I was recently asked by a collector how I come up with the titles for my pieces. Strangely, I never really thought about that being of any interest to anyone before, but there it is, so, I'll attempt to answer the question here. It's probably easier for me to start with what I don't do to explain the process of naming a piece. I don't come up with a name first. That makes sense, because if you follow my work and my blog, you know I don't even plan what I'm going to paint before I approach the canvas. I just let the inspiration hit and follow the paint wherever it wants to take me, the spontaneous flow. And of course, if I have no pre-conceived notion of what I'm going to paint, I certainly can't have any idea what to name it.
Some pieces are easy to name. Once the painting is finished, the title is pretty obvious. For example, I called this piece Fall Perfection. Pretty simple, right? Clearly the painting depicts fall colours and who can argue about the perfect beauty of autumn leaves? Well, there you go.
Other pieces are much more difficult to name. It could be because the piece is more abstract or it could be for any number of other reasons. For example, this piece:
This one took a while for me to name. That happens quite a bit with me; I'm guessing that's due to the fact that I paint according to my mood to do so. When the name isn't readily apparent, I just sit, I live with the painting for a bit, hang it on my wall, look at it. I think about what it's saying to me. Is it telling a story? What mood or emotion does it stir in me? What mood or emotion was I feeling when I painted it? Once I've answered those questions, the name comes. I suppose it would be sort of like how I'd name a baby, were I to have one. I wouldn't be the type to start making lists of boys and girls names before the child was born. I'd be more the type to wait, to meet the poor little thing before I saddled him or her with a moniker. I can think of few things worse than going through life with a name like Pat or Reginald if you really look and feel more like an Alex, or vice versa. I'd meet the kid first, check him or her out, get a feel for them, then pick a name. Same thing with my paintings.