How to name a painting

Mar 14, 2017thoughts, tips0 comments

Naming a painting

I have always struggled when it came to naming a painting And until recently, I have always felt bad about it like it was a flaw or my fault in some way, I painted it, why can’t I name it? Somehow I was always lacking the words when it came to naming a painting or more correctly I was lacking the right words. I tried to come up with different ways of doing it but somehow in my mind I’d always come up short, my words were always lacking, they could never do my work justice, could never scale the same heights. I would stare at a painting hoping some words or word would come to mind, willing the name to somehow jump off the canvas and into my head!! Failing that I would ask my partner or a friend, or I might search online for inspiration from other artists, run competitions to name the painting or I would leave it to the gallery owner.

And then like an addict having a moment of clarity it hit me one day, a simple truth , The truth been I am not good with words. I am good at painting but I struggle with words, and why? Because painting uses a totally different language – a visual one. It is a language just as rich, just as vibrant but separate. My pallete is my dictionary and my colors are my words. If I asked a poet to write a poem about one of my paintings, the reader would still not know how the painting looks and would definitely not get the visual treat by reading it, this isn’t a slight at poets or poetry just an acceptance that they are different. They both are aimed at different senses. Take album covers , it struck me recently when looking at some art on albums covers that none of the brilliant musicians actually designed the cover, that they would leave to an artist or graphic designer someone more fluent in that language because art is not their language! Music is their language .It is the same for book covers. It might be a wonderful book but you would never find out if the cover somehow didn’t tempt you to buy it. So with that in mind I will continue to ask others to name my paintings and not feel bad about it, safe in the knowledge that each is to their own and each of us have our own personal language, mine been that of nature and beauty and colors and light!

And on that note..
The painting below¬†has a lovely name – ‘Song of Spring’ and thank you to my friend for helping me with this one!

Song of Spring by Kate Kos

‘Song of Spring’ watercolor 33 x 53 cm

2017 art painting watercolor beach ballymoney by Kate Kos - Forever Young

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