Glenwood’s great unpainter |

Glenwood’s great unpainter

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Stina Sieg Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Have you always felt like an artist?

When asked this, W.A. Rump smiled, laughed and shrugged.

“Yeah, I suppose,” he said.

Though he sounded low-key about it, in the past few years, Rump has made a name for himself around here with his abstract work. As he talked about it all, he was sitting on a stool in the Artist’s Mercantile, and next to him was a large collection of his pieces. Most of the abstract, acrylic and oil works were bright, some shockingly so, and they resembled amoebas, geometric patterns, tie dye. No two were alike, and Rump seemed happy about it. Some were titled, while others “defy names,” he said. Just don’t call them paintings.

Come again?

“I’m an unpainter, actually,” Rump explained.

While painters add paint to a piece, he’s all about taking it off. After loading up a new canvas with pigment, he goes through a spontaneous process of scraping it away. He’ll use soda cans, glass, rubber balls, paper bags, whatever feels right. For him, this is about experimenting with shapes and hues and textures. And it’s not about using a paintbrush.

“Since I don’t know much about painting, there are no rules,” he said. “Everything’s fair game.”

No, he’s never studied art. In fact, except for a few years of glass art

(painting on glass), back in the 1980s, this is the first bit of visual art he’s done. For years, he got his creative kicks out in other ways, such as being a radio personality and journalist in Oklahoma and Indiana. He also wrote two unpublished novels. Then, four years ago, he felt drawn to paint ” though he didn’t have very many words to explain why.

“It was just something different,” he said, shrugging once more.

His first piece, “The Wolf,” turned out to look slightly like a canine face, hidden in blues and greens. He liked what he saw. Immediately, he wanted to know if he could recreate it. What started mostly as finger painting evolved to include any and all tools Rump could imagine. He’s always looking for new ones, as well. He mentioned the possibility of using deflated medicine balls. Someone had recently suggested bubble wrap. Why not?

Through all of this, he never has gotten back to his inspiration, that first piece. He was fast to admit, though, this is probably for the best.

“To be honest, if I were to repeat the process, I’d get bored real fast,” he said.

That seemed the opposite of where he was right then. He walked up to several of his paintings and explained their names, described the objects he had used. His eyes were shining, and he seemed proud. This art is like a new life for him, one he was definitely excited about. He mentioned the two awards he’d won in Glenwood (a second and third place, both during recent Fall Arts Festivals).

He then admitted that he doesn’t have all the skills that some other painters do ” and he seemed fine with it. That’s not point, he explained.

These pieces are about experimentation, he continued, a “constant quest” to break new ground. But that’s not all.

“Also, there’s a good sense of joy,” he said. “A lot of satisfaction with it.”

That much was obvious.

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

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