THREE’S COMPANY – Original Watercolor

Woody Hansen Watercolor, Three's Company TITLE: Three’s Company – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″ To see a framed version of this painting or to learn more, please click image.

ABOUT Three’s Company

Three’s Company begins on the basis of a black on white diagram left over from a class critique. Three’s Company slowly evolves into its present state of non-objectivity. Note the three circular forms amid the largest white shape. The circles are unique, in an otherwise angular composition.

ABOUT The Title

For identification purposes, it’s an accepted practice to give one’s work a title. There seem to be about three theories on how this is accomplished. Some believe it best to first decide on a title, and develop the painting from there. A second choice is to title a painting upon its completion. Then there are those who don’t believe in meaningful titles at all. Tis latter group prefers something like,”Untitled 1,”or, “Untitled 2,” etc.

Relative to Three’s Company, three personal thought processes come together to help me select a title. Some of the thoughts are (1) the aforementioned three circular forms, (2) several superstitions, and (3) one of the teaching methods of Edgar Whitney.

With regard to (1), an old “Three on a match” superstition, I recall my dad explaining to his young son the meaning of that phrase years ago. For some reason, Three’s Company triggered that memory. Interestingly, “Three on a match” has a long history. Follow this direct Wikipedia link to learn more.


As for the second thought, “Two’s company, and three’s a crowd,” Well, that thought is just too long for a painting title. I could have gone with, Three’s a Crowd, but that seemed too negative. However, considering the painting’s outcome, that might have been a much better, more appropriate title than Three’s Company. Should-a, would-a, could-a. It is, as the song title goes, Too late to turn back now.

Finally, there is the third thought of the great watercolorist and  instructor, Edgar (Ed) Whitney. Ed used the phrase, “Papa, Mama, Baby,” to encourage his students to employ variety (small, medium, and large) in all elements that make up a good composition. A few might think the phrase “cute,” or (today) politically incorrect. However, I happen to believe the phrase is a strong, clever, easy to remember teaching aid. Note  the three circles in Three’s Company are “Papa, Mama, Baby,” in size. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

So, three, unique circles, plus “Three on a match,” plus “Three’s Company,” plus “Papa, Mama, Baby,” morphs into the title, Three’s Company.

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