Naming Your Painting

Titles are especially important to my work, often times I find myself conjuring up in my head the piece’s name along side its overall design and composition. To me titles are just as important as those things. I see titles as very much the same things as people’s individual names so I make it a point to give my paintings interesting and unique titles that allow the viewer to make their own sense of the pieces. However, in the final steps of painting this semester’s first piece, I am completely and utterly without a title. SO, I thought this week i’d post about what to consider when naming your paintings and hopefully by the end I will have thought of something!

Seen above are pictures from the early planning phases of this painting. simple things like how i would like the figures to look like and what colors would work best in the final piece. Usually by this point i would already have had a title picked out or at least a couple potential names that id be mulling over in my head, but I really had nothing. This is unusual for me especially with a painting like this one that has such a clear(at least in my head) real-world inspiration. Without spoiling whatever meaning you’d have made out of this piece, this painting -to me- is supposed to depict my friends and I. obviously we don’t really look exactly like this, but maybe in another dimension somewhere we ALL look like this. there’s probably some inter-dimensional family portrait like this hanging up in some beings living-room as we speak! Anyway, you’d think that something that’s supposed to represent something as simple as friendship would be easy-peasy when it came to titling, but no dice.

current state of the painting

So i guess the point I’m trying to make is when you hit a brick wall in the title department, like I have, its always good to step back and think about what you’re trying to say with the piece in the first place. In this case I am talking about friendship, albeit, in my own unique way but that theme is still there. Now i am not one to slap a title as simple as “friends” or “The Boys” on something that I labored over for weeks to get just right, that is SOO boring. So it’s also helpful to consider in the style in which you painted your vision into this physical dimension. For this piece, the figures are painted in an ambiguous way that causes the viewer to stop and try to identify these very real individuals. so what do we have to work with so far; Friendship and ambiguity. Hmmm that could add up to a pretty interesting title. But still, I got NOTHING!

However, I am not without hope! This painting is not finished yet and in fact I’m at the most fun part of the process, touching things up and adding details that will connect the figures more. This is were creative problem solving comes in handy so there a lot of potential for an interesting and thought provoking title to POP in my head!

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