How do I title my paintings ?


I was recently told my painting titles are as creative as my paintings – so how do I title them?

Well, there are many different ways a title comes to me and there is no set formula.  Sometimes I know the title of the piece before I start or during the early stages of a painting maybe when I am listening to music and the words of the song might influence me.  Also, during the early layers of my work I write poetry, usually my own, directly on to the canvas which can lead me to a title.  I also use collage for some of the back layers from novels or articles and the words from these snippets may have an inspired title which fits perfectly to what I am painting about.  Other times the name doesn’t come to me until the end or close to finishing the piece and this can help me to understand what I have been painting and often why.  I feel the title of every painting I create is a very important and a part of the overall experience.  Untitled paintings always seem to have a part missing to them and I feel my work is worthy of a title.  Here are a few examples of paintings and how their titles came to be.

The Two Drifters
This abstract painting is titled ‘The Two Drifters’, the painting and title was inspired by a couple who have been sailing around the oceans in their yacht.  I follow their blog and they explain how the seas can be sometimes calm, sometimes rough, with many different challenges and exciting opportunities every day.  The two small orange shapes show how they are very small in a very large ocean just drifting and at the mercy of the elements.  

The Rejected Daisy

The title for this painting came to me sometime during the middle of the process.

I was working through a personal story about the complications of the mother/daughter relationship and this was painted intuitively from a deep subconscious part of my mind.  

Here, I want the viewer to explore the painting, find the daisy and then think deeper about the painting and what it might mean, but also to question whether it triggers a thought or feeling within them also. I have been told that this moving image has brought tears to the eyes of someone who saw it for real recently.
 

The Sound of Falling Petals

These gerbera flowers were painted from still life.  Joyous to paint, a beautiful colour and an uplifting flower, however I knew they wouldn’t last for many days as they had been bought from the florist that morning. I tried to capture their ephemeral beauty as three petals fell and I wondered about the sound of falling petals.

‘The Power of the Hug’

The image and composition for this sensitive piece was inspired by another artists painting. The title came to me at the end of the painting as I thought how powerful a hug can be and how we all need a hug from time to time.  
Because all my paintings are personal explorations or journeys, they all have a different message or emotion within to them that is both questioning and surprising.  

When I am asked to do a painting as a commission, quite often during the process the title is discovered during a conversation with the commissioner as the process can become a deep journey for us both.  

Thanks for reading and I love to hear your comments about my work or the titles.

Steffi x
www.steffisartwork.com
 

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Published by Steffi Goddard Artist

Contemporary artist, painter of large exciting abstract paintings, contemporary faces and anything that inspires me including poetry, nature, oceans and the female face and form

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