Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jan 21 | What Did You Say?

“What Did You Say?”
6x6” oil ($50)

I was struggling trying to think up a title, so I had to fall back on my reliable source Mr. Ray to help me with the title for this guy. 

Painting color which isn't in a photo is tough for me.  I'm taking baby steps by trying to have some fun and experiment with my backgrounds in these little paintings.  Rather than try for realistic looking grass, I went the polar opposite.  Its even more "limey" in person. 
 "When it comes to titling paintings, what comes first -- the chicken or the egg?" This was a query I had from B.J. Wright, who went on to say: "I have paintings that are still untitled, in spite of trying several titles, as one would try on prom dresses. Other works were a title first -- then the painting emerged."
Well, B.J, most of us paint first and title last. Sometimes, about the middle, a title just pops out of the ether.  And there are a few of us who get a title in our heads and figure out the work to go with it. Particularly with whimsical and didactic art, this last system is worth considering. The right title makes a difference as to how a work is seen and understood. Not only are titles a bridge to the viewer, they are also part of the art. I'm a believer in giving your titles some careful thought.
There are five main kinds of titles:
  • Sentimental
  • Numerical
  • Factual
  • Abstract, and
  • Mysterious.
For comparison purposes, take a painting of mine of weathered totems near a snowy, deserted village. The somewhat sentimental title I chose, "The Long Winter", attempts to comment generally on the current state of our native peoples."

"How to Title Art,  How to Choose a Title For Drawings and Paintings" is another article by artist Helen South, an Australian artist working in graphite, charcoal, watercolor and mixed media. She has been the Guide to Drawing and Sketching since 2003.   There is more about Helen's current and past work on her Google Profile: Helen South

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