers:

This painting was meant to represent humans and how they fight time.  Time is a constant thing and no matter how much people might wish they could fight it; it will continue to chug along.  We fight getting older, we fight against the loss of memories, and we fight death.  This painting shows sand falling into someone’s hand to represent their life.  The person tries to catch all the sand, but some gets through the first hand and this person doesn’t have enough energy left at this point to catch what has escaped with the second hand, until eventually there is no more sand and all that is left are other’s memories of them.  These memories are represented in this painting as moths flying around.

The title is supposed to lighten up the subject matter a little bit because I didn’t want it to be super morose. I used to play sports when I was younger and you often hear the nickname of Butterfingers if you are known as someone that can’t catch or hold on to something well. I felt like this nickname was perfect for what this person in the painting is trying and failing to do; hold on.

Twisted:

This is a painting of a tree on the edge of a cliff and the premise behind this one is that the tree is powerful and the source of that power is purple and starts with the roots. The roots then power the rest of the tree and the parts that are touching the water are giving a slight dose of that power. This is supposed to represent how nature is powerful and one part helps something else live and vise versa. This title is also more of a description of the tree. It is not just a standard looking tree but twisted in a unique way.

A River in Time:

This painting is an old timey alarm clock on someone’s mantle but instead of it being a normal clock with gears on the inside, it depicts a little world within the clock.  The other world is becoming so real that some of it is spilling out into this world via the water in the creek. The title for this one is a play on words because it has both a river and because it is a clock that supposed to record time.

Two Faced:

This painting has something on both sides of the piece of plexiglass.  On the front side, I wanted to represent male beta fish and on the back side, female beta fish.  Or as my dad says, the side where I tried (male side) and the side where I got tired (female side) because according to him, the back side is boring.  I did this for a reason.  In nature, males are colorful to attract the female’s attention and the females are more muted in color. Plus, I wanted to see a pastel version of the bold and colorful fish.  I wanted both.  At this point you might be saying, “well I get that but why are the fish in bubbles?”  The answer to this is that I wanted the fish to be free and trapped at the same time.  I did this by putting them in bubbles that are floating.  The floating makes them free and the edges of the bubbles trap them making that juxtaposition come to life.  Now the top fish is in the process of breaking free of its bubble but that also brings a conundrum.  Will the fish break free and fly or will it fall?

This painting could have had so many titles and I came up with quite a few that I really liked but in the end I went with something that had a slight bit of humor but was also pretty straight forward. The fact that it has two sides means that it has two faces. I chuckle every time I think about this title because being two faced usually means that you have multiple sided to you and not usually in a good way but in this painting it still works whether you want to look at it as male/female, yin/yang, or bold/soft. In any of those it has multiple sides to it.

Alchemy:

This is a painting of a chemistry flask with planets inside that are melting.  The planets are supposed to represent power and with all of them together, you get a really powerful potion in the making.  This is why the planets are melting in the flask, mixing together.  I named it Alchemy because I wanted to focus more on the science behind it than the planets. I did not want it to seem like a statement about global warming because that is not what I was thinking when I created it.

Beautiful but Dangerous:

This painting has many things going on but they all connect.  The painting is of a landscape that is half above and below water.  Above the water is a grey day and through the grey is a beautiful and bold rainbow.  When the rainbow hits the water, it leaks into the liquid like ink.  That ink travels down deep into the water and when the sea life gets too close, the ink changes their colors and it kills them slowly by turning them into the skeleton version of themselves over time. I used the common phrase, beautiful but dangerous as the title for this piece because it is pretty much the whole premise behind the painting. They say that in nature if it is very bold in color and very pretty, it’s usually poisonous and STAY AWAY. That is what this rainbow is. When it touches the water, it becomes this poisonous ink that is super colorful and everything should flee from it.

Sea Urchin:

In this painting I was interested in incorporating a lava lamp somehow in a painting. I noticed how similar water and lava lamp “goo” look but have completely different consistencies.  This made me wonder what the ocean would look like if it was “goo” instead of water and so I decided to switch the water with lava lamp “goo” and see how everything interacted together. Turns out the “goo” is a little carnivorous in nature.  Not only do creatures get stuck in the “goo”, it actively tries to capture creature such as the bird that is flying above the water.

Now while I was creating this painting, I wanted to put creature other than fish in the ocean but I couldn’t really come up with anything so I asked a friend what she though and she gave me quite a few suggestions, one of which was a sea urchin. Now I took most of her suggestions but decided not to do the sea urchin but to go ahead and call it sea urchin to see how many people would look for it and try to find where in the painting I had put it. There is no sea urchin.

Bubbles:

This painting is of a glass dome sitting on someone’s shelf.  Inside the dome contains a little floating island that is made of crystals, on top of which sits a cherry blossom tree.  Next to the tree sits a rock that had been thrown at the dome, creating a jagged hole at the top.  This hole is letting air escape flying away from the dome, represented as butterfly bubbles. This title is as pretty explanatory. The bubbles represent the air which is critical and I felt like it was the most important part.

Multidimensional:

This painting is supposed to represent an inner-dimensional portal. The story is that a kid comes across an abandoned house and throws a penny at the window to break it but instead, the penny sinks into the window pane like water and then comes back through a different side of the window at the kid who threw it. The title of this one was actually more important than some. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that just because you know the why and how of a painting that you created, not everyone sees the same thing. When my dad saw it, he did not see a portal but instead he thought there were two pennies being thrown and after looking at it objectively, I can see where he is coming from. So the title on this painting needed to reflect the portal part and multiple dimensions hints to the portal.

What Happens After:

This painting is supposed to represent a city that has been forgotten and run down.  So much so that the vegetation has started to outgrow the city.  Now the reason that it does not look completely right and the reason that the place has been forgotten is because of radiation.  The aftermath of nuclear warfare. Knowing the reason behind this painting makes the title a lot more clear. It’s what happens after radiation mixes with nature and people are not taking up city space anymore due to the environment being toxic.

It’s Alive!:

This is a painting of a study.  The owner of the study sits down to read a book when the book starts to manifest this fantasy world from the story.  The fantasy world is in the process of overtaking the study and merging, becoming real in this physical world.  I thought of this painting because I am an avid reader and the best books make you feel like you are a part of this new fantasy world and when you end the book or series, you almost miss it and wish you could stay.  Having this in mind, I wanted to create that feeling in picture form. The title references Frankenstein when he says “It’s Alive!” After seeing the way the smoke was rolling out of the book, this was the first thing that came to mind. I wanted to draw the parallel that the inanimate object became animated.

Hold Your Breath:

Last but not least. This painting was something I thought up in pieces.  I liked the idea of a note in a bottle and thought it might be interesting to create a painting inspired by that.  Next, I tried to figure out what to put in the bottle and finally decided to have the bottle in a forest type area with a little city inside.  As I was sketching out the idea for this painting, something seemed to be off and so I played around with it for a little bit and decide that the bottle should be filled with water, a natural habitat for the city and its occupants.  The thing that makes this more interesting is the fact that the cork has been taken out of the bottle and the water is starting to pore out and it begs the question of how this will effect the city. I named in Hold You Breath because when you are about to submerge into water, you automatically hold your breath so if the opposite is true, then you would also hold your breath is fear that you would not be able to breath the foreign air.

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