Why Not to Title Your Art Piece

On March 19, 2010, in Ink, by brendajohima

If I had titled this piece, when it was for sale in a public art show, it may not have sold. We will never know that for sure, of course.

I was at home, and a woman phoned me asking the price of one of my paintings during an art show. She said, “you know, the one with the fish in it” … “the one with the fish in the middle of the painting.” Honestly, out of 24 paintings at that show, I had absolutely no clue which painting she was speaking of. I told her I would give her a call back, hopped in my car, and zipped over to the venue.

What do you know? I had painted a “fish painting” and I never even saw it!

The creative process travels a unique journey each time, and during my creative process for this piece, I used Yupo paper and an acrylic ink, and always, as it is with Yupo, it was an amazing process to see it come together right before my very eyes. Those who paint with ink on Yupo know, that yes, you can control the flow of the ink if you choose, but it is a heck of a lot more fun and creative to be in the unknown, and let the ink flow where it would like to go, and to not control the ink.

So the story is, sadly, the woman’s husband had been a commercial fisherman, and he died in a tragic fishing accident.

She purchased my painting as memory of him, and it now hangs proudly, on a prominent wall in her living room. I am touched that I have made a difference in her life with my art, and I learned a lesson, I, in general, do NOT title my art pieces, despite what experts have told me to, which is to title every piece. In this situation, I am glad I trusted my own intuition and my own beliefs, and to not title the piece.

My goal with my art, is that the meaning comes from the viewer. I have done my job well as an artist, if each individual person creates meaning for themselves with each piece, each viewer will see something different, and that, to me, is creativity in action, and is art, which makes people think, to dream, and to see in new ways.

This piece, now might be titled, “A Fisherman’s Friend” but for me, it remains untitled, and with love.

– Brenda Johima –

Copyright Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

Copyright Brenda Johima

Copyright Brenda Johima | Images May Not Be Used In Any Way Without Written Permission

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