Archive for December 8th, 2021

A New Title?

GC Myers- Dark Eye of Quiet sm

Usually, a painting will leave the studio and go into a gallery and that’s the end of the story. They most often feel complete and alive, leaving after being titled, documented and framed.

Sometimes a painting about which I have strong feelings goes out and make the gallery rounds, never finding a fitting home. It comes back to me. I will examine trying to determine if there is something off. If not, if it has that feeling of completeness I want and I am otherwise satisfied, I don’t worry about it at all and am perfectly content with it as it is.

But sometimes a piece goes out the door and I soon begin to feel a little uneasy about it. Something feels off in the whole package. It’s usually not in the painting itself but occasionally there are things I see after the fact that really require an adjustment. In that case I recover the piece and go back in.

Doesn’t happen often but it happens.

But most often the things that make me feel uneasy are things outside of the painting itself. A framing decision, for instance. This was true a little more often early in my career, when I had yet to opt for what would end up being my standard hand-stained frame  with its orangey yellow color.

But sometimes it’s just the title. After a painting has left I find that its given name might not match what I am actually feeling in the piece or that it might send the viewer in a different direction altogether.

I am pleased to say this seldom happens but once every few years there will be a piece where I feel like the title itself might be holding it back. I have changed the titles of several pieces because of this and in nearly every case that painting found a new home soon after. Makes me think I might be on to something.

I think the painting shown above might be a case of the wrong title for a good piece. It left the studio as Dark Eye of Quiet. I like that title and could easily see it working for another painting. But something about it makes me uneasy now, something that doesn’t jibe with what I feel in the painting.

The quiet part is fine. But the dark eye denotes something perhaps sinister, which doesn’t line up with the painting for me. I see quietude in it but also see that red-vermillion sun as a symbol of an unusual moment. But not necessarily sinister. The tone of its title needs to be lightened a bit.

Maybe it would work if I just called it The The Quiet Eye? Same idea just without a dark undertone.

Or maybe go with an old song title like It’s a Most Unusual Day ? It does feel like an unusual day.

Or maybe I should just call it Untitled #A7 or something of that sort?

Nah. Couldn’t do that.

I really don’t know. But I do feel that it is misnamed, that it deserves something that doesn’t detract from one’s perception of it.

Feel free to help me out if you have any ideas.

In the meantime, here’s the song It’s a Most Unusual Day.¬† It’s a cool jazz version from singer Beverly Kenney, who died tragically in 1960 at the tender age of 28. What a great shame. I think this is a wonderful performance of this song and wish she had stuck around longer.

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