Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Telling My Story in Art: Titles

My friend Ruth Armitage recently created a post "My Art Means Something." Among other things she talks about choosing a title for a piece. I often wrestle about finding the right title for a painting myself.  As Ruth states, "I feel that the meaning of a painting can be one thing to the artist, and something different to the viewer." Although my work is not abstract like Ruth's, I do debate about how much information I give my viewer with a title, because I want them to connect to the painting. I want the art to bring up their own memory or spark something in their imagination.

This painting was one I struggled with trying to find the right title. Although the memory that inspired this was about being lost in a department store, looking for my mother, it really uncovered and suggested so many deeper and important ideas. I do not want to have the title limit what the viewer might feel or conceptualize.

She's Allowed
28" x 21"

The title that has struck the right chord for me is "She's Allowed." It doesn't really matter what this child is doing, she is just a child who is allowed to be herself! Thanks to my art friend, Sandra Neary and Elizabeth Gilbert via her book on creativity,  "Big Magic," I have come up with a title that allows the viewer to make up their own story about this painting. Please wander in and think about a time when you were a child and what memory this brings up for you. You are ALLOWED!

So now I am looking for a title for my recent painting capturing a memory from this last summer. I could tell you the story of laying out under the stars on the Rogue River, but I'd rather you think of a time you connected to the Universe via the night sky. Do you have a title for me?

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