Karen Budan

Merry Martini, May 2020
Oil on Panel
20 x 16 x 0.25 in
I decided at the start of this COVID crisis that I needed to paint something happy. As I looked through my collection of still life objects, I was drawn to the bright colors of my bag of gumballs and curly ribbons. The result was this concept, which does make me smile. From the start I was calling it "Merry Martini". However, a good friend saw what I was working on and suggested I call it "Quarantini" or "Quarantini Blues". I thought her suggestions were actually kind of neat and wondered if I should change my title. I decided to ask my followers on Instagram and Facebook which of the three titles they preferred. I got a lot of responses and comments. After tallying the votes from Instagram, Facebook and Messenger, it was a near tie between "Merry Martini" and "Quarantini", with "Quarantini" being two votes ahead. But I decided to stay with Merry Martini for two reasons. First, I realized without my intro as to why I was painting this piece there is absolutely nothing in the painting itself that says quarantine. This was brought home even more to me when people suggested I add a mask or something. If someone just saw the painting itself without my intro and saw the title of “Quarantini" I can see them saying to themselves, "I don't get it". Second, many comments spoke to how bad this crisis has been for them as they have lost friends and relatives or suffered financially. They did not want a reminder of this very sad time, which is understandable. After all, my original intent was to paint something happy that would make me and other viewers smile. So "Merry Martini" it is. I agree...I hope to leave COVID-19 behind in the future.