How I Choose Titles For My Paintings

Pause to Wonder, acrylic painting on canvas, 24×36″ (91x61cm)

People often ask me how do I choose the titles for my paintings. It is a great question because there can be a number of variables involved when I make that decision for a piece of art.

The title can be influenced by a song lyric, a phrase I have heard beforehand that resonates with me and suits the painting, the emotions I was feeling during the creative process, or the feelings or thoughts I have when I finish the painting and reflect upon what has transpired.

Ideally, I want the title to tell the story or evoke a response or emotion. I also like the title to be open-ended so the collector brings their own meaning, interpretation and connection to the painting.

Titles can happen immediately after completion or take almost as long as the painting took to create. Generally titles do not come to me until I am finished. If I think of a title before completion, it can change my creative process and influence the result. Although saying that, the exception is when I create custom commissions.

Before I begin working on a commission piece, I listen to the collectors to find out their personality, their story, and what they want. From their words come the idea, and possibly the title and then the commission develops. In the end, it is all about creating a connection from me to the collector and their life. It is a complete circle and I am the facilitator.

Some art patrons may ask “what does that title have to do with the painting?” It may not be apparent, or visually obvious, but the title has a connection with the finished artwork. It is all about the journey, from start to finish. It is meant to make one think.

If you have a story, idea or exciting memory you would like to see developed into an original painting, contact me to discuss your thoughts for custom artwork. I would be happy to make the connection with you.

Crazy For Some Jazz Music

Every so often I find myself in the mood for a little jazz. It might be a classic standard or something new and contemporary, or a happy mix of the two. Sometimes its the smooth playing of the instruments or the calming, sultry vocal stylings that are just what my creative juices need to get going. When that happens I have a go-to playlist of some of my favourite jazz tunes. These songs virtually transport me right into a lounge environment and life in the studio becomes pretty laid-back. Hope you like them!

Stop This World – Diana Krall
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
Love Me or Leave Me – Nina Simone
Blue Moon – Carmen McRae
C’est Si Bon – Louis Armstrong
What Is This Thing Called Love – Billy Holiday & Bob Haggart
Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
Walk On By – Diana Krall
The Masquerade is Over – Sarah Vaughan
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
At Last – Etta James
Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
Where Or When – Diana Krall
Chelsea Bridge – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
Si tu vois ma mère – Sidney Bechet
Charmed Life – Diana Krall

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2 thoughts on “How I Choose Titles For My Paintings

  1. Heather McCall-Rhyne

    Great to read this as I also take some of my titles for work from parts of songs -as you say if the phrase resonates- Great work you are doing – thanks for sharing your thoughts- I always find it interesting to talk with like minded souls – Keep creating
    All the best Heather

    1. Lynette Post author

      Hello Heather, Thank you kindly for taking the time to read the article. With some paintings the titles come so easy and others I need some help and have a list of phrases, as you said, that resonate with me. I also looked at your website, your paintings are beautiful. Cheers, Lynette

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