Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Out of the Blue

Diane Mannion, Out of the Blue, 8x10" oil on canvas


An artist asked if I had any title ideas for a painting she's working on.  Usually it's the first thing that pops in my mind, so I told her "I'll Scratch Your Back If You Scratch Mine."  The painting features a flamingo, don't know whether she'll use it or not, but I thought it was funny.  Her painting is colorful and whimsical so it might be a good fit.

Good titles are tough to come by.  I always find it difficult.  Sometimes titles descend from the clouds while I'm painting.  The first title for today's painting was simply a description of the composition, Plant Patterns.  Not very exciting, but would do until I thought of another. 

Last night while reading poetry, several titles filtered out of the blue and suggested themselves simply by the sound of words.  They had nothing to do with what I was reading but the verbal music playing in my head combined with the images of paintings I want to create caused me to jot the ideas down.  Unfortunately, none would fit today's painting.

And just as I was re-reading the paragraph above... a title jumped out!  "Out of the Blue".  Perfect.

A good title can take the image beyond the visual and resonate with different meanings and perhaps entice viewers to linger longer and look beyond the surface.   Although, "Out of the Blue" is an over-used cliche, I like the way it works with this painting.  There's a twist or play on words and color that works for me.  Not the world's greatest title (or painting) but serves to illustrate this story.

So, I've started a list of titles that I hope will inspire paintings.  And if anyone out there has some titles to spare... please send them along.

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