"Betsy, Tacey and Tib"
5 x 7"
Oil on Panel
5 x 7"
Gouache and Pencil on paper
I've never been one for titles- I don't consider them crucial for understanding or enhancing my work and more often than not the basic descriptors that I use to identify digital images ( i.e. " girl, yellow." "head") end up serving as titles. Sometimes I wonder if I'm missing out on a great opportunity. I'll scheme up some plan to title the work, for example, calling each by the title of the song I was listening to when I considered it finished, and leave others to puzzle out the connection. These plans inevitably end up seeming trite, pretentious or even plagiaristic to me.
Occasionally a true title will come to me, or I will work on something with a title in mind. However, the more personal and specific it is to me, the less likely that a title will expand or enhance an artwork. The picture of a girl looking in the mirror is called " Ugly Tree" from the insult " fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down." While I consider this a title that is vague and odd enough to be intriguing, it may actually do nothing for a viewer. The painting of the three girls started my on-going interest in the myth "The Judgement of Paris" and my fascination in what transpired between the three goddesses as they waited to be judged. However, once they were painted these three girls became to me " Betsy, Tacey and Tibb" after a series of children's books written in the 1940s.
Though I rarely title works, I maintain a list of potential titles. Some are overheard or read phrases like "song of bitch devotion", which a young woman was using in conversation with another, words that I am particularly fond of for both sound and meaning, such as " the gloaming" and others for their multiple meanings, such as "dwell" and" clutch". Below are some titles of paintings, words and phrases that I have gathered like images and which inspire and goad me on, though I may never actually use them as titles.
Bear baiting; Please remove rabbit before handing in hat; We easterners; Hello from far away; Even demons believe; She retold others stories as her own which I in turn retold as mine; Consolation prize; Hungry ghosts/lotus eaters; Acts of remembrance and acts of oblivion; The night is a shadow