What’s in a Name?

As I mentioned in my last post, most of the time it’s really easy for me to title my paintings. I just give it a look and whatever stands out, whatever word or phrase pops into my head, becomes the title.

Sometimes, it’s a bit more difficult than that, though. Sometimes my paintings will go months without having a name. They’ll sit in a corner or be hung up on a wall, unnamed and rather sad looking until the time comes when I can finally give them a name.

There are other times when I’ll title a painting and then a few months later I’ll notice something else about it or just decide I no longer like the title and I’ll come up with a new one. Holding On To You was originally titled Looking Up and Disconnected had several previous titles, none of which expressed the meaning of the painting as well as the final title.

It’s really great to have the moments when I finish a painting and while I’m looking at it the title will just come to me. Like with My Serenity. I felt so calm while looking at it, perhaps even serene, that the title was simple to find. It’s not so great when I can’t find a title to a painting. Like the painting hanging up next to the front door of my apartment, it’s been finished for two months now and I still have no idea what to call it.

The name you choose for a painting is just as important as the colors and the brush strokes. They all have a similar process, too. Sometimes it’s really easy to get the colors onto the canvas, and other times it isn’t. Sometimes I just know what to title my painting, and other times I don’t. It can be a real struggle if there’s an upcoming art show or something, but I’m a lazy bum these days so I don’t have any real pressure to title anything.


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