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Are Those Raisins?


Are Those Raisins?

Robin Gates

One of my favorite parts of the painting process is the titling of the piece. Not only can it narrate your work in a quick blurb, but it also feels like a declaration or stamp of completeness and accomplishment that I actually finished it! Many of my canvases can say that they haven’t made it thus far.


The painting above is titled, "Are Those Raisins?”  When I got the original idea for this painting, I had a vision in my mind of these two characters appearing as if they were in deep thought starring at the table. The two guys started out looking fairly similar, but eventually one turned into Batman. I'm not sure why. I was just feeling Batman. For a long time, the painting stayed that way and I thought it was finished.

But something wasn't right about it. I kept staring at the painting while sitting at the computer or getting ready for the day (which sometimes was around 1:00 pm to be honest). But the more I looked at it, the more I felt that the two guys needed to be staring at something. But what? A hole in the table? A bug? I didn't know. Whatever it was, I felt it needed to be something a little... off.

Out of the blue, I remembered the classic 1985 movie, “Better Off Dead”. In the movie, the wife/mother loved experimenting with cooking and concocted all sorts of food follies. In the scene above, she presents to her family what looks like green slime and states, “Look, it has raisins in it”. Eventually, the slime slowly moves off the plate and across the table on its own. This was a classic and brilliant moment in the movie and I, therefore, decided that green slime with raisins is the clear choice to be presented on the table.