painting titled "Souls"I think titles are very important and I often begin a painting with just a title idea. Titles enhance the meaning of an artwork, or add mystery.
A recent painting that I created began with the title “Abandoned” and was based on some winter photos I had taken of an abandoned house east of Traverse City, MI. I wanted to express the lonely feel of the house and retain the palette of greyish blue-green and white with a touch of gold.

prints of four photos

source photos

After a week of painting, there were 3 to 5 layers of paint on the surface because I tried 3 different versions of the house: measured and realistic, simplified and symbolic, exaggerated and emotional. I was unsatisfied with each attempt, so, in frustration, I glued a square cut from a watercolor over the house and painted some more. I painted from the gut with no photo references. Faces appeared, rising from my unconscious…no specific person or even gender…just souls. Now the original title no longer fit.
I said that aloud in class today…that I needed a title for a painting. One creative student took up the challenge. After I described the image, she suggested “Lost Souls”. Close, but the souls aren’t lost, so the work will be titled just “Souls”. Thanks Kate!

detail of painting

detail of "Souls"


One response to “Titles

  1. SOULS…..an appropriate title…..

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