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Old 06-16-2019, 03:11 AM
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juliet45 juliet45 is offline
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Titles for paintings

I paint somewhat abstract landscapes in oil and have always given my work fairly general titles on the basis that people can see what they want in the painting. Recently someone suggested that it is better to indicate in the title that they are of specific places.

What do you do about naming your work? Are people drawn more to work that names known places or is it better to be more general?
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:17 AM
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Re: Titles for paintings

There are many options and tactics. I generally go for what the work evokes or invokes. Since it takes me months to do the work, I usually have a long time to work on the name. The naming convention you take usually is an off-shoot of you as an artist, philosopher, thinker, reader, and inspired person-- so there is really no "better" way.
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:01 AM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: Titles for paintings

"The Soda Jerk" by Edward Hopper



"A Bridge Too Far" by Edvard Munch


"Twelve Men and a Lady" by Leonardo Da Vinci


TItles matter.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:28 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Titles for paintings

Most of my plein air work is just titled after the place.

Studio pieces usually get more poetic names. Something the reflects the image and subject in the painting, but not always directly describing it.

I did a portrait of a blue jay I titled "Neighborhood Watch" after the way the jays always sound the arm at intruders in the woods.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:44 AM
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juliet45 juliet45 is offline
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Re: Titles for paintings

Much of my work comes from my imagination
but could be broadly linked to a place. I think I'll continue giving the paintings non specific titles.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:59 PM
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Re: Titles for paintings

In the past, for my titles I have mined Grateful Dead lyrics. Not sure if that helps.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:24 AM
RexRoamer RexRoamer is offline
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Re: Titles for paintings

I simply name my works what they actually mean to ME. Admittedly, my current paintings and drawings are quite "narrative" in nature - meaning I don't do the traditional landscapes, portraits, still lifes, etc. but rather tell a story. But still, I think naming your work after what YOU believe it to be is quite attractive (and revealing) to the viewer/buyer.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:49 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: Titles for paintings

Some paintings I know what the title is going in, because I am trying to depict something in particular. Other works the title comes as I go along or even when I am done. As someone mentioned re their bluejay painting, I try to give my works titles that intrigue or evoke a mood. I also try to keep in mind what the title will make someone think of if it is online and they are searching and have not seen the work yet. If it's a painting of a particular place, I will sometimes include that info in the description rather than the title. So I have a winter painting of a field in the Adirondacks but I called it "Snowy Field" and put the Adirondacks info in the description.

That said, I have seen some artists using really odd titles for their paintings that don't seem related to the work, like Talia Telfair:
https://www.tulatelfair.com/paintings.php
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:13 AM
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Re: Titles for paintings

My biggest nightmare isn't finishing a piece on time but naming it. I'm really jealous of the classical composers who could just name a composition "Symphony No. 1" or something. Sometimes a name comes before the piece is even started, others it names itself at the last second while I'm trying to enter it in a show.
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