The Walking Dead

Zombies, Inside Jokes and the Art of Naming Paintings



“Clear” by Michele Bledsoe

Richard Bledsoe, my husband and co-author of The Secret Kingdom, does a lot of writing on the subject of art and culture.  Apart from containing major spoilers on the first 3 seasons of the series, his article “Clear: Artist Symbolism of The Walking Dead” also includes a peek into my creative process…

“My wife and I are both painters. Because art is such a priority for us we’ve converted the front room of our house into our art studio. We spend many happy hours there, working back to back, her sitting at her easel, me standing at mine. We play music and talk and laugh a lot; we’ve found interacting with each other while we work does not break our concentration on our art. It’s a very creative environment.

Our methods of making paintings are very different. I work from visions—my imagery comes from fully formed pictures that suddenly appear in my mind, usually with a title attached. My wife Michele Bledsoe on the other hand generates her subject matter using a stream-of-consciousness approach. She just starts painting and lets and the forms arise spontaneously.

Since Michele’s pictures come from a more intuitive process, they usually don’t suggest a specific title. What we often end up doing is naming her paintings after whatever we are experiencing in our lives while she is creating them. Her paintings have been named after oblique references to song lyrics we’ve been listening to, or quotes from movies or books we’ve been obsessing over, or private jokes we share. It’s part of our secret language as a couple, and also documents the moments in time that the painting happened in.”