What’s in a Title?
August 20, 2014
The latest show “essence” was at the Hive Gallery #downtown before summer started. Fascinating individuals from both #Medicine Hat and as far away as #Houston, TX came to see my artwork! I would like to thank everyone who attended and made my first #art-exhibition such a great experience.
One day at the show, a lady asked me about the selection of my art titles and how I came to title each piece.
For this particular art-show, I felt that dedications were in order. I have had so many supporters over the last year and a half. Most critical, my family, close friends and even Facebook friends (some known and some not) who have cheered me on and kept my enthusiasm going.
I responded by saying “Titles come to me before I paint the work”. I often will scribble ideas in my sketch book for a title or some nuance of a title before I start the piece…it’s like setting an intention for the piece to be finished without any major hick-ups. Or maybe it’s a form of a promise to simply finish the work.
There is almost a never ending stream of ideas for titles!
#Mike-Svob spoke about the sort of titles artists rotate thru in their career; goofy titles, numbered titles, sentimental, mysterious and realistic titles of places actually painted. The key part here is what is being communicated to the viewer?
When I first started painting I never thought the title was important. I named my pieces in a numerical order as all my energy went into the creation of the artwork. I realize now the problem with this theory is that I cannot remember the numbered piece in the series and which piece is which: works great in theory, but it’s not practical for me! I am better sticking to “names of things” for a title as it strikes a chord within me and makes the artwork easier to remember. I really need to go back and rename those paintings!
If connection and communication is my goal, now, more than ever, the title becomes a part of the painting, part of me, which acts as an extension to tie the viewer to the piece. I am more conscience of my thoughts when naming a piece as I view this connection critically important for the viewer to understand the thoughts and process behind the artwork. When the painting matches the printed title on the back, then the painting is done!
My marketing buddies said a press release must contain all the essentials: who, what, when, where and why. In art, we don’t need to give all the answers away. But an interesting title can help add a clue of recurring thoughts and help to create or bend the viewer’s perception to the story.
It’s been fascinating to see peoples reactions to the titles’ of the last show: a very personal show. Each of the eight pieces were named after characteristics recognize in my family and friends. Nobility. Forthright Passion. Rising Stars. Sunlit Goddesses. Possibilities. Absence. Hidden Gems.
I hope they see what I see…..
The Little Brown Turtle
ArtWorks in RED Studio
Contemporary Artist | Expressionist Painter