On Naming Paintings

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I love you / Modo / new work / Painting / ramblings / Writing

I spent a good chunk of the weekend painting (when I wasn’t playing Battle Cats), and finally managed to finish up some smaller, seemingly directionless pieces that were hanging around. It was pretty miserable for about five hours, but I eventually got into a groove, and not only did I manage to not stab a hole through any canvases this time, I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how they turned out. Given how painful I was finding it, I’m happy I was able to deviate from my usual schtick and do something different, though, my ongoing love-affair with neon pink shows no signs of ending (but I think I’m okay with that).

Adam, the person I no longer have to call my fiancé (because he’s now my husband, not because we broke up or anything) named them for me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever even mentioned here that he often names my paintings; not always, but, often. Like, usually if the name doesn’t suck, he named it.

Example:

ADAM: “Kid Lefty (A Lesson In Nature)” – Awesome.

ME:Laing Street” – Too lazy to go across town to my old studio, I had painted it at my then-apartment on… yeah.

ADAM:Bending A Rabbit Hole (Too Much Adventure Scares Me)” – Here he is making fun of me because I hate rollercoasters. Brilliant.

ME:Alone at 101” – Here I am getting a liiiiiittle more vague because I’m not mentioning the street by name, just the number. Also, yes, I was alone.

ADAM:Lesper Tepta & The Forty Winks” – Who even knows what the hell this means? I don’t, but it’s my most favourite name. It sounds like it could be a children’s book. Or a horror movie. It was one on a list of five that he offered for a painting that was to be a commission for a baby (or parents of that baby for the baby) who was at the time, not yet born or named. I’m pretty sure we knew the baby was a girl, and knowing I didn’t want the painting or it’s name to have a “gender”,  for that reason, he came up with a few others that sharing here would -best case scenario- definitely put me on a list of some kind.

ME: “Big Painting” – …it was big.

I’m not sure why I’m admitting that I’m so uncreative when it comes to naming my paintings. I love playing with words and how they sound together even if they don’t literally make sense, and Adam seems to know exactly what I want. Or, maybe I just ask him to do it incase someone tells me they think it sucks I can just blame him. Or I’m just lazy.

Over the years, it’s become more of a “formal” (but totally not formal) task wherein he’ll spend some time looking at the piece before offering me a written list of options. And often times something pops up in a name that seems familiar. Other times it’s completely random and it just sounds fucking cool. This is pretty much why I married him. Also because he remembers that I hate balloons, the sound of air-brakes hissing, and how I skinned my knee last summer.

Here are his most recent names, and their respective paintings:

BORN A ROSE, WISHED IT WERE A TULIP

Born a Rose, Wished it Were a Tulip (watermark)

18″ x 18″ acrylic on canvas

LATE AT NIGHT I MISS THE SUNSET

Late at Night I Miss the Sunset (watermark)

18″ x 18″ acrylic on canvas

FUTURISTIC PORTRAIT OF THE FLY WHO TAUNTS ME

Futuristic Portrait of the Fly Who Taunts Me (watermark)

11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas

And yes, a fly exists in my house and it deserves to die.

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