Deluded/Disillusion (from The Paradise Project 2007-2009, "The Shapes" series)
2008, 40 x 30 inches, oil on canvas

I'm pleased to announce that this painting (one of my favorites) has found a new home!  A dear friend has been interested in it for some time.  (I hadn't known that until recently).  Long story short, she asked to see it in person, and next thing we knew, it became hers.  Part of the painting's appeal was the title, she said.  I've always felt titles are important to my art, in that they elicit further contemplation about the work.
While my work's direction and aesthetic have clearly changed since The Paradise Project and my Caribbean days, two things have not:  my use of turquoise and of large color fields or "backgrounds".

Artists: What consistencies can be found in your work throughout your career?  What about titles- important or not?  Lastly, what do you feel titles convey about your work?


Pete Hoge said...

My, "career", has been choppy
and inconsistent in terms of
production. However I do like
to manipulate the heck out
of materials, pushing their
heft and weave to the limit.

In my last year of art school
I only worked with 3 canvases
for 9 months, putting on and
pulling off materials.

After art school I threw them
away in immature, artsy, angst.,
and did not really paint that
much ever again.

Now that I only use electronic
and digital media, I still push
the,"stuff", to the limit, and
sometimes that crashes my

One thing about titles is that
I think they should be minimal,
and related to the piece.

I cannot stand clever, post-
modernist titles, especially
for abstraction.

However I cam guilty of this
pretensiousness myself.



Miki Ohno said...

At first sight, I enjoyed the unique color composition that I never imagine by myself and the arrangement of each red spots. On the magnified screen it was interesting to find the shadows on each red things and soft stroke of the black outlines, which add extra textures as if they are living and floating (some even look like trying to go up!) Again, your painting made me play in fancy for a while.

Colors and textures looked through or with glasses, ice and water must be the consistency in my works. Quite a few viewers care and rely on titles so I don't completely ignore even though it's not important to my works. There are some exceptional artworks with long and poetic titles, so I think titles could work as the part of artwork if the artist had a literary talent.

Liz Ruest said...

Stephanie -- I love this piece, and seeing the evolution to your current work. It's a fascinating question: how is the work still ours, as we change & grow?

For myself, it's a palette and subject matter. Medium and amount of abstraction are all over the place, but those two stay steady.

I think titles are key. I can't do the "Untitled" thing! I like simple, but hate the idea of being too obvious. I love that the title had resonance for your friend.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

I can relate to having had bouts of inconsistency. My career has had a number of "choppy" years- times of little production, and then times of great change in direction, finding my path, etc.
Re: clever titles, we do see a lot of that these days. I've probably been guilty of that at times, too.

It's interesting that titles could be such an integral part of the artwork itself, a literary or poetic continuation of the work- instead of simply a name attached for identification purposes, as often the case with image based scenery/representational art. Of course, those are two "extremes". Usually titles fall somewhere in between: important to the work but not a vital extension of the visual expression, per se.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

Well said! "Palette and subject matter": that's enough to be considered consistent in one's work.
I compare it to a tree: the trunk is the subject matter, and the branches- varying in size and length- are the various explorations, themes, or expressions based on that subject matter.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

On titles- I can't do "untitled" either! But on the other hand, as you said, I don't like mine to be too expected or obvious- such as, for example, "Aqua with Red Drops". That simply doesn't work for me. My paintings ask for something more thoughtful.