Sunday 24 March 2013

Naming Your Painting

  Is it just me, or is there something going on in the Art scene whereby the artist can't be bothered to name his/her Art piece? It doesn't make sense to me... You've spent hours on the project, from visualising it, planning the composition, the colours, the medium in which you're going to be executing it, starting the project, and actually finishing it, at times even going through the trouble of framing it. Then you don't give it a name. How does that even.....

   *le sigh*

  We're humans. We like to put labels on things, to give names to things. We give names to streets, to buildings, to children, to objects, to animals, to books, to music, to out pets. It makes it easier to identify things that way. Then why can't an artist take some time out to name his/her Art?

  Imagine two people, Julian and Tim, talking to each other at Starbucks.

 "I went to last Saturday," says Julian.

 "How was it?"

 "It was pretty good. The artist works in oils. I really like the way he mixed the colours."

  Tim takes a sip of his mocha. "Which piece did you like best?"

 "Oh, it was the one with mostly red hues. It was a portrait. Of a lady... She was sitting next to a table..."

  There's a moment of silence. Julian shifts in his seat, scratches his head then adds, "There was a vase of roses on the table, if that helps."

  Wouldn't it have been much easier if the artist had given the piece a title? Then Julian could have just said, "Kate, Roses in Red".

  I don't even mind if you give the Art piece a generic name like, "Still Life #5", or "Floral Study #2", or name your portraits after the person's name, or your landscapes after the place you're drawing. Just give it a name to help viewers identify it.

  What will be better though, is if you title your piece to add a deeper meaning to the art work. For example, a coloured pencil artist drew a still life of marbles and titled it, "I Thought I'd Lost Them". It made it really memorable because there was humour in the title. Another example was a digital artist who made a drawing for a book cover. The client wanted the main character to be looking at a horizon of a ruined city. The artist titled the piece "Envisioning the Future". That made me think of a story of the piece. It made me spend more time with the painting.

  A title helps others identify your Art. It can also help add meaning to it. A title can be something that makes the painting stand out from all others. A title is important– almost as important as the art piece itself. So after finishing your next piece, sit down for a few minutes and think of a good title for it. An original title, a creative one, one that adds meaning to the art itself. One that is worthy of the wonderful creation you've just made.

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