Did you ever wonder how artists come up with their titles? For me it varies.
Sometimes it is something that I see in a nearly finished piece. For example in the piece titled “The House on the Hill” I saw a form that was reminiscent of a house. It is upside down in the finished piece, but since I am constantly flipping my work, to see it with fresh eyes, at one point when it was turned I saw the house and then I couldn’t unsee it, even when it was upside down. Click on the title to see the painting and let me know if you see it, too!
Other times, however, titles come from things that I am thinking about. Recently a client compared one of my paintings, “Funnel Effect,” to Jazz music. I have often thought about abstract painting being like music, because a good composition, in either music or abstract art, has places that demand your attention and places that allow your brain to rest, either aurally or visually. But, even though I had thought about the similarities between art and music before, I was still struck by his comment and it kept replaying in my head as I worked on my next piece. Naturally my next piece got titled, “Visual Jazz.”
Finally, some pieces are named for where I am on my journey in life. “Transitions” was titled as I resigned from teaching to start painting as a career, and “So Hum,” which means I am, was titled as a kind of personal battle cry, claiming my place as a woman and as an artist.
I am interested in your feedback. Have you seen interesting titles that made you wonder or see a piece in a new way? Have you seen titles that left you a little flat? Please reply and let me know your thoughts.
How do artists come up with their titles?
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