How do we name art work? Sometimes I find it is an easy process, sometimes I find myself digging deep to find the words to express what the piece means to me or what I want to say about it.
Early in my journey as an artist I would name the work by location or what the image was. For examples Trees in Winter, which was one of my earlier semi-abstract pieces. Then there was the series of paintings I completed that were inspired by the Isles of Scilly. These works used the place name. So there were pieces like Boat at Tresco, View From Innisgden.
More recently I’ve been following suggestions to think about creating a story in the name of the work itself. This can often take some time to work out. And it’s not unknown for me to do internet searches for songs, poetry and, even in a pinch, an abstract art title generator. All in the hunt for words and phrases that will spark something in me that resonates with the piece. How I now name my work falls into three categories. Firstly, the title will be because the piece reminds me of something in the landscape and I want to reference that in the title. An example of that is Digging Deep from the one of my posts. Secondly, it might be because the words of a song or a piece of poetry have seemed fitting in some way. They become a description of the emotion that is stirred in me when I look at the painting. Finally the title describes very process of making the work. What I experienced and felt in the creating of the painting.
Do I have a favourite method? Probably not. They all feel appropriate at the time. And I hope that in their own way they convey something to the viewer of the experience of the work for me.
Here’s a few examples from my portfolio and a little on the naming process.
Drown the Fleeting Hour is a piece inspired by poetry and the emotion of the piece. How we can be drawn in to something. In this case a painting, and lose ourselves and time in ways that we don’t notice until afterwards.
Landfall describes the feeling of being out at sea, metaphorically and literally. What we see as the coastline approaches and the feeling of coming home to something familiar. The sense of coming back to land from travelling, to finding familiarity after journeying in the unknown.
A reference to the making of the work. This piece was a larger work at 27×29 inches. With it’s larger shapes and use of space in the design was the direction I wanted my art to be progressing. Hence, Direction of Travel.
So, a few more thoughts from me on artistic and creative processes. How do you name your work? Do you find it an easy process? What resources do you use to help you? Please drop a comment below, as I’d love to hear from you.
My next Facebook live is on Monday 18th February at 7pm UK time. I’ll be showing and talking about my inspiration for some of the new work that will be exhibited during March. Plus I will have four paintings from my work last year that I’m offering as part of my Etsy Shop Sale.