Why “The Traitor” is called, “The Traitor”

The idea behind this name is meant to tell a story.

The idea behind the name of this painting is meant to tell a story.

The concept behind my most recent painting came to me in a dream. Perhaps I’ve been overdosing on political coverage recently and all of the backstabbing taking place on either side crept into my subconscious where they later emerged as a vision in a dream.

Whatever the case, I woke one morning a few weeks ago with the thought of five men standing in a row, backs facing us. Four of them were holding a gun, and one, had a bouquet of roses.

Generally, when thoughts like this stay with me upon waking up, I act on them, so I quickly sketched out the visual. At first, they were going to be on the steps of the Capitol, tying the visual even more to politics.

I went out and bought a new canvas – but before I did that, I looked at the overall dimensions and decided that there should only be four men. That way, they would better fill the space. That’s also when I decided that the men on the steps visual was too obvious. I wanted something more nebulous that would be truer to my surrealistic roots.

I chose to have them looking out on a body of water and wanted the sky to be a mix of blues and purples and have some turbulence going on. At the same time, the rays of the sun offer a glimmer of hope in what is upon first glance, a rather ominous painting.

As I was sketching my new creation onto the canvas, the name came to me – that’s often the case with my surrealist paintings. I knew it had to be called “The Traitor”.

And why? Because it adds an all new dimension to the painting. It creates a story. Why is the man holding the roses, “The Traitor”? Who or what has he betrayed? And how do you even know that “The Traitor” is the guy holding the roses?

Is the man with the roses planning on killing someone with kindness?

None of these story lines would have ever even crossed the viewer’s mind had I simply called the painting, “Guns ‘n’ Roses”. Just like putting the men on the steps of the capitol seemed too obvious, I like to have the names of my paintings add to the potential storyline inside the viewers head.

So the answer to why I called this painting “The Traitor” is really quite simple.

I did it for you.

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2 thoughts on “Why “The Traitor” is called, “The Traitor”

  1. Tom, it’s Tom Parker – your du roommate. I think your paintings and words are very thought provoking. Youre very talented. Well done.

    • Hey, Tom. Good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliments. I still do advertising and marketing by day but love to paint at night. Recently, I’ve had a number of sales, including this painting which sold over the weekend. It’s nice to have a hobby that pays for itself – unlike golf! I hope all is well with you and your family. Are you in Dallas? I don’t do a very good job of keeping track of DUs anymore. Paul Adams is the only one I stay in regular contact with. He’s retired and he and I started playing in a golf league on Friday mornings April through September. I still see Jamey Fleck when he comes in town and on occasion, Mike Favazza and Dan Kraus.
      I’ve been very fortunate to have a rich and rewarding life. I think we’re friends on Facebook but if not, you can friend me there. Do you still see Andy Lewis? He was an awesome dude. And how about my hero, Mike Hink? I will always remember the night he threw me out of the top bunk bed our freshman year!
      If you want to follow my paintings in progress, I’m on Instagram – @tomblood_art
      If you’d like to get regular updates and stories about the paintings I create, sign up for my newsletter at http://tblood.faso.com/email-newsletter
      Merry Christmas to you and yours and perhaps we’ll cross paths in Columbia sometime soon – or if you’re ever in St. Louis, I’d be more than happy to try and get a few of us together.

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