Saturday, September 18, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

Acrylic on Canvas

Had a fantastic time out plein air painting with my friend Deirdre yesterday.  We were hanging out in Metcalfe forest, which is just a magical kind of place.  Though my canvas from yesterday needs a bit of work,  I took a ton of great photos which will inspire many new pieces.

This is a painting that I completed a couple of weeks ago.  Usually I struggle with naming paintings, though this one came to mind quite easily (and I love the name too).  I have found that it helps me to keep a running list of potential titles that I could use for paintings.  About 50% of the time I will use a name from the list, and other times the title will appear in the old noggin' during or after I have painted a piece.  How do you name your paintings? 


Lisa Riehl said...

I love the painting - and the title is fantastic! I too keep a running list of potential titles, as I sometimes find naming a piece quite a struggle. My list of titles is probably over 400 now. Many are phrases that I hear from songs or in books that just catch my ear/eye. Some of these titles just beg to have a specific painting done of them as they evoke a strong scene in my mind. Other times I finish a painting, then read through my list and see what pops out at me....

Ginny Stiles said...

I always wait to let a painting tell me what the title is.
Because my subject matter is so elusive...still life, florals, figures, landscapes, architectural, etc. It just seems that keeping a list of titles wouldn't work for me.
Having said that, not all of my titles are creative. But sometimes they do just jump out. A recent painting I did of 4 gulls on a railing (which sold) with one gull flying off...looked to me just like a nursery rhyme illustration of a counting poem. So I called it "And then there were Three". Stuff like that.

I love clever plays on a words for titles. But they do not always come. Sometimes "Summer Day" is enough or "Vase of Violets". The idea that a title might actually evoke a painting (such as Lisa suggests) had not really occurred to me. I do know that sometimes a poem or a song will suggest a painting. It's an interesting topic.

I am currently into food themes as you'll note on my blog ( and painting peppers and illustrating Apple Cake recipes. I like the idea of working on a theme for awhile or a series.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Hi, Jennifer. I haven't been by for a while. I've missed seeing your striking take on the natural world. I just love it!

Hmmm....titling is a tough thing to do. As you all mentioned, the more you have painted, the harder it can be. I often have a working title which then changes either as I finish the piece or as I live with the work for a little bit. The best ones, of course, are those ones that just pop into your head and you know they are right.

Titles can mean a lot to a viewer or buyer, too. So, it should not be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, as the marriage ceremony goes...

Best wishes for you and yours as this lovely Fall season commences. I'll be back to see what jewels appear at the end of your brush!

jennifer woodburn said...

Thanks for your comments. It is always interesting to get artists take on this.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Beautiful piece, Jennifer and appropiate title.