Naming A Piece

In the Court of the Crimson Queen

When I go to a gallery or museum, I first scan the piece for its visual impact. I might look at composition and color or acknowledge the artist’s cleverness. I then go in close to look at the details and technique. And before I take a step back to review and enjoy the art, I will glance at the title. This can give me an additional glimpse into the artist’s thoughts and expand my understanding of the work. In some cases, the title is the only thing remaining in an artwork, as in Lawrence Weiner’s 1969 conceptual piece A wall pitted by a single air rifle shot.

In The Court Of The Crimson Queen art & base
In The Court Of The Crimson Queen art & base

I find that naming art draws upon my creativity just as much as making it. I want to give my viewers a hint to what they are looking at. In most cases, I will use the botanical or common name of the plant that is my subject matter. But rather than leaving it at an identification, I try to spice it up with a bit of wit. This piece could have easily been titled Pink Rose No. 1; that would help people look for things like rose petals and structure. But using the title In the Court of the Crimson Queen adds even another dimension.

King and the Color Crimson
King and the Color Crimson

The title of this artwork is taken from the seminal Progressive Rock number “In the Court of the Crimson King” (King Crimson)—with a gender change. The piece was not created with that in mind. While working with this rose image, I found shapes that reminded me of very feminine slippers and of a fierce guard, maybe from the palace. Without the yellow dot embellishment, this piece is almost monochromatic in the red and pink area. I’m thinking that the word “red” isn’t very feminine or fierce. A quick trip to the Thesaurus gives me “Crimson.” The regal slippers and royal guard say “Queen.” A quick flash to my rock-n-roll past gets me to my very clever title!

Crimson Queen merchandise
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My work featured in Wide Open Digital at Digital Arts: California

I have six pieces on display in the current exhibition “Wide Open Digital” sponsored by Digital Arts: California.

Digital Arts: California - Wide Open Digital


“Wide Open Digital,” showcases exciting innovative work by 67 digital artists and photographers from 22 countries. This show includes 293 images that range, in style and technique, from one end of the digital spectrum to the other. These images represent some of the most talented work in digital arts around the globe, including artists from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Serbia, and the Ukraine.

Click here to link to the exhibit.

Featured: “Parting the Water” at Bits and Pieces Exhibition at Linus Gallery in Pasadena

I am very excited to have my piece “Parting The Water” in an upcoming exhibition Bits and Pieces at Linus Gallery in Pasadena. 

The base photograph for “Parting The Water” was taken at dawn when the sun was just peeking over the cliffs. The play of light and dark intensifies the division between land and ocean, between wave and break, between spray and sky. The churning of the sea after a breaking wave is veiled in shadow. The depth of color is ominous and unearthly. Sharp edges appear that are unlike the softness one expects from water.Bathed in light, cresting waves form a frame to contain the ocean’s power. The spiraling arms of the central star motif draw the viewer in and around, evoking the ebb and flow of the sea itself. At its very core, a basin offers purification and renewal from its depths.
Bits and Pieces can be interpreted literally as well as figuratively. This exhibition explores images that are, on the one hand, quite appropriately made of bits and pieces and, on the other, can be likened to viewing only a portion of the whole narrative.


*Artwork will be for sale at this exhibition
Opening reception:
October 19, 2012
5:30 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Linus Galleries
545 S. Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105