Painting titles are hard
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to name your paintings. Problem: it’s often contradictory. Painting titles are hard.
First piece of advice: describe the painting in the title. If it’s a red barn along a country road, don’t call it Serenity, Call it Red Barn on Country Road. Or, if the painting is based on a bay in Iceland, call it Breiđafjörđur. Okay, I’ve done that.
Second, call them all Untitled, because it doesn’t matter what the artist intended. What matters is what the viewer (hopefully, buyer) sees or feels. And the artist can never know what that will be. Sorry, but I’ve never done that (although I’ve been tempted). It just feels like a cop out.
Third, name the painting after the feeling it evokes (hopefully). I’ve tried that. When what I captured is a feeling of mystery and there are no words to adequately describe it…
Finally, you just do what you think makes sense. Painting is hard. Titles are hard. You go with whatever works. And sometimes your first choice doesn’t work and you have to change the name.
I just finished two paintings: one I really like, one not as much. The not as much one I was going to call Ebb and Flow. It was based on rain water washing across a concrete surface. The first, the one I really like, I couldn’t figure out what to call (Untitled did come to mind). Actually, the more I thought about it, Ebb and Flow made more sense for the first painting. But then, what to call the second? So I asked my husband what it made him think of and he said, Asia. I decided to call it China Flow. And here they are:
Do you have better titles?