Ask Again Later
This piece started out as a fairly light-hearted assignment while in art school. My friend and I were given instructions for our next oil painting assignment—bring in random objects, and put them together to create a solid and interesting composition. I brought in a magic eight ball, a hardbound book, the stuffed (baboon? monkey?), an artificial rose, slinky, and green bottle. My friend, of course, brought in the remaining objects. We had a good time setting it up by experimenting with multiple variations to somehow eke out a theme to it all. We settled on what you see here.
I enjoyed painting it for the sheer technique of it all. Nothing pleases me more in painting than to capture the sparkle of metal and the luminosity of glass. It was eminently satisfying to gyrate my hand to suggest the coils in that favorite toy from my childhood. The fluffy fur of the stuffed animal was fun to paint, as well. I had to reel it in a bit lest his hair reach the top of the canvas. With a flick of the wrist—Whoosh whoosh! I’ll admit, the playing card annoyed me a bit. It has also come back to haunt me, as my current piece has two of them in it. That’s the last time—playing cards are dead to me.
I was left with a very interesting painting to gaze at, and based on the response, it is a crowd-pleaser. I struggled with the title, as even after spending hours on it to the point that I could close my eyes and picture all the details and nuances, I could not put my finger on what it meant.
But really, does a painting have to mean anything specifically? I have no desire to paint something pretty, nor do I want my titles to be inapplicable or non-descript. My biggest fear, outside of fading into obscurity, is that a potential buyer’s biggest quandry would be to acquire a swatch of the living room rug to see if the painting complements it. Bah!
So came my husband to the rescue—Ask Again Later. Do you see why he called it that? I don’t even recall how that message came about. Was it there when I set the ball down, or did I decide subconsciously that it was the best answer to put there? Regardless, it is a near perfect title, and I must publicly give him props.
If you are left bewildered by what you see, but want to know the artist’s intent, ask me again later . . .
. . . and again, and again . . .