Friday, February 25, 2011

How do I title my paintings?

One of my collectors just commissioned me to create a painting. In an email he asked me:

"You're amazing. This should be fun.

How do you name them?
Thank you Jesse :)"

Below is the answer. I thought it might be interesting to post my little essay for other viewers and buyers of my paintings.


Well usually the names come to me as I'm painting them. As you're painting, part of the mind is really focused and other parts of the mind just wander freely around like in meditation. Thoughts and associations float in and out. Then you see something in the painting that is very evocative of a memory, or something you've learned about life or something that is going on in your life and relationships. It runs the whole spectrum of emotions. For instance "the Next Chapter" was about my Mom in the nursing home and the transitions that she is experiencing. That is very personal for me, but for the viewers and buyers of the paintings, a title like that can also mean something very personal for them. And I hope it does. So I don't usually explain the title unless it's something overt like scientific and cosmic phenomena.

Or in the case of "A Thousand Beautiful Things", I just was so immersed in that song as I painted that there just was no other title that would do.

And then others are almost purely visual like "Fugue in Plaid". I just love the humor and the mind-bending aspect in the juxtaposition of those 2 seemingly disparate elements of music and visual pattern.

And then sometimes no name comes so I have to gaze at it for awhile and look for an association. My husband Chet has helped...he named one for me "Rose Meridian" which I think is an excellent name. Often the titles are about juxtaposition like that.

Now that I wrote all of this, I think I will put it in the blog. Thanks for inspiring me to explain the process.

XO Sally


greyofgreen said...

I try to inspire every now and again, so no problem. Thanks for taking the time to introspect and write it down.

This is terribly interesting; I wish I had the time to come up to PA and just chat about the whole process.

I hope it's fun/revealing for you too.

Talk soon,

greyofgreen said...

I try to Inspire occasionally, so no problem. Thanks for taking the time to introspect and write your thoughts down.

This is all so new and interesting; I wish I could just take some time to go to PA and chat about the whole process. That's life, right? Thank the lord for Blogger.

Talk soon,

sallytrace said...

Hi Jesse, thanks for posting a response!!!!

Yes, I wish we could be standing in front of your commission right now as it's drying. I would love to hear your thoughts about all the little nuances in the painting.

I'll do my best to convey the whole experience of the painting to you before I ship. Would you like a video? I'm getting fast at making videos, but never thought about using it to give people such as yourself a clear glimpse of the painting as I'm going along.

I think I will do that! One more day and I'll feel comfortable moving it around. I can't believe how much paint I put on this painting! It is taking awhile to dry. There is a fingerprint in one of the deepest wet paint areas...let's see if you can find it. LOL

Hugs, XOXOXO sally