Friday, July 03, 2015

Naming artworks

Tree and Shadow

This painting needs a name. Will you help name it, please?

Perhaps my way of finding titles will help you. I keep a dedicated journal on my desk that's just for titles and quotations. Whenever I find a title I like, into the book it goes. I find titles everywhere, just not when I'm in the midst of painting. So where do I find titles?
  • Gallery shows. 
  • Plant catalogs. (This is where I found the title, Red Hot Mama.)
  • Song titles and musical terms.
  • Thesaurus and the dictionary.
  • Book or chapter titles.
  • Phrases taken from my Bible or other books.
  • Online galleries and websites.
  • Note the titles other artists use for their works. Titles aren't protected by copyright and this is one place I "steal like an artist". I've yet to use a title that I don't change somehow but I know the day will come and I don't call that dishonest, and I hereby give you permission to copy my titles.
How do you title your own work?

Shadow photos....
Photos of my shadow are my version of selfies and lately I've been incorporating the shadow photos in my collages, sometimes directly by gluing the photo into the composition or like this one, printed onto a paper that I intend to use in the collage.

With the proper printer setting one can print on just about anything that will feed through the printer. I've printed text onto photographs, photographs onto painted paper, and in this case I printed a photo onto a magazine page that I had manipulated with solvent. Try it yourself.

I've learned....
  • Inkjet printers don't work well for this technique. Use a laser printer or toner copier, set to black/white. Printing in color should work if you have a color laser printer. I haven't tried it since I don't have one.
  • Lessen the contrast so that the black of the ink doesn't obscure the paper. Or...
  • If you want a silhouette with strong black, then increase the black in your camera software.
  • Experiment to see what you can do.
It's all about process....
Of course much of this would be easier done digitally in your computer program, i.e. Photoshop, but I am a tactile person and I have to have my hands on the paper, the scissors, and get my fingers covered with glue. Otherwise I don't feel like I've made art. The more of me I can get into the work the better I like the process.

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