Thursday, February 12, 2009

Which came first...the title or the painting?

All sorts of paintings drying in front of my little electric stove... there are more, but I didn't want to zoom out too far. I've been less than tidy with my work habits. :)

My cyber friend, and a wonderful artist, Peggy Stermer Cox asked me a great question yesterday...
Do I get my idea for a painting first, or do I do the painting then title it?

I answered her comment this morning...but I was thinking a bit more about it today.

With my "Take the High Road"series, it's been both, but most often, I just start with a blank sheet of paper or canvas and start playing with colors and ideas. I honestly do have 4 to 10 paintings going at once (depending on size). I start thinking of situations in which I could choose to "take the high road" and then sort of illustrate it in different ways. If I come up with something that i think is a good idea and composition, I'll write the title on the back of the painting or on a sticky note. Then I attempt to complete the thought with paint.

Another process I have is doodling in my sketch book with thumbnail sketches....writing down ideas...or things I want to explore. I've also started cutting out from magazines great color combinations that I want to play with. This is a great reference to go to when I have a "what should I do next" blank mind.

Robert Burridge's workshop was so helpful to me in this respect. His advice about intent was monumental . He says "The goal. The point. The reason. Your intentions. It is your initial impulse for the core of a meaningful painting."


Debra said...

Lauren, it is fun to see your paintings spread out to dry. You have a diversity in your work that is really interesting, I imagine that each one expresses a little of your thoughts or personality. Someday when you retire (at the ripe old age of 100, not a minute before) you'll have to publish a book of all of your paintings, complete with titles of course!

I liked the photo from yesterday also. Is that fog or blowing snow at the bottom of the trees?

Lauren said...

Thanks so much Debra.

That is fog in the photo. It was warm and the snow on the pond was cold enough to make fog. Each small breeze sent it swirling. I almost had to close the curtains because I kept staring at it, and got distracted from the task (or tax) at hand. :)


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