I love giving my paintings titles. Sometimes, in fact, the title comes before the painting! However, I haven't yet found the perfect title for this recent piece.
Suggest a name that I love by the end of December, you'll win $50 off the price of the painting of your choice!
Do you title your paintings? Do you love or hate "Untitled"?
I love titling my paintings, and I'm always just slightly disappointed when I see a piece that I'm really drawn to, only to find it 'untitled'. Titles provide a bit of magic, and a small 'way in' for people to get a sense of what inspired the artist.
However, I know painters whom I truly respect and whose work I love who never title, or only number their output. Some see it as a way of not influencing the viewer. Others are so inspired by color and form, that words are not pertinent. For others it may be a mechanistic inspiration, or even perhaps a bit of pretention - a way to hold themselves aloof from the viewer. It may be a simple matter of the artist being a visual person who struggles with words!
How do I title my work?
Sometimes a phrase pops into my head, often in that liminal time just before sleep or after waking. My 'Soul Container' series (1) was like this. I woke with this phrase, and I was sure it was from some famous poem or piece of literature. Within the limits of my research skills, it doesn't seem to be...
More often, I work with an idea in mind, and the title clarifies itself as I work.
Sometimes the idea is broad, and infuses a series of work, sometime over years. 'Sea Creatures' (2) is such a series. Inspired by a trip to Bamfield several years ago, I love their forms and colours. Are they sea creatures? Flowers? Microscopic beings? Alien lifeforms? I love the ambiguity!
My 'Velvet Cloak West Coast' series (3) includes over two dozen paintings, often with very similar compositions. My focus here was on capturing that softness that is so much a part of our Canadian west coast moss and fog and drizzle.
It's often pieces like the one at the top of this article that give me trouble with a title. I was inspired by the form and color. It may end up being the seed of a series, but that hasn't made itself known to me yet! So help me out, and win $50 towards one of my paintings!*
*$50 to be applied to a purchase by January 31, 2015.