I love titling work. But I didn't always. I used to want to call everything "untitled" because I thought the painting should just be a painting, and should not need extra words. But "untitled" is the most boring name ever. So I refused to do that. Names can sound so pretentious or overly contrived. Ugh. I wanted to avoid that.
But now I love naming work. It is as if the finished painting says to me, "Hey, here is one more fun, creative opportunity for you! You can add even more meaning and significance to me! Have fun with it! Do it with feeling. Enjoy naming me." So I do. This light hearted approach has lead to way better and more evocative names.
I look at them, the paintings, out of the corner of my eye for a while, and basically wait. Words emerge.. Sometimes I am on a time pressure and I have to sit down with them and think about them, what was happening during the months I was working on them, what they taught me, and what their — for lack of a better term — energy is saying.
I really like naming work that relates to each other, like the three I just finished. Naming them helps them become like a family — related, but still all distinct individuals.
I just finished three square painting all of the same size and theme. I chose these playful titles because I love these fun little quippy, directive truisms and statements that float around and encourage us or remind us of what we think is important.
These will be up on the wall at the Culture Crawl in a couple weeks.