Thursday, June 17, 2010

Titles



















I've made a lot fuss over the cat in this painting, so when it comes to a title, I had thought of simply calling it "Millie."   I tend towards pretty dry titles, in the Modernist vain of "Sleep no. 1" and "Sleep no.6.  Such work makes sense in a title formal series and leaves the viewer to wrestle with looking at the painting without an easy lifeline.    After all, shouldn't the painting to do the work without having to being completed with a title?  I'm also keen on a little bit of mystery. People are infinitely complex and a good portrait just scratches the surface, telling you little more than the sitter's name.   For observed portraits it seems pretentious to make up something literary, so I usually go with something obvious like "Beata and Sadie."  Things are getting a little stranger with the narrative paintings, however, and stranger still when I'm inventing the sitter.   There's a history I'm digging through, someone I'm discovering, and a new working title comes to mind:  "Leonora's Venetian Tendencies."  I'll live with it for a while and see if it sticks.

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