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Old 10-27-2013, 12:20 PM
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Windsong & A question for each of you

I hesitate to name my abstracts, I don't want to sway the viewer. I named this for purposes of the thread but I might not when presenting it publicly. I want the viewer to feel something unique to them. This "windsong" to me might be a "energetic" or some such to someone else. What are your thoughts on naming Abstracts?

11X14 Acrylic on Canvas

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:59 PM
Hairy wolf Hairy wolf is offline
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

Hey Sharla,
I'll put my thoughts on the subject in point form (better organized?...):
1. This website: I believe that "untitled" will draw fewer views. "Boring"..."Windsong" - cool...
2. It seems that human nature tends to seek "a story" in non objective (abstract) images. The way our brains work, I guess.
3. Not every one of us is born with the sensitivity required to get the full aesthetic experience derived from color harmonies, balanced or imbalanced compositions, powerful brush strokes, intentional distortions etc. Hence, the occasional "my daughter of 4 can do a heck of a lot better than this" in front of a great De Kooning.
4. The mere giving of a name to an abstract work by the creator serves as a guide to rational interpretation, which sometimes is far removed from what the artist tried to convey.
5. How many times have you seen in a museum or gallery people spending about 5 minutes going through all 10 or 15 abstract canvases in the room and then spending 20 minutes reading the artist's biography in the corner??...
6. Many creators of abstract art give their works extremely inexplicable titles in order to prevent the viewer's brain from being directed one way or the other. Even so, many viewers still ask themselves "what the heck did he mean by "Infinite degression on the verge of discovery" (for example)" instead of having the aesthetic experience.
Hey, need I say more??.....please don't tell me that you knew all of this all too well.....
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:20 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

Sharla I like the color palette you used and I find the color combinations to have strength. The black curves are very dominant and are acting separately from the background making them feel disconnected. It appears that you used a sgraffito technique in making the background lines.

My opinion on the lack of a title for artwork is that it denies the viewer opportunity of another peek into the artist and disallows you from putting your period on the completed work as you pass it off to future viewer.

The work will take on a life of it's own whatever you do or don't do. I like to think that any viewer who likes the painting well enough to look at it for more than a few seconds will also want to discover their own meaning in the work to make it personal. So I like the process of titling.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:35 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

Hairy Wolf and Dave, I love your thoughts, thank you for sharing. Very interesting. Just with what you two said I don't feel as out of place titling my abstracts. Thank you
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:00 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

When Oprah interviews you and asks what the title REALLY means to you (in that way she has...) you can go forth and say something so witty that you will be invited on to the View next week...... who is going to ask why it is called "untitled"?

I usually title my works, all of them have titles on my website.
On WC sometimes I read all the comments looking for an idea for a title.

would you call your child "untitled"?

BTW--This piece has very striking mark-making, balance and composition. Bunches of small and faint marks to eliminate dead dull spots, and some strong vibrant large-making to make a statement.

I immediately thought of the score of music from "Phantom of the Opera" when they are on the roof of the Opera House.....

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Old 10-28-2013, 11:32 AM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

I would say titles are a good thing because they give the viewer a hint as to where the artist is coming from, where his/her head is at. A title can be a starting point for exploring the painting. Your title Windsong made me think of wind chimes swaying in the breeze, which I can see in the painting. Love your colors.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:10 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

Greggo & Susan, I agree with your comments & thanks for the compliments on the painting too
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:18 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

for the longest time i forgo naming work. but every child is named. still , i resisted naming works. my ability is making pictures not namimg them. i feel like in most cases it is superficial. a work should be able to stand on its own. a title can sway a crowd. the work should speak of its own accord, and name itself in time. like everyone and everything it should earn its name, or fail namelessly into nothingness.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:45 AM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

i would rather not name most of my paintings, as i want the viewer to be free to interpret as they wish. but still, the paintings need titles for the more obvious practical reasons mentioned earlier in this thread.

i enjoy your painting!
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:34 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

I don't really think my paintings need names, just a fairly terse description to identify them. Of course if they stay around long enough they sometimes get actual names like Bill or Fred, or if they stay around a REALLY long time they get pet names like Fluffy or Stinky. The ones that get named are named by my wife, like "Judy the Elephant", but I don't name them, they're paintings, not kittens.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:41 AM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

When I see a post with a pretentious name I just skip it. I assume the artist is trying to compensate for the actual visual content of the image by giving it a vainglorious title.

Every now and then I check and very rarely have I found that the work can in any way correspond to the title. It strikes me that perhaps the artist doesn't have the confidence that the image itself will engage the viewer so hopes to convey with the title content that doesn't exist in the image itself.
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Last edited by Don Berendsen : 10-30-2013 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:49 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

I agree with Don about the pretentious names being turn off. Georgia O'keeffe would name her abstracts by series, Red 1,Blue II and similar minimal descriptive titles, same with Kandinsky, Improvisation 28, Pastoral, ect.

Maybe if you do not like naming your abstracts because you don't want to lead a person's interpretation with connotations of a word or phrase, you could use this convention of naming?
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

A painting without a title is like a novel without a title, a movie without a title, or a song without a title. The title doesn't make the piece but it does complete it. The title of this piece could be, "Please don't be swayed by the title"
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:04 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

Quote:
Originally Posted by artbymdp
A painting without a title is like a novel without a title, a movie without a title, or a song without a title. The title doesn't make the piece but it does complete it. The title of this piece could be, "Please don't be swayed by the title"

Classical music works seem quite complete without descriptive, evocative titles. Why should an non-representational painting be any different?
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:15 PM
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Re: Windsong & A question for each of you

I have mixed feeling regarding titles, on the one hand I would prefer not to give them, for the reasons already mentioned, but on the other hand its necessary for when I place artwork on my website, so I try to keep it to one word...and hope that people don't think that sounds pretentious.

I do however think people that view Abstract paintings sometimes appreciate a title, it kinda completes the whole experience, and sometimes it even gives them a nudge in the right direction...for those that need it.
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