Sunday, May 23, 2010

If A Picture Paints a Thousand Words, Does A Painting Really Need a Name?

18 x 14 oil on Raphael Linen Panel

As if we artists don't sweat enough over the actual execution of a painting, we sometimes drive ourselves crazy trying to come up with the perfect name. Sometimes paintings name themselves, even before we start them; other times we so much want the perfect name, we struggle! I find in many cases I end up falling short. A great title can really make a painting, I think - but sometimes I'm also aware the viewer might not be in the same headspace as me, so how much does it really matter?

This is one of those paintings I haven't really named yet. The working title was "Bear Now" just because that's the name of the filly in it. Thoughts? I love the mornings at the track (though I admit I don't necessarily miss getting up at 3:30am to go to work), so I'm always looking for something that will exemplify that feeling - the quiet contrast to the tension of afternoon racing, the hope that pervades of winning that next race, big or small. Bear Now was prepping for a start in the Breeders' Cup Distaff here, one of the pinnacles of the game. I've already called a painting "Dreaming Big" (it was of my own Monster, no less!) or I might be inclined to call this something along the lines of "Dream Big or Go Home!" It's what makes you get out of bed at such a ridiculous hour - this is horse racing, and anything can happen. Might as well happen to you, right?


Big Filly Adventures said...

It's gorgeous!!!!

Linda Shantz said...

Thanks Lise - time to varnish it and frame it, and then keep it away from the rider who will most likely try to steal it when he sees it, haha...or maybe he'll hate it, I don't know!

bonnie said...

Whatever you call it, it is quite good, but why does the horse seem to be running at the viewer rather than along the rail? Maybe you should call it "My Way".

Linda Shantz said...

You'd have to ask the rider to know for sure, Bonnie, but probably because she was getting ready to work, and some horses don't travel perfectly straight on the racetrack! Of course my rendering of the harrow lines isn't perfect either, if that's what you're really trying to say!