Monday, March 9, 2009

Titles of Works

For once, I'd only gotten this far on a piece when I had the title figured out--"Prima Vera". I thought I was being pretty clever. Only it turns out I have a piece on my website called Prima Vera. Rats. And, of course, I was painting a spring picture because it was snowing--no, that wasn't in the forecast--today. What this all gets down to is I have trouble with titles. Really, mine are never very good. Maybe it is because I don't put enough time into them or maybe it is because I usually title the works as I am framing. That means that the first few of framing day actually have catch-y titles but towards the end of framing day titles such as " Three Clouds" , "Three Clouds Passing", "Just Spring", "Adobe at Night" are as catch-y as I can come up with.
Sometimes I steal a phrase from a song I'm listening to. Apologies to those songwriters--but they really should be happy someone likes their tunes. And I'm not the only one to do it. When we were in San Miguel for a month this last October/November, we went into one gallery that I really liked. The painters there--don't recall their names but a father and son team--had used some Stones lyrics in their titles. I recognized the ploy right away and mentioned it to the dad. He was surprised at how quickly I clued in on that. I think it just must mean that the artist is prolific and doesn't agonize all day about naming.
(I definitely spent more time and effort naming my dog--first Sweet Nell--only she wasn't so sweet and pitched fits because she wasn't getting enough food. And then, for perpetuity, JuneBug. That one is a long story and I'll save it for another post--but it is a good name for a dog. Junie-B, JB, Bug, Junie, JuneBug are all pleasant derivations. (Trouble or Danger are good dog names, too.) Turns out we weren't feeding her enough--we thought she'd be a 60 pound lab and were feeding her for that eventual size. At 4 1/2 years she has grown to a large but not FAT 90 pounds. No wonder she was cranky. We call her a stretch lab. Although she has her papers, she's about 4 inches too long, a couple too high, with paws and ears that are way too big. Just perfect, although she does take up a lot of room on the bed. Back to painting titles. So, this year, I started a log with possible titles and can go through it when I'm titling. Sometimes titles just pop out as perfect--well, perfect in my book. Other times I still can't figure out what to call the piece. I imagine over the years that I have used the same title on different pieces. I only hope that the different pieces are different sizes and were done in different years. (I do date the back of each framed piece--by year--and I sign it.) I don't image it would help the Antiques Roadshow much since people do re-frame works and may not keep my backer board with the piece forever. But, if you have any ideas for titles, send 'em on!!!! PLEASE! If I haven't used the title (or can't remember using it), I'll apply it to an unframed piece or even make a piece to go with the title. And any photos of cool , old adobes or old barns--the more different shadows--the better!!!! Oh, yeah, it is my friend' Steve's birthday today. I didn't know it but another friend, Dan, clued me in--so Happy Birthday, Teve!!!!! Hope it is a great year!

1 comment:

  1. The progression pics are great! Glad to know someone else struggles with titles. Mine always seem dull...I like the song lyric idea though.....that definintely got me thinking.....hmmmm


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